My first trip to Trader Joe's!

My son and I drove the 76 miles to our nearest TJ’s (in the rain, naturally) on Wednesday. We had a blast. Some folks have requested a full report, so here we go.
I really like the store–good stuff, good prices. Here’s what I got, with attendant notes.
3 kinds of Brussels Sprouts–one ready to saute (and $2.50 cheaper than I can get it here), one in microwavable bag, and one stalk. I burned the sauteed ones already, but the unburned parts were good!
Coffee: New Orleans style with chicory, Costa Rican Tarrazu, and Bay Blend. I was so overwhelmed with coffee choices that I just went with pretty labels. We split them and they’re all good so far. Next time I want to try the Kona.
Olive oil, lovely cloudy green stuff.
Harvest Grains Blend, which just looked interesting
Tarte D’alsace pizza thing. Saving for a night when the kids are gone!
Chocolate–a small variety
Sweet potatoes–just seemed ike a good price
Black Licorice-LOVE black licorice!
Salami. Ooooooh, good stuff.
Really lovely Brie, and raw milk cheddar. Good, good, good.
Snacky things–sesame sticks, peanut butter pretzels, savory crackers.
Wine for my son–he says it’s good stuff, so I’ll take his word for it.

I’m planning another trip in December, and will get a LOT more cheese and coffee and chocolate, plus all the things I didn’t get to try this time. And more licorice, for sure. Can’t wait to go back! Thanks to all the Dopers who suggested things!

Now I’m feeling guilty that there is TJ’s about 3 miles from my house, and I almost never shop there. In fact, there are probably 3 or 4 within a 10 mile radius. They do have good stuff.

What wine did you get? I’ve seen a pretty mixed bag when I’ve looked for wine there. They do have a lot of good frozen foods for when you want to make something quick.

Coffee: Try the French Roast. It doesn’t have a ‘pretty label’; it’s basically blue with an Impressionist (I think) scene on it. It comes in a big can and a normal can.

Trader Giotto’s is my everyday olive oil.

I hope you got the triple-cream brie!

Those peanut butter pretzels are great. Someone told me they have them covered in chocolate, but I haven’t looked for them yet.

I was in there yesterday and got the pumpkin ice cream - yum.

We don’t have TJ’s where I live, but i have been to one and I’ve looked at their website. Please explain what all the fuss is about. We have Whole Foods and TJ’s seems to have much less of everything. What am i not getting?

Lower prices than Whole Paycheck? :stuck_out_tongue:

Where the selection overlaps, TJs is cheaper (often MUCH cheaper) for a equal or superior quality. You’re right that TJs, are, on average, much smaller than a Whole Foods.

OP - neat! Was it about what the other thread had lead you to expect? or different?

With the cheeses, I highly recommend the Castella Blue, a triple creamed mild blue with outrageous flavor, and the Kerrygold Dubliner cheddar, which is just lovely.

This, exactly. Good stuff, cheap prices. The only price winner I can think of at Whole Foods is their bulk spice section, hidden away in the supplements aisle. Yes, TJs is smaller, and I wouldn’t want to have that as my only grocery store, by any means, but I try to make a habit of getting certain staples (olive oil, Kalamata olives, jarred roasted peppers, etc.) there at the very least.

Ok. That explains.

I totally missed the olives…but there are a couple of olive bars in the local health food stores here, so I won"t suffer unduly.
I was most excited about the cheese and coffee. Both had great selections and even better prices. I love good cheese, and it is so pricey anywhere here, even at Sam’s (not that I usually want the bulk I find at Sam’s.)

76 miles is a bit far to travel with ice cream, but their Coffee Bean Blast and Chocolate super premiums are about the best ice creams of those flavors I’ve ever had.

All the pastas are great. The tortillas as well. (Do try the jalapeno/lime ones.)

TJ’s is my only supermarket, unless I need razor blades, oven cleaner or some such thing. I even get my dishwasher soap and laundry detergent there.

OTOH, I’m disappointed by the available selection of TJ’s ice cream.

But speaking of desserts, try their blue-box cheesecake.

Yesterday’s score at TJ’s:

Italian country salad
Greek salad
Roasted vegetable pizza (artichokes, shiitake mushrooms, red peppers)
Black bean & corn enchiladas
Green chile & cheese tamales
Black bean & cheese burrito
Slice havarti cheese
Paneer tikka masala with spinach rice
Cumin & chili chickpeas
Asian vegetables with soy sauce
Butternut squash risotto
Minted peas
Teriyaki noodle bowl
Maple-agave syrup
Potato pancakes
Whole wheat British muffins
Frozen French toast
Very Berry Cluster cereal
Roasted gorgonzola crackers
Chocolate macaroon cake
Salty sweet & nutty trek mix (mixed salted & candied nuts)
Simply the Best trek mix (almonds, cashews, dried pineapple, cherries, & cranberries)
Pack of 3 mini milk chocolate bars
Strawberry lemonade
Vanilla coconut milk
Greek yogurt, plain
Lemon-verbena soap

Yum!!! (Well, except for the soap.)

I can’t help calling that ‘spankin’ a pita’.

Funny thing is that it’s “Spanakopita Spinach Pie” on my receipt, but the actual package labels it as simply “Spinach Pie” with “gourmet spanakopita” in small print in the corner.

Anyway, it’s fantastic with some of that Greek yogurt as a topping.

I didn’t try any of the frozen things except a couple pizzas. Next time we’ll take a cooler because I thought the burritos, etc looked good.
The ice cream…we’ll just eat that in the parking lot. :smiley:

One opened a couple weeks ago on Staten Island. My next shopping trip I’m going to check it out. There’s a couple <20 miles away in NJ or Brooklyn, but travel and tolls overcame my curiosity.

Hel-LO! Sit in car in parking lot with two spoons. Duh.