Trader Joe’s Yea/Nay/Meh 2018


I’ve been buying the Meyer lemon cake mix at my local TJ’s (Marin County, CA). Every Sunday I make something from TJ’s to put in the kitchen on Monday at the school where I’m the Librarian. So far, the lemon cake has disappeared the quickest. Everyone loves it and thinks that I’m an amazing baker. I keep telling them it’s from a mix, but no one seems to believe me. I do add extra vanilla and bake it in a shallower pan, but that’s all.

I also love their corn rye bread, and my husband is addicted to the corn dippers.


the corn dippers are too dangerous for me to have at home, lol

(erica) #23

Shopping at 6:30, not yet having had dinner, resulted in some off-list purchases. YEA to the frozen Pepperoni Pizza sauced frozen mac&cheese. it has cheddar and mozzarella, but I gilded the lily with the couple of tbsps of 3cheese blend that remained in a bag. The label says the 12oz package serves two. Right.:confused:


Dang, I need to try that!

This week (in the SFBA at least) they have fresh lychees, which are pretty good!


YAY! Steamed organic golden beets, vacuum packed in produce section, 8oz. Same size package of not organic steamed red beets is just 30 cents less. Great firm texture and less “earthy” flavor than the red.

YAY-ish- new rainbow wrap with sweet potatoes and chickpeas in a beet wrap with slightly spicy sauce. Vegan and high protein, 19g for the whole wrap. Very tasty for what it is, although annoying they list one serving as 1/2 of the wrap. (Seriously??) also annoying that it’s more expensive than other wraps that include meats/cheeses. Not sure i will repurchase but worked as an ohmygodstarvingneedlunchNOW thing.

NAY- trader joe’s brand mango kombucha. Not much mango flavor and not much fermented kombucha flavor. GTS brand mango is significantly better.

(Kathy S. ) #26

I have to give a big shout out to Vault No. 5 cheese (that’s the name on the label, I don’t know what else to call it).

It is excellent. Its got a creamy, nutty flavor, with the consistency of a cheddar, and it melts like a dream. I even like eating the salty rind.

Edit: I wrote that a few weeks ago, it’s been surpassed by the smoked cheddar at Whole Foods, but it still deserves a shoutout.

TJ cheddar sticks and string cheese is on my daily lunch rotation but it’s more about price-point than anything, I still love them.


I bought the rainbow wrap yesterday for my vegan daughter. She liked it and ate half for lunch. Also it has no cilantro in it which is major in her book. Thanks for mentioning it.
All of the wraps at the TJ’s I went to (Novato, CA) were the same price, so maybe pricing differs from store to store.


Oh great! Haha maybe i was just extra hangry when i had mine and ate the whole thing :wink:
And somehow I’m glad the price is the same at other stores, it was just 50cents more here in nyc but that kind of thing makes me insane.
There’s a chickpea salad thing I can’t spell- balaea? In the same prepared section, kinda small Mediterranean chickpea salad that’s vegan and fantastic semi squished as a DIY sandwich filling. TJs has a lot of great vegan stuff!


Thanks. Next time I’m there, I’ll have to study the prepared section. Cilantro is a deal breaker though, and it’s in everything!
By the way, did I see your comments in I thought “I “know” her!”


Haha, yes i love that blog!
There’s a curry quinoa thing that’s pretty good, the same quinoa salad with apple is crazy sweet which I thought was weird but could appeal to others. The salad boxes are meh for vegan choices, super spinach is vegan but i end up adding some baked tofu or more edamame or it’s a really light meal. Best vegan thing right now is the frozen mochi!


My mother is addicted to the frozen mochi!


:smile: it’s good stuff!!

(ChristinaM) #33

NAY to the Sicilian pizza with peppers. We skipped the spicy olive oil drizzle. The crust was almost inedibly crispy, even for Ms. Well-Done Pizza (AKA me). Maybe I overbaked? The crust was also flour-y and bland - not good. Lame toppings. Mozz pearls melted into nothingness.

Just didn’t like this one.

(erica) #34

YEA for the frozen, fully-cooked jerk chicken thigh skewers with mango chutney. The texture is rather spongy but the flavor is excellent and it’s a quick entree.

(ChristinaM) #35

They were sampling these at my store. I liked the flavor, too. To me they have that brined, bouncy texture.

They were also sampling the coconut cold brew served with almond cashew milk. It was sweet and tasty, although I’m not sure I’d call that coffee.


I was curious about the coconut cold brew but kind of worried it had that fake flavored coffee thing going on- did it taste like coffee or more like a coffee flavored coconut?

(ChristinaM) #37

To be honest, I didn’t really notice the coconut until I read the label.


Ha! Well that’s a good thing i think. I’m really not a flavored coffee person (like those hazelnut or vanilla or whatever flavored coffees that dunkin doighnuts is known for) but i like coconut milk in my coffee so sounds like it’s worth a try.


Despite several Tjs in our areas it wasnt until my brother in law recommended the Orange Chicken. We also had friends who regularly go there for wine. Its become a monthly adventure more to see the unique items they seem to carry, but honestly the items we’ve tried ( frozen, or snacks ) were mostly meh, including “the one number product- Orange Chicken.” The only Yahs I have at this limited exposure is the unexpected cheddar; that fun product- Everything but the bagel; and i find that the spice grinders ( black pepper) etc are better than those of McCormick or similar. They grind think and are actually refillable. Fresh produce seems good and well priced and service there is always YAH.


Yay to the Canola Oil Spray. I even use it on my nonstick muffin pan, and the muffins just fall out. It’s something I didn’t buy for a long time because I didn’t think I needed it, but I use it for all oven-related projects, and it makes cleanup so much easier. Great workhorse product!