Thursday, July 21, 2016

Paramus Trader Joe's could be better, wine at Wayne Costco and more

A 3-pound bag of Organic Sweet Potatoes at Trader Joe's in Paramus is $4.49 or about $1.50 a pound, less than at ShopRite or other stores.

Editor's note: Back from vacation, I've been visiting Trader Joe's in Paramus, Costco Wholesale in Wayne and Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood -- because no one food store has everything.


If you buy Trader Joe's hot dogs, bacon or cold cuts, make sure you read the labels to find out which package contains antibiotic-free meat.

The specialty grocer has ignored calls to stop selling meat and poultry raised on harmful human antibiotics, so shopping in the Paramus store is a little more difficult than, say, going to Whole Foods Market a few miles away.

For example, both Trader Joe's Beef Hot Dogs and Jumbo Beef Franks are uncured and fully cooked, but the bigger dogs contain antibiotics ($5.99 per package).

Trader Joe's Bacon is both antibiotic and nitrite free ($5.49).

Meanwhile, the selection of Applegate Naturals cold cuts is more limited than before, and I've only been able to find sliced ham and sliced turkey on my last two trips (a 7-ounce package was $4.49).

Applegate Naturals are antibiotic and preservative free, but make sure you read the label if you decide to buy Trader Joe's own line of cold cuts, which are displayed on the same rack. 

In general, prices at Trader Joe's have been creeping up, so some items, including 1-pound packages of organic whole wheat pasta, cost more than at the Paramus ShopRite.

And I ignore all of Trader Joe's prepared food, frozen fish, olive oil, pasta sauces with added sugar and most of the produce, because I can find better quality or better prices elsewhere.

Trader Joe's, 404 Route 17 north in Paramus, is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (201-265-9624).

One of the red wines that caught my eye at Costco Wholesale in Wayne is this Mount Hermon Red from Israel. 

Costco's own wine

The Costco Wholesale in Teterboro has a separate liquor store operated by another company, but the Wayne warehouse is different: 

It has its own liquor license, and sells private label Kirkland Signature wines and spirits, in addition to a large variety of other red, white and sparkling wines.

On Wednesday afternoon, we stopped at Costco on the way to hear jazz singer Karrin Allyson backed by a big band at William Paterson University in Wayne.

You can easily spend more than $100 on a bottle of wine at Costco, but I bought six bottles under $8 each on the theory they are just as healthy as bottles costing two, three or four times as much.

Two of the 750-milliliter bottles were Kirkland Signature Prosecco, a sparkling wine from Italy with a cork that pops like champagne, for only $6.99 each.

A Kirkland Signature Malbec was also $6.99, and a Kirkland Signature Cotes du Rhone Villages was $6.89.

A Merlot from the Bogle Vineyards in California also was $6.99; and a Cono Sur Pinot Noir from Chile was $7.69. 

I bought six bottles of wine, all under $8 each.

Kirkland Signature red wines include a Malbec from Argentina and a Cotes du Rhone Villages from France, above, and 1.5-liter bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon from California.

Costco Wholesale is at 149 Route 23 south, in the Wayne Towne Center Mall. Call 1-973-339-4006 for hours.

Jerry's Gourmet & More disappointed customers who love the store's restaurant-quality dinners to go, but don't eat meat, by wrapping three pieces of monkfish in bacon, above and below.

The takeout dinners are reduced to $5.99 after 4 p.m., if there are any left.

Jerry, there's meat in my fish

I got to Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood early on Wednesday afternoon, and found several restaurant-quality takeout dinners in the usual refrigerated case.

I don't eat meat or poultry, but do eat seafood, so I picked up the one with monkfish, only to see the pieces were wrapped in bacon.

My consolation was a large House Salad with mushrooms, arugula, roasted peppers, artichokes and Parmesan cheese with a house vinaigrette dressing ($5.99).

I bought the monkfish dinner and two others with chicken for other members of the family ($7.99 each).

For breakfast today, my stuffed egg-white omelet was accompanied by Eggplant Rollatini, Baby Bok Choy with Garlic and Sweet Baby Peppers left over from the monkfish dinner.

Jerry's Gourmet & More, 410 S. Dean St., in Englewood (1-201-871-7108), offers free samples of cheese, bread, olive oil and other items.

The large House Salad from Jerry's Gourmet & More.

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