CrescentFresh

Trader Joe's, 16 Area Locations

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Does anyone know if there is truth to the rumors of the Safeway in the Crystal City underground being replaced by a Trader Joe's?

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I heard the one on Colesville Rd, north of Four Corners, is supposed to be opening either this coming weekend or next...SWEET!

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I heard the one on Colesville Rd, north of Four Corners, is supposed to be opening either this coming weekend or next...SWEET!

The neighborhood rumor mill has it that opening day will be May 27.

Did a drive by this weekend and they appear to have everything almost ready to go. They just need to stock the shelves.

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Yes, I believe someone at the Gaithersburg store told my Dad May 28th--I remember that now, since it's also his Bday! (Hard to believe the weekend after this one is already Memorial Day weekend :lol: )

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I have read that there is a Trader Joe's planned for the new condo in the Columbia Hospital developement at 25th and Pennsylvania.

Excellent!

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Does anyone know if there is truth to the rumors of the Safeway in the Crystal City underground being replaced by a Trader Joe's?
I have also heard this so I asked today while at the Bailey's Crossroads TJ's -- they would neither confirm nor deny the rumor, but did say that there would be another TJ's opening in "the area" in about a year.

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Got back from a lunch break over at TJ's. Must say it's alot nicer and bigger than the one in Rockville, Bethesda or Falls Church. It's more spacious than most TJ's. Quite happy there's another choice in Silver Spring besides Whole Paychecks... :lol:

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Cool! :lol:

Location - Colesville Road about a 1/4 mile North of 4 corners.

I'll go after work to stock up on road trip snacks.

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Where is it?

Oops, I shoulda been more specific. Apologies!

It's outside the Beltway on Columbia Pike, Route 29. about 5 minutes north of the University Blvd. intersection.

And they have Total Greek Yogurt. Whee! :lol:

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The [conceptual | hypothetical | rumored] Crystal City TJ's isn't going to be very large, either, unless they expand the space, which it doesn' tlook like they're doing.

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The [conceptual | hypothetical | rumored] Crystal City TJ's isn't going to be very large, either, unless they expand the space, which it doesn' tlook like they're doing.

Have you walked through there to see if there is any action going on? A buddy of mine who works at the Alexandria TJ's says he's heard nothing of anything in Crystal City. But he's not really in a position that I would have expected him to know.

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Tried to stop by the new TJ's in SS on Friday. What a madhouse! Lines at registers 15+ people deep. Selection looks broader than elsewhere as would be expected due to larger size. Will try again this week.

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Have you walked through there to see if there is any action going on?  A buddy of mine who works at the Alexandria TJ's says he's heard nothing of anything in Crystal City.  But he's not really in a position that I would have expected him to know.

No, I was down there yesterday, and there's no sign of any construction.

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It strikes me that a Trader Joe's in Crystal City would be mighty close to the existing one on Washington Street in Alexandria. One way to confirm whether or not there are plans for one in Crystal City would be to check th County's website to see if building permits have been requested or issued.

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Tried to stop by the new TJ's in SS on Friday. What a madhouse! Lines at registers 15+ people deep. Selection looks broader than elsewhere as would be expected due to larger size. Will try again this week.

Stopped by briefly on Saturday, and there was a good amount of people checking it out, but not nearly as crowded as what you saw Friday. Store looks great; I was really pleased to see how large it is, but did not get to peruse all the aisles since we were on our way to do errands and had just bought a bunch of stuff at the Gaithersburg TJ's on Friday. I was very glad to see they have large tubs of the Total greek yogurt, in both the 0% and lowfat varieties.

Off topic, Chico's, on the otherhand, had two lines 5+ deep and I could barely get in the door to take a peek! :lol:

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For all of you in the Baltimore area..... Trader Joes will be opening soon in Pikesville @ Festival at Woodholme on Reisterstown Road

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Took my husband to the Silver Spring Trader Joe's on Saturday. I've been a TJ customer since my California days, but he'd never been to one before. Poor guy. He's not exactly a foodie, and the place alarmed him.

  • "It smells funny. Like... flavor and stuff."
    "This is a real tree-hugging-hippie kinda place, isn't it?"
    "The hell? Organic Pop-Tarts?"

Guess I'd better not take him to Han Ah Reum. He wouldn't survive the produce aisle, let alone the fish counter...

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Anyone been there yet? How does it differ from the Reston, Fairfax, and Tysons TJ's?

I finally paid a quick visit to the new Trader Joe's last night.

The store is very attractive. The aisles are much wider than in the other stores. The cheese selection is displayed very nicely. Having had a recent good experience with a Wensleydale with cranberries from Costco, I snagged a White Stilton with cranberries at this TJ's. The cashier and another employee raved about it so I have high expectations. They also have Stilton with apricots and also with mango & ginger.

One thing that I found particularly impressive was that as late as I walked in (around 8:35, and they close at 9), the samples counter was fully stocked and manned (womanned, actually). The free coffee was also still hot.

There was some delectable looking items in the baked goods area -- strawberry rhubard pie and chocolate tangerine cookies, to name two -- that I will not be able to resist on future visits.

In the flower area I snagged a dozen beautiful "rainbow roses" for a mere $7.99.

All in all, a very nice store that should do quite well.

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I was at a Trader Joe's on Saturday that carried leg of lamb (boneless, frozen). The price was good, but I'm wondering about the quality. Has anyone cooked one of these?

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The other day my friend took great joy in scooping me on the fact that DC was finally getting a Trader Joe's. He said it was to open near the old Columbia Women's Hospital. I checked the TJ web site and there was no information, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.

Anyone else heard this rumor? Was I really scooped in the food world? Could it possibly be true :lol:

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I'm working right near that location now (24th and L is where it's supposed to be). The word from my co-workers is that it's a done deal and TJ's will be moving in soon (it will be in the bottom floor of an almost completed new condo building at the old hospital site). There's some confirmation from the West End's website too (I'm having trouble finding a recent update on it that I saw).

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I'm working right near that location now (24th and L is where it's supposed to be).  The word from my co-workers is that it's a done deal and TJ's will be moving in soon (it will be in the bottom floor of an almost completed new condo building at the old hospital site).  There's some confirmation from the West End's website too (I'm having trouble finding a recent update on it that I saw).

My info is the same as Chris's. I CAN'T WAIT. I live at 26th and K and cannot wait to abandon that ratty Watergate-GWU Safeway.

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Wow, this is the first I've heard of this.  Fabulous if true.  I'm imagining this place slammed from morning til night. :lol:

.2 miles from the Foggy Bottom Metro. I hope they hire a lot of cashiers! :huh:

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Anybody have a link to more info on this? I had heard rumors of TJ going in up where the Adams Morgan Harris Teeter drama is unfolding, but this is the first I've heard of a Foggy Bottom location. This is fantastic news; and, yes, it will be slammed from the get go. Any word on whether they will have a liquor license?

Edit: Nevermind, answered my own questions: West End TJ's.

It will be seeking a license to sell beer and wine, and is expected to open in the first quarter of 2006.
Edited by TedE

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I thought I heard about it a couple years ago - when jdland kept a great web page on new condo development in DC. Anyways, I have a friend who's moving into those condos and she said that the TJs is scheduled to open in June.... and it will have some indoor parking reserved for it. It's dragged because development at that site had been behind at least a year.

According to tracking trader joe's, the store will be 11,800 square feet.

I vaguely remember hearing about TJ's opening up on Capitol Hill also, but have't seen anything lately about it - and the above post would seem to squash it.

eta: link to tracking trader joes.

Edited by rbh

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Jar of Maille cornichons ran out so I reached for the spare in my pantry. Gah. Balducci's brand cornichons are disgusting - little flavor and a foul mushy texture.

Come to think of it, every house brand thing I've tried there has suh-uh-ucked. Way to go, Sutton Place.

I like the house brand of cornichons at Trader Joe's--nice and crisp, and plenty of flavor. Less expensive, too.

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I like the house brand of cornichons at Trader Joe's--nice and crisp, and plenty of flavor. Less expensive, too.

The Trader Joe's house brands in general are really good. The mayonnaise is about the best commercially bottled mayonnaise I've come across. Their tuna (skipjack, I think) in olive oil is excellent.

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My info is the same as Chris's. I CAN'T WAIT. I live at 26th and K and cannot wait to abandon that ratty Watergate-GWU Safeway.

Ah, watergate safeway, could you have been any worse? Terrible selection, useless produce section, and very questionable meats...thank god I live near a Whole Foods now. That place is awful and I imagine it will take a huge hit when the TJ's opens up...the only people that will still go there are the elderly folks who live in the Watergate and don't want to walk the very few blocks to the TJ's. If the TJ's takes Colonial Cash (the GW food points, might be called something else by now, who knows), the effect will be tremendous.

Signed,

BS/MS-CS, '04 (lived on campus the whole time)

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Is there any reason why they couldn't? The store isn't too close to a school (viz. Georgetown Safeway), or anything, right? right?!
It has to do with whether you have more than one store in DC. For example, the WF on P Street can sell beer and wine, but the others cannot. Likewise, the Safeway on Columbia Road has started selling beer and wine recently, but the others in the city cannot. The Metro Markets are individually owned, so are not affected by the "only one store per owner with a liquor license" rule. I believe the TJ's in Foggy Bottom is the first one in the District, so will be allowed to sell alcohol. If others open in the city, they won't unless the law is changed.

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It has to do with whether you have more than one store in DC. For example, the WF on P Street can sell beer and wine, but the others cannot.

The Glover Park WF also sells beer and wine. Isn't the Tenleytown one the exception in that they don't? I thought they had to make that concession to the NIMBYs in order to open in that location

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Ah, watergate safeway, could you have been any worse? Terrible selection, useless produce section, and very questionable meats...thank god I live near a Whole Foods now. That place is awful and I imagine it will take a huge hit when the TJ's opens up...the only people that will still go there are the elderly folks who live in the Watergate and don't want to walk the very few blocks to the TJ's. If the TJ's takes Colonial Cash (the GW food points, might be called something else by now, who knows), the effect will be tremendous.

Signed,

BS/MS-CS, '04 (lived on campus the whole time)

The Watergate Safeway will still draw the residents ( I used to love elbowing Caspar Weinberger out of the way) and the students who live in the dorms in the neighborhood (the old Howard Johnson's). It's like a mob scene in there sometimes. The students now have a sort of credit card called G-World that gives them discounts and such at local stores. The only reason I like going to Watergate Mall is for a haircut at Watergate Barber (been going there for 20 years) and to pick up combination lomein from Chen's. The calzones at Fresca aren't bad, either.

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The Glover Park store of WFM was the first store in DC and it offered beer and wine under the one liscense per owner law. When the new store at P was in development, WFM lobbied and got the city council to pass a law allowing multiple stores in the city to have a license if they met certain criteria regarding redevelopment. The conditions are quite specific and I was not part of that negotiation. I was the person who negotaiated the restrictions at WFM P Street which is why the store cannot sell single beers. I tried to get an exception for Belgian beers... ie WFM P would not sell any single beer for less than $2.49 a bottle. The opposition just thought we meant to sell Mickey's big mouths for a huge profit I guess, but no single Belgians! Or 22oz Microbrews. And the liquor store next door continued to sell its cheap crus large bottles well after we opened!

Today a single owner can have 7 licenses for grocery stores if they meet the redevelopment criteria on liscenses 2-7.

The Tenlyetown store doesn't sell alcohol as a result of the school next door and the decision to let Glover Park have the original liscense. With the remodel (I was at Tenley in the early planning stages) there was talk about trying for a license but nothing came of it back then.

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The Glover Park store of WFM was the first store in DC and it offered beer and wine under the one liscense per owner law. When the new store at P was in development, WFM lobbied and got the city council to pass a law allowing multiple stores in the city to have a license if they met certain criteria regarding redevelopment. The conditions are quite specific and I was not part of that negotiation. I was the person who negotaiated the restrictions at WFM P Street which is why the store cannot sell single beers. I tried to get an exception for Belgian beers... ie WFM P would not sell any single beer for less than $2.49 a bottle. The opposition just thought we meant to sell Mickey's big mouths for a huge profit I guess, but no single Belgians! Or 22oz Microbrews. And the liquor store next door continued to sell its cheap crus large bottles well after we opened!

Ah, now it makes sense why the P st WF always has two-bottle packages that involve the bottles being wrapped together with tape. Always confused the heck out of me since I had seen single bottle sales at other locations. It's sorta annoying when you just want to try a new beer that is packaged in 22oz or 750ml bottles, but heck, the convenience of being able to get good beer at reasonable prices is well worth it. Whoever runs the beer selection at the P St location gets a tip of the hat from me: they've almost always got something that I either haven't had or just haven't had in a while. Yesterday it was the Lagunitas Sirius, a "high-gravity cream ale". Not the best Lagunitas offering, but not bad.

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I would think that "A New Trader Joe's Near GWU" in the thread title would be a clue that the new Trader Joe's is, in fact, near GWU.

In fact, 25th and L is about 2 blocks from the edge of campus, and given their expansionist tendencies in Foggy Bottom, will soon be in the middle of the quad. :)

Signed,

BSEE, '91 (Lived at 23rd & I for 2 years)

My post was in response to the question regarding the new TJ's ability to sell beer and wine. In this case, a hypothetical "school" was meant in the more traditional sense (i.e. primary or secondary), the proximity of which would preclude the sale of alcoholic beverages (again, viz. Safeway at Wisc. and Whitehaven). Now I understand what the real issue was (the one license per owner thingie).

This raises another question, though: does this mean that GW is accredited now? If so, I offer my heartiest congratulations! I've been pulling for you guys. :lol:

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My post was in response to the question regarding the new TJ's ability to sell beer and wine. In this case, a hypothetical "school" was meant in the more traditional sense (i.e. primary or secondary), the proximity of which would preclude the sale of alcoholic beverages (again, viz. Safeway at Wisc. and Whitehaven). Now I understand what the real issue was (the one license per owner thingie).

This raises another question, though: does this mean that GW is accredited now? If so, I offer my heartiest congratulations! I've been pulling for you guys. :)

Francis Middle School is 2 blocks away on N St. Also, there's a church right across the street. I have heard independently, however, that they will have a wine department. 2 Buck Chuck, here we come!

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What I like at TJ's.

1)Joe's O's for half the price of Cheerios

2)Raisin Bran at half the price of typical Raisin Bran

3)Good coffee at a good price

4)Yo-Baby full fat yogurt for $1 less than Whole Paycheck

5)Their Kalamata EVOO

6)Pistachios much cheaper than you'll find most places

7)Decent pizza dough (yes I know that it's easy to make, I'm just lazy)

8)Their frozen stuff makes good lunches and is cheaper and healthier than Stouffer's. Now if I only had a decent freakin' microwave at work. :)

9)Lowest sodium tortillas that I've found anywhere that still taste good.

All in all, for most of the things that you get there you'll save money compared to any other grocery store.

Edit to add -- Squids -- The Giant on East-West Highway? I've only been in a couple of times, but it seemed pretty good to me for a Giant.

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What Ilike at TJ's.

1)Joe's O's for half the price of Cheerios

2)Raisin Bran at half the price of typical Raisin Bran

3)Good coffee at a good price

4)Yo-Baby full fat yogurt for $1 less than Whole Paycheck

5)Their Kalamata EVOO

6)Pistachios much cheaper than you'll find most places

7)Decent pizza dough (yes I know that it's easy to make, I'm just lazy)

8)Their frozen stuff makes good lunches and is cheaper and healthier than Stouffer's. Now if I only had a decent freakin' microwave at work. :)

9)Lowest sodium tortillas that I've found anywhere that still taste good.

10) Pasturzied (not Ultra-Pasturized) Heavy Cream with no added stabilizers

11) Tortillas without preservatives

12) Big chunks of Ghirardelli chocolate

13) Great prices on non-stale nuts of all varieties

14) Candied Ginger

15) Dried Fruits (eps. mango and pineapple)

16) Strawberry & Apricot Jam

17) A parking lot that is downright sane compared to the rat-maze at the Alexandria WF.

18) Proximity to DSW.

(Okay, the last two probably only apply to those living in Alexandria who have a weakness for shoes. :lol: )

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Ahhh, Trader Joe's, my treasure trove of convenience foods.

Big ups on candied ginger and dried fruits, especially figs. Cheap cheap unsalted Plugra in 1 lb bricks. That wacky vanilla bean paste. Joe-Joe's cookies completely put Oreos and Hydrox to shame. For the lazy and skill-less entertainer like myself, their frozen hors d'oeuvres are handy, particularly the mushroom turnovers. Cheap flash-frozen fish and shellfish...although in many cases the fillets are actually too generously thick for the cook-it-frozen technique. Cheap frozen NZ lamb. Also one of the first and few places in the area to carry the tri-tip beef cut.

Non-wins: "FAGE" Greek strained yogurt is only a few cents more per unit at WF which is more convenient. The pistachios are just as good quality, larger, and cheaper at Costco.

Still in the doghouse for: discontinuing the banana waffles. I can't begin to describe how addictive those were.

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10) Pasturzied (not Ultra-Pasturized) Heavy Cream with no added stabilizers

11) Tortillas without preservatives

12) Big chunks of Ghirardelli chocolate

13) Great prices on non-stale nuts of all varieties

14) Candied Ginger

15) Dried Fruits (eps. mango and pineapple)

16) Strawberry & Apricot Jam

17) A parking lot that is downright sane compared to the rat-maze at the Alexandria WF.

18) Proximity to DSW.

(Okay, the last two probably only apply to those living in Alexandria who have a weakness for shoes. :) )

19) Real Maple Syrup for much less than anywhere else I've found.

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Non-wins: "FAGE" Greek strained yogurt is only a few cents more per unit at WF which is more convenient. The pistachios are just as good quality, larger, and cheaper at Costco.
True, but I bet you don't have to buy 20 lbs of pistachios at Trader Joe's. :)

And I don't buy the Greek yogurt enough to justify a trip to TJ. We are now totally addicted to Emmi Pink Grapefruit yogurt, which I've only found at Balducci's.

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Good at Trader Joe's: The mayonnaise is probably the best commercially prepared, bottled mayonnaise I've ever encountered. I've never seen a tri-tip roast anywhere else, and I bought one and roasted it and it was lovely. They used to carry some wonderful tuna packed in olive oil, but at least the Bailey's Xroads store seems to have dropped it. It was actually affordable. Another attraction of the Bailey's Xroads store is that you can have lunch at Full Kee and shop at TJ's from the same parking lot. A drawback is that I live and work in NW Washington.

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Good at Trader Joe's: The mayonnaise is probably the best commercially prepared, bottled mayonnaise I've ever encountered. I've never seen a tri-tip roast anywhere else, and I bought one and roasted it and it was lovely. They used to carry some wonderful tuna packed in olive oil, but at least the Bailey's Xroads store seems to have dropped it. It was actually affordable. Another attraction of the Bailey's Xroads store is that you can have lunch at Full Kee and shop at TJ's from the same parking lot. A drawback is that I live and work in NW Washington.

They still carry that Italian style tuna in olive oil.

Oh, and 20)72% dark chocolate Pound plus bar for $3.99

It's not great eating but great for baking

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21) Actually, the TJ's chocolate (milk and dark) are both great for baking--and I do like eating them, too!

22) The pecan granola :)

23) Choice of breads with no preservatives (hot dog and hamburger rolls, too)

24) Tomato and Corn Relish

25) Kalamata Olive Oil--huge bottle! used to be $5.99 but I think on last purchase it was up to $7.99 (still a steal, and quite flavorful)

Heather, the Rt 29 TJ's is much easier to get to than Rockville...not so far from Takoma Park that you would think of it as a "special trip". Welcome to the 'hood, and good luck with your move.

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Good at Trader Joe's: The mayonnaise is probably the best commercially prepared, bottled mayonnaise I've ever encountered. I've never seen a tri-tip roast anywhere else, and I bought one and roasted it and it was lovely. They used to carry some wonderful tuna packed in olive oil, but at least the Bailey's Xroads store seems to have dropped it. It was actually affordable. Another attraction of the Bailey's Xroads store is that you can have lunch at Full Kee and shop at TJ's from the same parking lot. A drawback is that I live and work in NW Washington.

Roast tri trip? I obtained flank strip-looking tri tips from Harris Teeter and I'm thinking I need to marinate and grill on high heat. Are there alternate/better ways to cook this trendy cut of meat?

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Roast tri trip? I obtained flank strip-looking tri tips from Harris Teeter and I'm thinking I need to marinate and grill on high heat. Are there alternate/better ways to cook this trendy cut of meat?
Some disagree, but I've found that tri-tip grilled over hardwood is enhanced by marinating it for 4-6 hours. I've also dry-rubbed it, but prefer a red wine-garlic-black pepper-olive oil marinade.

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21) Actually, the TJ's chocolate (milk and dark) are both great for baking--and I do like eating them, too!

22) The pecan granola :lol:

23) Choice of breads with no preservatives (hot dog and hamburger rolls, too)

24) Tomato and Corn Relish

25) Kalamata Olive Oil--huge bottle! used to be $5.99 but I think on last purchase it was up to $7.99 (still a steal, and quite flavorful)

26) Vermont Butter and Cheese Co. Creme Fraiche cheaper than anywhere else.

27) TJ's Unsweetened soy milk

28) Bottled green tea with bergamot for guzzling over ice

29) Poland Springs sparkling water CTAE (cheaper than anywhere else)

30) King Arthur Flour and Florida Crystals sugar CTAE

31) Pitted Kalamata olives, cornichons and capers CTAE

32) Italian gnocchi for quick vegetarian entree

33) Valhrona chocolate bars CTAE

34) Packaged smoked salmon CTAE

35) Vinta crackers CTAE

36) TJ's brand cream cheese and tortilla chips--better & cheaper than most others

37) Various fresh produce items: crimini mushrooms, avocados, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil (off-season) CTAE

38) Toasted pine nuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews, dried apricots, sour cherries, raisins fresher, better and CTAE

39) Vitamins and supplements CTAE

The real question is: were you so crazed by the Rockville Pike store's parking lot that you didn't see any of these things? Yikes, before TJ's opened in this area, I used to take an empty suitcase with me when I went to California, just to bring back stuff from TJ's.

:)

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40) Smart Water CTAE

41) Variety of cheap but good vinegars to teach my coworker about the world of vinegar*

42) Same thing for olive oil

43) TJ brand artichoke spread-good and CTAE

44) Altoids CTAE

45) Their motto-Affordable food for the over educated and underpaid

*My coworker was told by his doctor to start eating lots of salad with vinegar and a little bit of oil. He had been using plain white vinegar and regular olive oil. He ate like this for months before I realized what was going on and fixed the situation :)

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Not crazed by the parking - they just sell many things I don't need or want on a regular basis. Plus, I don't buy frozen meat, fish, veggies (except peas) or prepared stuff. The produce at Rockville is terrible, and their fresh meat is too, so it was always going to be a separate trip to WF or the market for those items.

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"grand " opening is slated for today--anyone up for a walk in the rain? :)

I'll let y'all know if I get over there or not...

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I just stopped in (my office is only 1 block away). It's huge inside (or at least bigger than I expected). Beer and wine, lots of cheese... this is exciting.

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I just made a stop by there too - 5 block walk from work, which won't be a big deal on days when the weather is a little better than this! Pretty spacious, and lots of cash registers which is nice to keep people moving. Not the biggest produce sections, but staples are there. I wonder if they might have more to put outside too as they were setting up a tent type structure.

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If the rain lets up tomorrow or Sunday I think we'll stroll down for a look. Does anybody know if they are allowed beer/wine sales on Sundays?

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I was there today and forgot to ask about beer and wine sales on Sundays, but I can't see any good reason they couldn't. Rodman's and Whole Foods sell beer and wine on Sundays. I think it's mainly an issue with liquor stores needing to be closed.

On the whole, I was impressed by the store. It's less cramped and more navigable than the Bethesda store, that's for sure. Also, their beer selection is interesting. Samuel Smith's and Ommegang Belgian--I don't recall seeing them in other TJ's, and three kinds of Magic Hat for $6.99 a sixpack. One of the freezer cases is not functioning, so there was no ice cream. The two guys who do most of the food demos in the Bethesda store are trained chefs, and can be quite creative, given the limitations of the setting. The kid in charge of food demos in Foggy Bottom opened a jar of sauce and a can of beans, cut up some frozen chicken, heated them together and spooned it over pre-cooked brown rice. Maybe GW students who live in a basement with only a microwave to cook with would get inspired by that. I'm mostly just looking for a little snack while I shop, anyway...

The place was packed with shoppers and high energy employees. There were two managerial expediters keeping the checkout line moving smoothly--a single line feeds about 10 checkers, so it went quickly. Parking was convenient and easy. My new store! Bye-bye Bethesda.

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I sailed into TJ's this morning a little after 11. It was busy, but manageable. Nice store, very well stocked with great and unusual selection. One of the freezer cases was not working and I heard some pouty turd whining about "you don't have them? it's the only reason I came here". Yeah, right. The employees were cheerful and very helpful, checkout was quick and pleasant - a seachange from the usually surly union employees at the Watergate Safeway where I've shopped for the last 20 years and no one even knows my name. $90 worth of goodies was all I could carry home. I have a terrible feeling that I'll be going back this afternoon! Oh, yeah. In the District, Two Buck Chuck has morphed into Three Buck Chuck.

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The employees were cheerful and very helpful, checkout was quick and pleasant - a seachange from the usually surly union employees at the Watergate Safeway where I've shopped for the last 20 years and no one even knows my name. I have a terrible feeling that I'll be going back this afternoon! Oh, yeah. In the District, Two Buck Chuck has morphed into Three Buck Chuck.

There is a young woman at my Palisades neighborhood Safeway who has been a checker and a manager for the ten years that I have lived here. She learned my name almost immediately, always greets me by name and remembers what kind of bags I prefer--paper in plastic--sort of like the neighborhood bar where they know your name and fix your favorite drink before you even ask for it. I don't shop there very often anymore, since TJ's, the 'burban Asian markets, Whole Foods and Costco get most of my business. But Jackie is unfailingly glad to see me when I run in for a carton of milk. An unusual and exemplary employee, it seems.

The only place that Two Buck Chuck actually costs $1.99 is in California--everywhere else TJ's charges extra for the shipping costs incurred in moving the popular plonk from it's home terroir...

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The only place that Two Buck Chuck actually costs $1.99 is in California--everywhere else TJ's charges extra for the shipping costs incurred in moving the popular plonk from it's home terroir...
To see 'Two Buck Chuck' in the same sentence as 'terroir' ... it's surprising and shocking somehow.

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To see 'Two Buck Chuck' in the same sentence as 'terroir' ... it's surprising and shocking somehow.

I forgot to put :) in.

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Someone pinch me-I'm not completely convinced that it wasn't a dream. This is what a TJ is supposed to be like. I didn't have the time to do a good, long shop but I was able to find all of my TJ regulars, plus a few new goodies. There is so much room that two whole carts can pass side by side without running into each other! Unheard of up in Bethesda. I have a feeling the stock has been depleted over the weekend, there were shelves that were empty save one or two items. The broken freezer is up and running but hasn't been stocked yet. I have a feeling that the nightmare that is the Bethesda TJ will soon become a distant memory.

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Why exactly we need a TJ's more than a "Columbia Hospital for Women" I don't know. The new

"Three Buck Chuck" is there, i'm not sure why we need it. There will be time later to look

at the individual shelves.

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The hospital has been gone for years. They fought to keep it, but in this day and age it wasn't possible. Will the TJ serve as much good, bring as many babies into the world (even with the three-buck chuck)? Probably not. But at least they put the space to good use with a retail outlet the neighborhood needs.

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The place was completely mobbed today. The line went back to the dairy section. I left.

One advantage of working nights, while the "normal" people are relaxing, is that you can do your shopping while they are all at work. Avoiding Trader Joe's, Costco and Home Depot on weekends and holidays is highly recommended. Try going at 10 in the morning or 2 in the afternoon on a weekday, and you'll pretty much have the place to yourself. :)

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One advantage of working nights, while the "normal" people are relaxing, is that you can do your shopping while they are all at work. Avoiding Trader Joe's, Costco and Home Depot on weekends and holidays is highly recommended. Try going at 10 in the morning or 2 in the afternoon on a weekday, and you'll pretty much have the place to yourself. :)

That's my new plan, since it's only a block from my house. I went at 4 yesterday and not only was the place a mob scene of college kids shopping in large groups, but it was pretty much picked clean. The cashier told me the day before that they get large truck deliveries every day. They need it!

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That's my new plan, since it's only a block from my house. I went at 4 yesterday and not only was the place a mob scene of college kids shopping in large groups, but it was pretty much picked clean. The cashier told me the day before that they get large truck deliveries every day. They need it!

When I went on Sunday afternoon it was packed, and a lot of the shelves were pretty sparsely stocked. The beer section was next to empty (GW students came back to school this week, coincidence?).

Hopefully the GW kids will drop off a bit once the semester starts and they run out of money. Although I'm told GW closed its on campus grocery store this year, so maybe not. Either way, I am so excited about Trader Joes. I was genuinely shocked by how much cheaper items were than at Safeway or Giant.

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I was genuinely shocked by how much cheaper items were than at Safeway or Giant.

Significantly cheaper. Some examples, which I bought:

1 liter of Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil: $7.99 (about ten bucks cheaper than Safeway)

1 pound of pasta (cappelinni): 69¢

1 pound of sliced baby portabella mushrooms: $1.49

TJ's herbal shampoo: $1.99

It's amazing how it all adds up to fifty bucks so quick!

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My new plan is to walk the 6 blocks there daily, while the weather is cooperating (since my gym membership is not doing me any good when I don't go!) When I went on Friday btwn 5 and 6, I came prepared with my umbrella and raincoat, but unfortunately the skies let loose when I was about a block and a half away. The wind made the umbrella useless, but it was too late to turn back. It was packed, but not so full that one could not navigate the aisles. Staff and customers were excited about the opening. The checkers were cheerful and efficient in moving the traffic so there was not a long wait in line.

I debated when to walk down today, since previous posters had encountered a full house. Maybe if I snuck out before noon I'd have a better chance? Couldn't do it then, so I ended up leaving at 12:45 and decided to take my chances...

The store was practically empty--not of food, of people! I didn't spend too much time perusing the store since I did a pretty good walk-thru on Friday, but I did note that they restocked quite nicely. (Except for the afore mentioned beer, and I also noticed that the refrigerated soups were all but gone) There was still a good selection of wines, but the beer--forget it. Today I picked up some spinach wraps, 2 cooked chicken breasts, slaw, mini bagels, fresh figs, and Greek yogurt for under $18. I'll get at least 4 wraps out of the chicken and slaw, and can add to that with other fixins later on to use up the rest of the wraps. Can't beat that for a week plus of lunches, and snacks! Friday I picked up a Niman Ranch ham steak, baby broccoli and a bag o' salad for dinner, plus some tomato basil pasta sauce for the pantry.

While we do live in SS, it's out of our way home to drive to the one on Rt 29--we've tried that before and by the time we reach SS it's after 7pm, and I'm too hungry to decide what to get without buying out the entire store. :) Even if I know what I want to get, it's hard not to be enticed to stray--and then we invariably end up eating dinner too late. I love having this store nearby--close enough for a good walk, and I can always drive over and park before leaving work if I need to pick up something that's a bit too heavy to carry.

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I shopped at the new store yesterday, and was pleased on the whole. They are to be commended for establishing a single-queue system for their checkout stands, although the implementation is a little peculiar. The way it's set up, the person at the front of the queue can't actually see all of the cashier stations, and must be directed by a store employee acting as traffic director. The line was pretty long, but they had all ten (I think I counted ten) registers active, so it moved along at a pretty good pace. I bought a tri-tip, among other things. The one item I actually entered the store in quest of they didn't have. I wanted a bottle of peanut oil (not an outlandish demand of a grocery store, surely). In their oil section, they had several kinds of remarkably reasonable olive oil, walnut oil, and grapeseed oil, and nothing else. Is this typical of other TJ stores? Or were they simply sold out of other oils, or not yet stocked?

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I wanted a bottle of peanut oil (not an outlandish demand of a grocery store, surely). In their oil section, they had several kinds of remarkably reasonable olive oil, walnut oil, and grapeseed oil, and nothing else. Is this typical of other TJ stores? Or were they simply sold out of other oils, or not yet stocked?

I haven't ever seen peanut oil at TJ's. They don't sell corn oil either.

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I made my first foray to the new TJ's this afternoon. I walked there from near Connecticut and M, but noticed a bus stop right by the store on Penn. Ave. (any of the 30 buses go by there). I had to restrain myself somewhat, since I would have to carry the bags on the bus back home. What a great store! I bought a HUGE bottle of Canadian maple syrup for $7.99 and a bottle of Honey Moon Viognier for $5.99. I was rather stunned to see how much wine is being sold in the $4-5 range. I wonder if any of it is any good. I appreciate the way they have the checkout set up. This is one place where you don't have to guess which line will move the fastest.

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I haven't ever seen peanut oil at TJ's. They don't sell corn oil either.

They seem to have something against pork, too. I had to look really hard to find enough porky things. I only saw one kind of pork sausage, although there are lots of chickent and turkey sausages. I don't think they've finished getting all their goods. The ice cream is still arriving.

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I made my first foray to the new TJ's this afternoon. I walked there from near Connecticut and M, but noticed a bus stop right by the store on Penn. Ave. (any of the 30 buses go by there). I had to restrain myself somewhat, since I would have to carry the bags on the bus back home. What a great store! I bought a HUGE bottle of Canadian maple syrup for $7.99 and a bottle of Honey Moon Viognier for $5.99. I was rather stunned to see how much wine is being sold in the $4-5 range. I wonder if any of it is any good. I appreciate the way they have the checkout set up. This is one place where you don't have to guess which line will move the fastest.
I rather like the Honey Moon Viognier. It is probably my favorite of their lower end wines.

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They seem to have something against pork, too. I had to look really hard to find enough porky things. I only saw one kind of pork sausage, although there are lots of chickent and turkey sausages. I don't think they've finished getting all their goods. The ice cream is still arriving.
I noticed that about the sausage, too, but I picked up a couple of frozen, stuffed pork chops--$2.99 @.

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I bought a HUGE bottle of Canadian maple syrup for $7.99

I almost picked up the same one! Had to restrain myself, though, as I already had a large jar of honey and butter to go with the figs and bagels I picked up yesterday. (not in that order specifically :) ) Did you get the Grade B? Let me know how it is if you did! Ever since I've been buying my syrup from a vendor I found at one of the Sugarloaf Crafts festivals, out of Western Mass, I won't go back to anything but the Grade B. (The organic TJ's Grade B was 5.99 for 12 oz, and the Canadian one was $7.99.)

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They seem to have something against pork, too. I had to look really hard to find enough porky things. I only saw one kind of pork sausage, although there are lots of chickent and turkey sausages. I don't think they've finished getting all their goods. The ice cream is still arriving.

They sell Niman Ranch bacon, ham steaks and pre-cooked bbq ribs at other stores. I imagine this store will have them eventually, if they are not there already. Niman Ranch bacon--applewood smoked--is excellent, IMO. And of course, TJ's sells it cheaper than anywhere else.

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They sell Niman Ranch bacon, ham steaks and pre-cooked bbq ribs at other stores. I imagine this store will have them eventually, if they are not there already. Niman Ranch bacon--applewood smoked--is excellent, IMO. And of course, TJ's sells it cheaper than anywhere else.
Yes, the Niman Ranch ham steak I picked up on Friday was quite delish!

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I almost picked up the same one! Had to restrain myself, though, as I already had a large jar of honey and butter to go with the figs and bagels I picked up yesterday. (not in that order specifically :) ) Did you get the Grade B? Let me know how it is if you did! Ever since I've been buying my syrup from a vendor I found at one of the Sugarloaf Crafts festivals, out of Western Mass, I won't go back to anything but the Grade B. (The organic TJ's Grade B was 5.99 for 12 oz, and the Canadian one was $7.99.)
Yes I did. I opened it when I got home and dabbed a little bit on my finger before putting it in the fridge. Tastes just like maple syrup to me. I suppose there are people out there who would sneer at the Grade B Dark Amber, but who cares? This isn't Log Cabin, Mrs. Butterworth's, or some generic store brand, all of which tout that they contain "at least 2%" REAL maple syrup. Screw 'em.

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Yes I did. I opened it when I got home and dabbed a little bit on my finger before putting it in the fridge. Tastes just like maple syrup to me. I suppose there are people out there who would sneer at the Grade B Dark Amber, but who cares? This isn't Log Cabin, Mrs. Butterworth's, or some generic store brand, all of which tout that they contain "at least 2%" REAL maple syrup. Screw 'em.

In Vermont, the maple syrup connoisseurs go for the pale grade AA or grade A, which requires greater care in the sugar house. Truth be told, grade B has more intense and powerful flavor. More bang for your buck. When a friend from Vermont comes to visit, she always brings me a can of grade A fancy syrup. When I'm buying, though, I get TJ's grade B.

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In Vermont, the maple syrup connoisseurs go for the pale grade AA or grade A, which requires greater care in the sugar house. Truth be told, grade B has more intense and powerful flavor. More bang for your buck. When a friend from Vermont comes to visit, she always brings me a can of grade A fancy syrup. When I'm buying, though, I get TJ's grade B.
Yeah, I long ago thought that something weird was up. Let's start a group who DEMANDS Grade B. That oughta throw a spanner in the works. :)

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Did you get the Grade B? Let me know how it is if you did! Ever since I've been buying my syrup from a vendor I found at one of the Sugarloaf Crafts festivals, out of Western Mass, I won't go back to anything but the Grade B.

Hooked on that Berkshire Sweet Gold syrup too, eh? Great stuff...but I gotta use up my stash of TJ's Grade A first.

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Here is some info on maple syrup grades.

Grade A Light Amber, is very light and has a mild, more delicate maple flavor. It is usually made earlier in the season when the weather is colder. This is the best grade for making maple candy and maple cream.

Grade A Medium Amber, is a bit darker, and has a bit more maple flavor. It is the most popular grade of table syrup, and is usually made after the sugaring season begins to warm, about mid-season.

Grade A Dark Amber, is darker yet, with a stronger maple flavor. It is usually made later in the season as the days get longer and warmer.

Grade B, sometimes called Cooking Syrup, is made late in the season, and is very dark, with a very strong maple flavor, as well as some caramel flavor. Although many people use this for table syrup; because of its strong flavor, it's often used for cooking, baking, and flavoring in special foods.

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Keep the firsthand reports coming! I'm looking forward to trying the place out and can always use a little guidance on specific bargain products, noncrowded shopping times, etc. If they have the lime-grapefruit-orange marmalade they used to have at the Bethesda TJ's I'll be in heaven, but even without it, sounds like there are good bargains to be had.

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Ian and I made the trip to the Silver Spring Trader Joe's this morning. Plenty of parking, roomy aisles, better meat and produce than the Rockville store, AND a copious supply of balloons. :) Plus I can get my short latte fix at the nearby Starbucks.

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Don't neglect to stock up on Cowboy lump hardwood charcoal for late fall, winter and early spring grilling. They consider it to be a "seasonal" item and don't carry it after what they deem is the summer season, has passed. It's just about impossible to get an absolute fix on the date of the last shipment, however. I tried last year, and blew it. Had to buy Cowboy at Strosnider's at about 3x the price I paid at TJ's.

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Keep the firsthand reports coming! I'm looking forward to trying the place out and can always use a little guidance on specific bargain products, noncrowded shopping times, etc. If they have the lime-grapefruit-orange marmalade they used to have at the Bethesda TJ's I'll be in heaven, but even without it, sounds like there are good bargains to be had.

Oh, yeah. The wine! I bought a tasty bottle of Chablis Premier Cru 2002 for $13.99. They had a the same producer's Chablis Village for $9.99! That's less than I pay for Chablis at wholesale for the restaurant.

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They had this wine for only $8.99. Picked up a bottle, but haven't tried it yet.

Marques de Casa Concha, Puemo (Chile) Merlot 2004 ($19, Excelsior): Three years ago, this wine from Concha y Toro was pretty clearly the best Merlot in the world for $15. The 2004 is as good as the 2001, which means that this is an extraordinary wine, though now it is just a great value rather than a mind-blowing value. The less negative spin on this is of course that this is an excellent wine and a great value at the pretty affordable price of $19, so off we go: Impressively dark color is followed by very expressive aromas of black cherries and plums, with nice accents of cedar and saddle leather. There's very little overt wood atop the beautiful fruit, which is totally winning. 91 Michael Franz

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There are some fairly ridiculous good deals to be had at TJ's. Friday evening, the place was busy but not packed, and although the checkout line was completely doubled over, it didn't even take 10 minutes for me to get through. I've waited longer at Safeway behind a single person. Seriously.

Clif Bars are $.99, which is at least 30 cents cheaper than I've seen them elsewhere, and other than that, it's like everything's $1.50. Toblerone? $1.50. Two single-serving packs of frozen steel-cut oatmeal with cranberries? $1.50. Pierogi? I'm pretty sure that was $1.50 too. The only things that cost me more than $2 were figs ($3.50), Greek yogurt ($4), and wine ($6.99).

Cheese prices look pretty decent, and I think they'll fill a niche -- the cheeses are of better quality than the Giant/Safeway/etc but cheaper than Whole Foods/Cheesetique/Cowgirl. I forget exactly what the price was on a big hunk of black wax cheddar, but it was in the neighborhood of $3.

I have the feeling I'm going to be there frequently.

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Stopped by Trader Joe's this Sunday afternoon - inquiring minds need to be informed! By the way - good parking! There is only one level and you enter on 25th st. I thought the cheese selection was very good, and very classic Trader Joe style : Fabulous sauces to pair with just about anything. Also - don't miss out on the Italian Gelato at 3.99 a quart, which is less than what I paid for a pint the other day. Its great! The same organic milk you can buy at Harris Teeter - for a $1.50 less a quart.

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They carry some odd stuff that goes in and out of stock very quickly. Yesterday I saw freeze dried mangosteens (?) The other day they had boxes of microgreens, which was cool. They were gone the next day, though, and don't seem to be returning.

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They carry some odd stuff that goes in and out of stock very quickly. Yesterday I saw freeze dried mangosteens (?) The other day they had boxes of microgreens, which was cool. They were gone the next day, though, and don't seem to be returning.

I was there yesterday, and they were out of stock on the Marques de Casa Concha Merlot. I was curious about the mangosteens, so I bit--don't bother. Weird texture-- sort of like freeze dried marshmallows. They had maitake mushrooms (also called hen of the woods), which I haven't seen before at a Trader Joe's. Unfortunately, they didn't look to be in great condition, so I bought shiitakes and criminis instead.

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I'm craving duck breast. Does anyone know if they carry it at the GW Trader Joe?

Yes, they do. Or at least did when we stopped by on the first weekend it was open. In the case along the back wall of the store.

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Yes, they do. Or at least did when we stopped by on the first weekend it was open. In the case along the back wall of the store.

Thanks! The new TJ is the only decent grocery anywhere near my way home from work, and my duck-breast craving has been building for several days now.

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They had maitake mushrooms (also called hen of the woods), which I haven't seen before at a Trader Joe's.
Do you remember the price? I love them but they are so expensive.

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Two single-serving packs of frozen steel-cut oatmeal with cranberries? $1.50.
I tried this - only my store (Old Town) didn't have the cranberries... I got maple/brown sugar. Not impressed - I was less attentive to the second half of the microwave cooking (2 minutes, stir, another 1 - 1 1/2 minutes) and wound up with a big oatmeal mess. The portion size was pretty big, but there wasn't a lot of flavor.

For microwave cereal, I prefer the Kashi GoLean Instant Hot Cereal w/Clusters. 8-10 packages are around $2.50. There's still the potential for a boilover, but the taste is much better!

When I have time, I absolutely prefer the McCann's steel-cut, slow cook stuff!

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