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Briek's Profile

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Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - April 2014

+1 on the almond croissants. My absolute fave breakfast treat. I've had a box of Kouigns Amann in my freezer for a few months now. I keep forgetting that they're in there!

Apr 09, 2014
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - April 2014

That cherry jam spread on a wheel of Brie and baked in a puff pastry is so delicious.

Apr 09, 2014
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - April 2014

I'm also a fan of the savory baked tofu. I wouldn't say it's a regular purchase but it's definitely a repeat buy. I like to add it to the crunchy salad mix.

Apr 09, 2014
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - March 2014 [OLD]

I actually buy this all the time and just eat it raw with the goddess dressing. But I like super crunchy salads. I can see how the texture might be too hard for some. Sometimes I'll add the TJ's baked tofu and a handful of chick peas to it for lunch.

Mar 27, 2014
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - March 2014 [OLD]

I second that! One of my favorite snacks... the crisps and the honey goat cheese.

Mar 24, 2014
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - March 2014 [OLD]

That's too bad. Like everyone else on this Board, I find the produce at my TJ's (in Connecticut) to be spotty at best. I also picked up a few bananas on this trip. They were barely ripe and still a bit green when I bought them. Somehow overnight they all turned brown and mushy. I still ate one but it was well past its prime. It's very inconsistent.

Mar 21, 2014
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - March 2014 [OLD]

Yes! They are my absolute favorite. They are called Mango! Mango! Gummies. I just picked up a bag a few weeks ago. They are in an orange and yellow package.

Mar 20, 2014
Briek in Chains
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Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - March 2014 [OLD]

Yay! for the Shrimp Nuggets. They browned up great and were delicious dipped in TJ's cocktail sauce (for me) and TJ's sweet chili sauce (for husband). This will 100% be a repeat buy for us as we ate the whole package for dinner.

Yay! for the Organic Blueberries. I believe the package said they originated in Chile. Great batch of blueberries. All of them were sweet and plump. I'm heading to the store again today to buy another carton.

Meh for the Penguin Gummy Tummies. I've been on a real gummy candy kick lately. The smell of cough syrup overwhelmed me when I opened the package. I'll eat the entire bag but definitely will not buy again. I much prefer the mango gummies.

Mar 20, 2014
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay - February 2014! [OLD]

A few Yays! and Nays from my latest trip to TJ's.

Yays! :)

Mango Mango Gummies - love, love these! If you like gummy candy and tropical flavors, you'll like these.

Wild Mushroom and Black Truffle Flatbread - another big Yay! Smaller portion than it looks like on the box. My husband and I paired it with a salad and made it for dinner last night. I thought the flavors were delicious and the flatbread got nice and crispy on the bottom. The truffle flavor is moderately strong.

Sort of Yay... the cherry juice (not tart cherry juice).. I believe this was in the fearless flyer for this month. I like it, don't love it. It sort of tastes like a cherry jolly rancher in liquid form. I mixed it with seltzer and liked it much more than drinking it straight.

Nay...

Frozen Creme Brulee - we were not impressed. The filling was way too oozy. The chocolate melted while it defrosted and turned into a big mess. The flavor was okay but we would never buy again.

Feb 17, 2014
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay - February 2014! [OLD]

+1 on the Mandarins. Bought a bag over the weekend and they're almost gone. We haven't had one bad one yet. They are all super sweet.

Feb 17, 2014
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - November 2013 [Old]

8 oz may not be enough, but walnut oil also makes for a delicious nutty aioli.

Nov 22, 2013
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - November 2013 [Old]

I love those morello cherries. I agree, they're great over ice cream. They also are great in cocktails. I'm definitely going to try throwing them into fudge. Thanks for the idea!

Nov 13, 2013
Briek in Chains
1

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - October 2013 [old]

Meh to the Inner Peas. I liked them as a crunchy alternative to potato chips, but they are pretty greasy. I did finish the bag, so they weren't terrible. I probably won't buy again for the grease factor.

Yay! to the low-fat ice cream sandwiches. They are pretty good for being low-fat. The ice cream has a definitive milk-like quality (rather than being creamy) but they are a perfect treat when you want something sweet but not too heavy.

Oct 11, 2013
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - October 2013 [old]

Meh to the pumpkin macarons in the frozen section. The filling was pretty good. A nice pumpkin flavor with some tasty spices. My problem with the macarons is that the almond shell was very soft and didn't have any bite to it. They sort of fell apart. The flavor was there just not the texture of a good macaron.

Oct 07, 2013
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - October 2013 [old]

I laughed out loud at your description of the apple cinnamon chevre. I felt exactly the same way about its appearance but it's delicious.

Oct 07, 2013
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - October 2013 [old]

I love these cherries and Manhattans are exactly what I use them for! They have them year-round at my Trader Joe's.

Oct 07, 2013
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - September 2013 [old]

Homemade mayo is delicious and super easy. I usually use a mix of walnut and olive oils and make it in the food processor. I might try walnut and grape seed next. That looks like a popular alternative to olive. I love the rich nut flavor that the walnut oil adds.

Oct 07, 2013
Briek in Chains
1

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - September 2013 [old]

We also like it. I agree that it's not too oily. Perfect for an easy appetizer. (We also like the one made with artichokes).

Sep 27, 2013
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - September 2013 [old]

This is a little off topic.. but I recently made a homemade batch of mayo (my usual recipe that I've made a lot of times), and it tasted extremely bitter. I was suprised by this having made it so many times. I had to toss the entire batch, which was a sad sight. After some further research (aka googling), I found that olive oil (which is a component in my homemade mayo) becomes bitter if over-emulsified. I'm wondering if the organic mayo had any olive oil that became a victim of too much processing. End of story!

Sep 27, 2013
Briek in Chains
1

Portland- Special dinner with kids

We ate at Eventide twice on our recent trip to Portland. There were families with kids eating there both times. It's a fun environment with great food. I think it would be a nice choice but you would need to go on the earlier side - we had long waits both times and the kids might get restless (I was!).

Aug 26, 2013
Briek in Northern New England

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - August 2013 [old]

The bananas and cream yogurt is one of my absolute favorite items at TJ's. I never get sick of it.

Aug 26, 2013
Briek in Chains
1

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - August 2013 [old]

I'm with you Frosty Melon. Mine weren't tart at all. Just really, really sweet. I can see how a bag with more tart pieces would be addicting.

Aug 26, 2013
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - August 2013 [old]

I'm a yay too, although like gnomatic, I've never purchased coffee concentrate before. It's simple to make in the morning before work and I think it's pretty smooth.

Aug 26, 2013
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - August 2013 [old]

The jarred morellos are delicious in cocktails. We add them to Bourbon Manhattans!

Aug 26, 2013
Briek in Chains

Report from Long Weekend in Portland - All Outdoor Seating

Just came back from a long weekend in Portland. We had the dog in tow, so we were limited to places that had outdoor seating but I can't say enough about the food in Portland. We loved it. We really had the best time. We did a lot of sampling of food and cocktails at various restaurants rather than sitting down for full meals. Roundup of the weekend:

1) Duckfat - we had the poutine with a side of the curry mayo and the chilled corn soup. Both were excellent and would eat there again in a second.

2) J's Oyster - we loved this place. It doesn't always get the best write up from fellow chowhounders but my husband loved the oysters here (he actually liked them better than the ones he had at Eventide). I thought the lobster stew and the steamers were fantastic. I think there was a pound of lobster in my stew and it was so fresh. The bucket of steamers was gigantic and our waitress was fantastic.

3) East Ender - we had some local beers here and an order of deviled eggs. The deviled eggs were fine, nothing special. Our server knew the beers very well and we ended up trying Oxbow, which we both enjoyed a lot. The outdoor seating was nice and comfortable and we enjoyed our local beers.

4) Eventide - really fantastic place. The walking dead cocktail was so good that we came back the following day to have it again. The lobster roll in the brown butter sauce was amazing (my third favorite lobster roll of the trip). My husband said the oysters were great. We also had a peekytoe crab bun special that was delicious.

5) Holy Donuts - the vanilla donut was outrageous. I know I probably picked the plainest one but it was really good. They serve the iced coffee with coffee ice cubes.

6) Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Company - we took a drive up the coast to go to Five Islands Lobster in Georgetown and stopped here on our way up. The lobster roll was very disappointing. The meat did not taste right and it was small and cold. On the other hand, the fried clam strips were one of my favorite things I ate on the whole trip. They were meaty and the breading was great. No dipping sauce needed. I would come back for the clam strips. (as a side note for any dog owners - dogs are not allowed in the outdoor seating area but there are some picnic tables in the back of the restaurant that we could eat at - not the best dining environment if you have a dog with you).

5) Five Islands Lobster - definitely worth the drive for the setting. I thought the lobster roll was good, but nothing special. My husband really liked it. BYOB - so you can sit at the picnic tables and enjoy the scenery and some lobster.

6) Bite into Maine - food truck in the Ft. Williams State Park. This was by far my favorite lobster roll of the trip. We ordered the picnic and the curry ones. They were outstanding. The other lobster rolls we ate did not come close to flavor, value, and the park is a beautiful setting to enjoy lunch. The owner is so gracious and you can tell that he loves what he does.

7) Standard Baking Company - the morning bun with nuts was so delicious and caramelly and yummy.

8) Pai Men Miyake - we just came here for a quick snack. We had the brussel sprouts with the fish sauce vinaigrette and the pork buns. The sprouts were so good. We keep talking about them 3 days later. I think I just don't love pork belly. I keep trying it but it's just too fatty for me. But the steamed bun and the sauces were very good. I also had the yuzu lemonade (made with sake) that was very refreshing.

9) Lobster Shack at Two Lights - we had to stop here on our way home because everyone said the setting is gorgeous. I can't disagree. I thought it was amazing eating lobster and watching the waves crash. It would have been more ideal if I had the Bite into Maine curry lobster roll in my hand. But it was very good - probably won't be back there. It was pretty expensive.

And that's it.. all in all a great trip. We'll definitely be back!

Aug 21, 2013
Briek in Northern New England

Dog-Friendly - Portland, Maine

Thanks Beach Chick. This is what we heard but it's nice to get confirmation.

Aug 17, 2013
Briek in Northern New England

Dog-Friendly - Portland, Maine

Thank you! This is extremely helpful.

Aug 17, 2013
Briek in Northern New England

Dog-Friendly - Portland, Maine

Hi everyone! My husband and I are heading up to Portland this weekend for the first time. We've decided to bring our smallish (20 pound) dog with us because we've been reading that Portland is a very dog-friendly city. We've heard pretty much any restaurant/bar/bakery with outdoor seating permits dogs. If that's the case - I think we're in great shape. Since we're only there for a few nights, I'm wondering if anyone can offer up their favorite dog-friendly spots (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Food type/price does not matter (although I love fried clam strips). We're open to anything. Thanks in advance!

Aug 12, 2013
Briek in Northern New England

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - June 2013 [OLD]

Big Yay for the Chocolate European Style Lowfat Yogurt!! This stuff is delicious. A little bit tangy but mostly just a delicious chocolate flavor. I'm less enthusiastic about the Mocha flavored one.

Jun 07, 2013
Briek in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - May 2013 [old]

Some new items I've never tried before...

Yay for the chicken parm lollipops. They're clearly meant to be a cute little app but we heated them up last night with a salad. Very delicious! Will definitely buy again.

Yay for the spinach and kale bites. Tasted like spinach balls and heated up very nicely in the oven. Again, we will definitely buy these again.

May 30, 2013
Briek in Chains