Trader Joe’s Yea/Nay/Meh 2018

South OC, CA-

NAY! - Tempura Crunch Roll - I have to pass this one to my wife, who thought it looked like a good snack to have during the college football championship game. Ugh!!! The rice was barely recognizable as such and whatever the filling was supposed to be… it wasn’t.

Accompanied by…

NAY- Tofu Spring Rolls- a long slice of flavorless tofu with some spearmint greens covered by a fall-apart rice skin. The sauce was decent.

As my wife said… she should have known better, but was surprised that Teader Joe’s would sell something that bad.


Struck with morbid curiosity, I got the steamed chicken soup dumplings, trader Joe’s take on xiao long bao, which apparently have been around since 2015.

After steaming, all six dumplings retained their drop, and I emphasize drop, of chicken liquid thanks to a thick pasty wall. These are bad, but I’ve had worse handmade ones at restaurants.


Oh my gosh, seriously why do they even carry the sushi and summer rolls??? They are and always have been SO BAD. Sorry you had to find out the hard way.

YAY! 3 seed Beet crackers, they’re gluten free and vegan and taste like fancy corn chips because there’s a corn base. Tasty as is for munching, the beet is barley detectable.

YAY! Lentil salad palette with spinach and walnuts, i had this back over xmas vacation in CA, it made for an actually filling and tasty lunch but haven’t seen in nyc (yet)

MEH to the cold brew coffee chocolate bar. the flavor was just okay. my real issue is that because it’s filled with a “gooey, coffee-infused caramel,” it’s damned near impossible to break into clean square. so, it’s kind of a mess to eat.


Good to know – I was looking at those last night, but I passed in favor of my preferred caramel chocolate bar.

YAY to the beef & pork hot links. Not as hot as I expected, which might have been disappointing if the flavor weren’t so good. Kind of smoky, bacon-y flavor.

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Are these frozen or in the refrigerator case? They sound good!

Refrigerator, in the sausage section of the meat section.

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Yay! Raspberry Kringle aka Kringle Krack is back for a super limited time. It was really hard not to eat the whole thing myself. Especially good batch this year, but ya gotta like sweet. Great with a strong black tea.


I scrape off about half the icing, because otherwise its sweetness overpowers the flavor of the pastry and filling.

Stores in nyc have the pecan lately. It seems to come and go a few times during the year

Yup, hope your region will get access to the Raspberry, we just finished with the Pecan. Kringle seems to just randomly show up on the Order Guide throughout the year. Almond (the “regular” flavor), Pumpkin (not a fan), Raspberry and the new flavor Pecan. I agree about scrapping off some of the frosting to balance out the sweetness.

Nay here on the seed beet crackers. I like beet, and so was quite disappointed that the crackers had no beet flavor. They taste just like tortilla chips - except slightly less salty. Also a drawback for me :frowning:

Haha, yeah definitely no actual beet flavor there.
Have you had the beets chips? Literally just beets. They’re really good!

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I’ve started trying the frozen entrees to bring to work for lunch, and so far, meh on vegetable pad thai and the bibimbap bowl. Both yuck. Is there a frozen lunch size entree at TJs that people like?

Stick with the Indian options


I tried their dishwasher soap pods and ended up tossing them after three in a row didn’t dissolve.

TJ’s is famous for refunding any item for any reason. You could have traded them in for half a case of Two Buck Chuck!

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The TJ’s promo that runs on my local NPR station says the Meyer lemon cake mix is back. I hope it’s the same formulation as last year’s, of which I still have several boxes. I found the icing packet made too much, because of how sweet it is, so I either make a shallower cake or just use half the packet.

YAY!! for their Zhoug, spicy and wonderful.