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trader joes in SWFL

Trader Joe's opening date in Tampa is March 21, 2014.
http://tbo.com/news/business/trader-j...

Feb 19, 2014
triff in Florida

Several Questions About Woks on Electric Coil Stoves

I got so frustrated trying to use my 40 year-old wok on my smooth surface electric cooktop, that I bought a single-burner butane stove for around $20 and that little gem gets blazing hot and holds the heat level, unlike the electric stove element that turns itself on and off. I set the little burner on top of my stove and use the exhaust fan for safety purposes, and also because I am stir-frying. The butane stoves are available online or in Asian market stores, and the canned butane refills are quite inexpensive, too.

Feb 15, 2014
triff in Cookware

Trader Joe's in St. Pete?

Looks like a long-awaited TJ's location could finally be a reality in St. Petersburg!
http://www.tampabay.com/news/business...

Oct 01, 2013
triff in Florida

Trader Joe's - Tampa!

Yes, the products seem to be pretty universally distributed to their stores. Most of their items are listed online, and you can print a shopping list right from their website before you go. Before TJ's came to Florida, I would make "wish lists" and out-of-towners would personally shop for me and ship or deliver on a trip down here. Personally I think their items are good-quality and healthier (no GMOS, trans-fats, preservatives, artificial this or that), and very reasonably priced. Surely the store is not for everyone, but certainly for many. It is not just packaged or prepared foods, but also single items like dried fruits and nuts - not loosely sold, but sold as a single item type. It is also not as complete as a typical grocery store, but has limited selections of each item and doesn't carry all the miscellaneous non-food items we are used to seeing in a regular store. It is not a Whole Foods, Dean and Deluca or Williams-Sonoma, but what it is works for me!

Jun 15, 2013
triff in Florida

Trader Joe's - Tampa!

It's official!!! TJ's signed a contract to open a store in Tampa at the former Shapes on Dale Mabry at Swann. Construction to start June 25th. Yayyy!
http://www.tampabay.com/news/business...

Jun 14, 2013
triff in Florida

Bizarre eats in Tampa, St. Pete, Plant City, Orlando, Sarasota or just Florida

At United Oriental Market grocery store 3681 62nd Ave. N. in Pinellas Park, I have seen durian frozen fruit, fruit bars and drinks. They also have packages of GIANT beetles labeled for fishing. See pic below:

May 23, 2013
triff in Florida
1

Trader Joe's

OK - Orlando area announced now - but when in Tampa Bay??
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/busine...

May 07, 2013
triff in Florida

TAMPA: Doormet - awesome find!

Update on Doormet - apparently they listened to customers' complaints on changes they had made, and went back to their previous tried and true methods. Daughter's workplace is once again ordering from them and quite satisfied with their lunch offerings!

Dec 13, 2012
triff in Florida

Recos needed for Indian Rocks Beach area

We won't go back to Keegan's after years of loyalty including our birthdays and bringing our of town guests there. When they were sold right after Diners, Drive-In, and Dives aired, IMHO the quality went way downhill. We gave them numerous tries over the past few years, and there is just no comparison to how good they were and are now. They "tried" to copy the old menu and recipes, but we feel don't hit the mark. The last time I went, my daughter and I were served fish with a rancid nut crust - never again!

Nov 13, 2012
triff in Florida

TAMPA: Doormet - awesome find!

My daughter works at a company that regularly ordered from them (they ordered today, in fact) and she heard they were going "green" - hence the changes. Bread has changed, and not for the better, no goat cheese anymore on bacon sandwiches, items looked sloppy, cookies smaller, chips no longer in individual bags - were served in a big plastic bowl and not appropriate for serving to executives during a meeting (gross with all those hands in the bowl). All in all, they were not happy and will not order from them again (they used to be their #1 place!)

Sep 25, 2012
triff in Florida

Trader Joe's

Went to the Sarasota Trader Joe's today and it still was a zoo, but I was glad to finally be part of the madness. Have never been inside a TJ's store, but have been eating their products for years thanks to family and friends shipping them from up North. My DD asked if it was what I expected when visiting in person, and I said yes. Although it is not a large store, it has quite a few products that jumped into my shopping cart. We parked behind the store and it was wall to wall people, but when we checked out there were only two in front of us. Well worth the time (1 hour away) and expenses - gas, tolls, etc. Sure would be nice if TJ's built one closer, but this one is great for now!

Sep 23, 2012
triff in Florida

Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

That explanation makes a lot of sense, as long as it was indeed the case for all the restaurants that had cheaper prices for those that could actually read the menu in Chinese.

Sep 13, 2012
triff in General Topics

Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but when a friend married a girl from Macau and went to visit her homeland, he said the menus were in English and Chinese...and the Chinese prices were cheaper for the same meals!!!

Sep 12, 2012
triff in General Topics

Trader Joe's

Sounds like a solid plan. I have known the owners of Mid-Peninsula for over 20 years (our daughter was friends with their kids), and have had Rosie's clams and enjoyed them, too. Mazzaro's is a foodie emporium unlike anything else in this county. You walk into their produce and butcher shop, then the wine and cheese room (300 types of cheese and mozzarella made daily), walk past refrigerator and freezer cabinets, then you are in their main area with a coffee bar (roasted on site), their gorgeous bakery area and gelato, and there are numerous shelves filled with imported spices, sauces, chocolates, pastas, oils, etc. etc.! Beyond that is their deli counter with excellent sandwiches for there or to go, salads, side dishes, deli meats, prepared foods, and their fresh pasta counter area. In the back is a good-sized open-air sit-down place to eat or drink purchased goodies. Can you tell I LOVE this place?

Sep 09, 2012
triff in Florida

Trader Joe's

Veggo - is Mazzaro's here in Pinellas County your go-to place for cheese (and other irresistible goodies)? It rarely disappoints me.

Sep 09, 2012
triff in Florida

Trader Joe's

An article in today's Tampa Bay Times said Trader Joe's is interested in Tampa, in fact, has an intersection picked out in Tampa. Here is a quote from the article: "Brian Bern, a senior director with Franklin Street real estate services, said he heard through industry sources that Trader Joe's has a particular intersection in mind but hasn't been able to find a suitable site.
"It's going to happen sooner than later,'' he said. "There's no other reason why they haven't come to Tampa Bay. They just haven't gotten the right deal.''

Sep 08, 2012
triff in Florida

Good Chinese in Pinellas Co?

I also totally agree on ABC being worth the drive. We live just over the bridge from Indian Shores and takes about 25 minutes or so to get there. If you can stand the delicious aromas permeating your car on the way home, it is even possible to carry-out and have the food ready-to-eat back in your beach condo.

Aug 27, 2012
triff in Florida

best florida supermartkets

And soon we can add Trader Joe's into the mix (if you aren't doing so already in the Naples area). The next to open is on September 7th in Sarasota.....yayyyyy!

Jul 17, 2012
triff in Florida

Egg rolls with peanut butter

Here ya go Gary:

Chinese Egg Rolls

Here is the recipe we were given in Chinese cooking class by Chinese instructors in Niles, IL (1970's). This recipe was a little rough and I had to clean it up a bit - plus I included all my notes from class. If freezing, fry egg rolls slightly first. Also - bean sprouts don't freeze well!

* EGG ROLLS *

INGREDIENTS:
Egg Roll Wrappers - 16 pieces
Shredded Meat - (Ham, chicken, shrimp, BBQ pork, etc.)
Eggs - 2 (scrambled and shredded)
Bamboo Shoots - 1 cup (fresh), shredded
Cabbage - 2 cups, shredded and boiled until soft - about 10 mins. (regular, not Chinese cabbage)
Bean Sprouts - 2 cups fresh (parboil them)
Celery - Finely diced and parboiled (optional)
Mushrooms - Shredded (optional)
Salt and Sesame Oil - 1 tsp. of each
Sugar - Just a little
Peanut Butter - Small amount (especially needed if freezing)
5 Fragrance Powder - (Optional)
Cooking Oil

PROCEDURE
Stir-fry all separately (the meat, bamboo shoots, cabbage, bean sprouts, egg and optional celery). Mix them together and then add the salt and sesame oil, sugar, peanut butter, and optional 5 Fragrance Powder. Mix again. Be sure to drain off excess water or juice.
Wrap the mixture with the wrapper and seal each one with egg white. Deep fry until golden brown.

Notes

(I probably would also add some carrot shreds, but not part of original recipe)

* SPRING ROLLS *

Use the same ingredients as egg rolls, except different wrappers. Instead of deep frying, pan fry them. Serve with sweet and sour sauce and/or hot mustard.

Jul 16, 2012
triff in Chicago Area
1

Egg rolls with peanut butter

Kow Kow Restaurant in Lincolnwood has awesome eggrolls! They opened in 1949 and still going strong. In the '70's I took Chinese cooking lessons from Chinese people in the Chicago area and peanut butter was definitely an ingredient they taught us to include when making egg rolls.

Jul 15, 2012
triff in Chicago Area

Trader Joe's coming to Sarasota.............

TJ's in Sarasota opening date has been announced, and it is September 7th!
Can't wait!!!

Jun 20, 2012
triff in Florida

Dissapointing Dinner at Friends House

In regards to an intimidating dinner guest, I once met a young woman who was hired right out of high school as a personal favor to her family to be a private cook for a very famous actress and actor's mother. One night she had to cook for JULIA CHILD! I asked her what she prepared, and she told me the menu (she made her French dishes!) and she said Julia said she had done a very nice job! One evening I made dinner for a friend that brought over the executive pastry chef from a local high-end restaurant and that was intimidating enough!

Apr 24, 2012
triff in Not About Food

Authentic Chicago Italian Beef Sandwhiches in Tampa?

The place in Largo you are probably referring to is Chicago Grill & Dog House on Ulmerton, just east of Belcher. "Mayor" Bruce that owns it is quite a character (originally from Chicago), and puts out some pretty good dogs and beef sandwiches that give us our Chicago fix. My only complaint is he uses a crinkle cut fry instead of a perfectly crispy on the outside and soft in the inside one we know and love from Chicago. Yes, I miss Al's, Johnnie's, Portillo's and countless hot dog joints we had all over the place back home, but Chicago Grill is really a taste of it.

Apr 10, 2012
triff in Florida

ABC or Lucky Star in St. Pete

ABC is better than Lucky Star. Lucky Star is better than most here in Pinellas and closer to my house, but I make the extra drive to ABC (in fact went tonight!) Almost all of ABC's tables were taken and had Asian diners except one. Most were eating family-style with the central revolving trays. Their seafood, meats and veggies have pure, fresh flavors, the sauces are spot on, and they are light-handed with their breading. Just wish it was closer!

Mar 08, 2012
triff in Florida

Saint Petersburg key lime pie

I had a pretty decent Key Lime Pie this weekend at a friend's house, made by Mike's Pies. They are made in Tampa and distributed locally - I think this one was bought in a Sweetbay Supermarket's bakery section, but here's a list:
http://www.mikespies.com/retailers.html

Mar 06, 2012
triff in Florida

Clearwater/St. Pete's Beach - Specific Questions

I live near Redington Shores and for a fresh seafood store that hasn't let us down yet, I suggest Trappman's J-n-K's Seafood Shack in Largo. From Gulf Blvd. take the Park Blvd. Bridge - also called 694) east until you get to Seminole Blvd. Turn left and go just north of 102nd Ave. N - it's on the right-hand side. You can buy the fish raw or they will cook it for you for take-out. http://www.trappmans.com/

Feb 19, 2012
triff in Florida

trader joes in SWFL

Here's the info on the proposed Sarasota TJ's opening: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/...

Feb 15, 2012
triff in Florida

Can I really bake dinner in a toaster oven?

Meatloaf was cooked brilliantly, as was a pork sirloin roast (on Roast setting) in the Breville last night. My regular oven was roasting fresh veggies, so I put the almost 5 lb. loin roast in with a remote thermometer (sensor wire worked well with the Breville door closed on it), and that too turned out juicy and worked well.

Jan 23, 2012
triff in Home Cooking

Can I really bake dinner in a toaster oven?

LOL - in a serious way or sarcastic one?

Jan 20, 2012
triff in Home Cooking

Can I really bake dinner in a toaster oven?

We also use our full-size Breville convection toaster oven all the time. Didn't take long to convince us the extra cost was well worth the price. Aside from toasting breads and pastries perfectly, I have also baked fruit breads, cakes, pies, casseroles, meat loaf and other entrees and desserts. The other nice thing is you have another oven to use while your conventional one is at a different temperature baking another dish (like having a double oven!) It heats up to temp quicker and doesn't heat our whole Florida kitchen in the process. The only, and I mean ONLY thing I would improve would be to add a helpful interior light, but otherwise, it's perfection!

Jan 20, 2012
triff in Home Cooking