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Old 03-17-2008, 12:32 PM   #11
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I also do not understand the attraction of TJ's.

I have found almost every one of their "signature" products (frozen, jarred, canned, entree, sauce, side dish, soup) to be very MEH, underseasoned, bland and boring.

Their cheese selection is ok; somewhat better than Stop and Shop but not as good as WF and not even in the same ballpark as the cheese store.

IMO their pasta is not that hot and Stop and Shop sells Barilla for $1 a box all the time.

Their meat and produce has been questionable at most of the stores I have been to. Baked goods usually pretty stale.

They have good greek yogurts and very good nuts. They sell some good cheap wines (though $2 stuff like Chuck isn't much to my liking).

Their grade B maple syrup used to be very cheap but not so much anymore.

They sell Cowboy charcoal pretty cheap.

Admittedly, I have been going to TJ's pretty often for my SIL, but really only buying wine ands nuts. Wine for me too, especially their VINO VERDE, a cheap fizzy white, but even with that the quality has been a bit spotty.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:49 PM   #12
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Sorry to hear it, GG. TJs & Whole Foods are close by. Bought a few items here & there, but not worth my while going to several stores when I can find most anything in the markets here... And nothing that blew my socks off. Much prefer going to a Farmers' Market.
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Old 03-17-2008, 02:12 PM   #13
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Post let them eat cake

one christmas eve , did a whole menu of "little bites" purchased all at tj

stuffed mushrooms, mini tacos, fried zuccine, fried cheese, etc. they were all frozen of course.

my family loved them.

i usually buy bread when i go there. don't get to go often, on other side of town.

babe
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:41 PM   #14
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Of course, I don't have access to TJs anymore, since I moved south of the border. And I miss it! Great hand-formed flour tortillas, very reasonably priced nuts for baking, good flour, CHAI (can't get it here) and I love their thin sliced french ham. Super deals on good balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Wonderful kalamata olives. Sigh.
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:41 AM   #15
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Hey, another Karen in a Spanish-speaking country. :) Hi! I miss TJs, too-- a lot. They have so many healthy and interesting items there. I always had a lot of fun shopping at TJs and trying a bit of everything. Great breads and cereals, lots of whole grain stuff. For me, that's a real treat as where I live now there's very little of that. :( Oh well.

-Karen
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:29 AM   #16
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Im not crazy about TJ, Whole foods, or any of the big places like that. I often find myself going to many specialty stores instead like an Asian market , Indian Market, Italian Market, Vegetarian store... I find that these smaller, Non - chain, independently owned stores cater to my individual needs more than the bigger stores. Personally, I enjoy shopping for food, so I dont mind going to many different stores that I like. I still do go to some of the bigger stores, but prefer the smaller ones.

larry
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
Im not crazy about TJ, Whole foods, or any of the big places like that. I often find myself going to many specialty stores instead like an Asian market , Indian Market, Italian Market, Vegetarian store... I find that these smaller, Non - chain, independently owned stores cater to my individual needs more than the bigger stores. Personally, I enjoy shopping for food, so I dont mind going to many different stores that I like. I still do go to some of the bigger stores, but prefer the smaller ones.

larry
I wish I had more of those around. There is a Middle Eastern restaurant near my work that has a small market in it, and a Japanese grocery further away - they carry other Asian foods, too (I should check there for lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves). And then in the next town, there are some others, but that would be a fair drive. They're not close together, so it would be kind of a pain. But maybe I ought to check it out once a month or so.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:13 AM   #18
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YEah, for me its like a day out when i go shopping to my specialty stores. Im like a kid in a candy store. I still make my run through the TJ's and other larger markets, as they do have a nice variety of certain things. But when cooking something that requires ingredients that are more ethnic, like paneer cheese, curry leaves, lemon grass, and things like that, I always find myself relying on the smaller stores. I try to load up ( on the non perishable items) once a month or so. Being not too far from new york city, I do have a lot of stores like that locally. But I can imagine certain, less populated areas may have less available .
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:32 AM   #19
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Being not too far from new york city, I do have a lot of stores like that locally. But I can imagine certain, less populated areas may have less available .
You would not believe the difference. What is available in the ethnic neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn is not available to most people. Having moved to Philly from QNS I can't tell you how I miss the food shopping. I would love to be able to pick up Bulgarian Feta or Paneer or Irish Butter or whatever else right in my neighborhood. In Philly there is stuff available but it is definitley more of a mission.

Philly is still a big diverse city too I cant imagine the challenge of finding ingredients in less cosmopolitan places. things have changed alot now but when I lived in texas in the early 90's we had to drive some 90 miles to get fresh mozzarella!

Stores like Trader Joes help make a greater variety of foods and flavors accessible to many people who would not otherwise have access. I have noticed that the major supermarkets do carry a much greater variety of ethnic foods now than they used to though and I think this has alot to do with the competition from specialty markets
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:24 PM   #20
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Some of you are in very large metro areas and might not realize that those in remote areas are lucky to have access to fresh vegies at all within 45 miles (such is the case with my parents).
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