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Costco Around the World


Ellen Shapiro
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Over the last year or so, I've become frustrated with the "grazers" on the weekends. They make it difficult for us speed shoppers to navigate the aisles.

My two year old daughter and I pass the time in grid-lock by playing a game. I quietly ask her, "What's a piggy say?" She replies with very enthusiastic "Oink, Oink, Oink!" It's really hard to keep a straight face when the oinkers realize what's going on.

My wife pretends she doesn't know me.

Edited by BaconFat (log)
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Over the last year or so, I've become frustrated with the "grazers" on the weekends.  They make it difficult for us speed shoppers to navigate the aisles.

The Willowbrook / Wayne store in NJ is an absolute zoo on the weekends, with people ten deep at the registers and 20 deep around the food sample stations.

But, on a Tuesday evening, with the outdoor temperatures 3 above zero F (maybe -12 C?), and a howling wind outside, shoppers are few, samples are many, and wine prices are superb

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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Rail Pail,

The article I cited was definitely more recent than May (likely in 2003) and only talked about First Growths and this soon to be wine master.  I don't recall having seen the article you mentioned.

Was it in the most recent issue of Saveur? I was skimming my copy and saw and article on Costco and first growths.

It might have been in Saveur. Are you referring to the their top 100 issue? I do have it at home.

absolutely saveur top 100. just read it.

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I try to avoid Costco unless it's the off-hours. But I haven't figured out what the off-hours are. A trip to Costco reminds me of how much I dislike people. O.k., that's a joke. It reminds me of how much I dislike crowds of people getting in my way and not moving with any apparent purpose or desitination. Although the side of SF's massive Costco have aisles, the center of the store is a hodge-podge of clothing, CDs, books and office furniture that turns into a random bumper-car fight causing grid-lock that backs into the aisle. Free food stations become all-you-can-eat buffets greatly contributing to the crowd and confusion. The worst part is that after manuevering through this mess to find stuff I want, I'm confronted with at least a 30 minute wait to get to a register where, inevitably, the person at the check-out counter screws something up and has to call the supervisor who, of course, must first finish her hot dog.

On the other hand:

Edamame at Costco is better than Trader Joes or Safeway.

Hot dog/hamburger buns and rolls for picnic are amazingly cheap.

Often very good deals on other meats.

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I find Tuesday mornings to be about the best time to shop at Costco (or just about anywhere for that matter). Interestingly, I've noticed that they have a really poor selection of crackers. Their cold cereal (for quick breakfasts on over-sleeping school days) and toilet paper are cheaper at my grocery. I tend to steer as far away from the free food as possible unless I want to get run over or boxed in. The customers at our mid-western Costco are every bit as cut-throat as elsewhere in the country.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I must confess that I am a Costco addict, but i'm not looking for a 12 step program. I am at my local (Clifton, NJ) Costco at least 1-2 times per week and I tend to visit new locations whenever I am traveling. Two years ago I was in Mexico and I made sure that the Cancun Costco was my first stop. I wanted to find out important answers such as the menu at the cafe (Kosher hot dogs or tacos?). My wife would never allow the detour I gave her that reason so I convinced her that we needed some extra large size provisions for our five hour drive through the Yucatan.

I was very surprised that it was almost identical except for some very minor differences. I wish that I had more time to check out every isle (and take some more pictures) but I am happy that I got the chance to go.

costco1.jpg

costco2.jpg

costco3.jpg

costco4.jpg

It may not be visible in the picture but there are no tacos at the cafe, only Hot Dogs.

Keba

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I was at Costco in Yonkers today, and witnessed an interesting occurrence:

They were sampling the chocolate mini-muffins. The person in charge of the sample station wasn't particularly attentive (as noted above, early in the day on Tuesday is a good time to be at Costco) and went off to talk to a coworker in the meat department. While the employee was AWOL, a totally normal looking guy wandered past the sample cart, noticed the silver tray lined with muffin quarters on little doilies, grabbed the tray, and walked away with it. He proceeded to wander about the store, snacking on mini-muffins as he shopped.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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He proceeded to wander about the store, snacking on mini-muffins as he shopped.

You know what I would have done? Gone up to the guy and said, "Hey, free samples!" and swiped a big handful. At least I would have imagined doing that.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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My name is Judi and I am a Costco addict. Outstanding items in my Los Angeles area store are the whole roasted chickens (I never make them at home any more), fresh salmon, La Brea Bakery breads at half the price they are at the bakery, Aidell's sausages, excellent wine, cheap books, their generous return policy (we buy cell phones there because if something goes wrong, they will take them back with no questions asked)—and before Christmas I bought a Frette bathrobe for $28 that is so thick i thought I would need lessons in how to wear it and walk upright. I've adapted. ;- )

Judi, off to Costco to buy vitamins and God knows what else

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He proceeded to wander about the store, snacking on mini-muffins as he shopped.

You know what I would have done? Gone up to the guy and said, "Hey, free samples!" and swiped a big handful. At least I would have imagined doing that.

Later, I developed several strategies along those lines. But when it actually happened, it was so surreal, so shocking, so paralyzing in its joyous audacity, that I could hardly even control my voluntary muscles no less my actions.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Well, I simply can't believe I overlooked this until now:

The Costco Cookbook

http://seattle.bizjournals.com/seattle/sto...14/tidbits.html

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Hi, I am also a Costco junkie. They opened one where I live in Fredericksburg, VA. My favorite things are the Kosher hotdogs, at the snack center, ( they have sauerkraut) , and the La Brea Ciabatta rolls. I am really hooked on them. The garlic studded french bread from La Brea is also great. The Kirkland brand smoked salmon is quite delicious. I buy supplies for the Sisterhood at my Temple and we have switched from the Vita to the Kirkland brand. It is like silk, and a good price also. We run a Bagel Bar every Sunday during Hebrew school, and I shop for supplies at the Costco and at B.J.'s. B.J.'s prices took a nose dive when the Costco opened. Costco still has them beat on most things.

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and I shop for supplies at the Costco and at B.J.'s. B.J.'s prices took a nose dive when the Costco opened.  Costco still has them beat on most things.

Welcome, Evabug -

We've had the same experience here in Northern NJ, where Wal-Mart, BJ's Target, and Costco are slugging it out. Based on my personal impressions, where Costco and Wal-Mart collide head on, WM usually has a better price. But Costco's merchandise tends to be better in many cases.

BJs doesn't seem to have a price edge over WM, and definitely lacks the quality of Costco or Target. Target's quality is probably a little better than Costco, but its prices are higher.

My sense is BJs will not survice the conflict

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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I really am glad to hear that so many of you are also Costco addicts (I thought there was something wrong with us, though FG has always insisted that really, there isn't). We're hoping to drag FG's mother along with us today and introduce her to the apple pie. It is a fine day when Costco is sampling pies. It is indeed a rare day that I should happen upon say, an apple pie, but I'll happily settle for a berry variety. A cheese cake is clearly sloppy seconds (I'm not a cheese cake fan).

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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Well, I simply can't believe I overlooked this until now:

The Costco Cookbook

http://seattle.bizjournals.com/seattle/sto...14/tidbits.html

I read about this somewhere previous to this citation, can't remember where, but there was mention of a recipe using only Costco SKU numbers in the ingredients, like 1/2 c. #3480387 and 2 lbs. #5576493 and so on. Funny!

And somebody earlier cited tires, which I second, with feeling. Buying tires is a travail fraught with fraughtness. A major, major drag. But, at Costco you drive up, the guy tells you which Michelin radial fits your car, and you notice that said Michelin radials are LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE of what they wanted for the same tire at a regular tire shop, and said price INCLUDES EVERYTHING, and then an hour later you come back (with your bale o' salad mix and pallet o' filet mignon and bundle o' La Brea Bakery French baguettes and sixer o' Ravenswood VB Zinfandel) and drive away, no muss, no fuss. Plus, free flat fix and rotation, for life.

Edited by Priscilla (log)

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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I really am glad to hear that so many of you are also Costco addicts (I thought there was something wrong with us, though FG has always insisted that really, there isn't). We're hoping to drag FG's mother along with us today and introduce her to the apple pie. It is a fine day when Costco is sampling pies. It is indeed a rare day that I should happen upon say, an apple pie, but I'll happily settle for a berry variety. A cheese cake is clearly sloppy seconds (I'm not a cheese cake fan).

I think the high point of my day was seeing that Ellen wrote "sloppy seconds".:laugh:

Too funny.

Ben

Gimme what cha got for a pork chop!

-Freakmaster

I have two words for America... Meat Crust.

-Mario

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Priscilla it's not just tires that Costco has taken out of the realm of stressful and overly significant-seeming purchases. It's everything. I was walking down the aisles today loading my cart with various essentials--a 128 ounce jar of pickles, 2-dozen rolls of toilet paper, a 20-pack of soap--and then I saw a VCR for like $79 and just threw it in my cart like it was a six-pack of Diet Coke. It's the Costco way. Costco is saving civilization I believe. I also like how after you go to Costco and you go to another store all the packages of everything look really puny and you say, "Oh how cute!" It's kind of like when you step off a boat but you still feel like you're rocking and rolling.

And on the tire point, I hope everybody is aware that if you're a Costco member in the US and you get a simple flat the tire department will fix it for free whether or not you bought the tires from them. Ditto topping off your tire pressure anytime. Good habit to get into to extend the life of your car and maintain fuel efficiency. I think about many things now that I didn't even know about before Costco.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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The few times I've been to Costco reminded me a bit too much of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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The few times I've been to Costco reminded me a bit too much of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

You mean its like walking through a dystopian futuristic city with gigantic buildings a mile high, sitting among factories belching noxious gases, with wafts of steam coming out of the sewers, indian music playing in the background, with lots of Asian people wearing gas masks and raincoats running around on bicycles, and everyone talks like they came out of a 1940's detective movie?

bladeart8.gif

Yeah, I can see that.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Just so. The aisle of raining despair more so. And the cheese shelves.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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[...]--and then I saw a VCR for like $79 and just threw it in my cart like it was a six-pack of Diet Coke. It's the Costco way.

Ellen, yes, it's true. And a reason one must ration one's visits! I deeply appreciate the simplicity -- a gift, to me. I have NO interest in becoming an expert on VCRs, you know what I mean?

Too several years ago when I was looking to surprise the Consort with his dearest wish (a rechargeable Makita cordless drill) Costco beat everybody else by so much it wasn't even funny. AND provided the little Makita-blue metal snap-lock suitcase, to boot--at the time, a Costco Bonus. God bless the the Costco Bonuses.

And I'm innured now, but the outsized shopping carts used to amaze me, you know, like Alice after Drink Me.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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You mean its like walking through a dystopian futuristic city with gigantic buildings a mile high, sitting among factories belching noxious gases, with wafts of steam coming out of the sewers, indian music playing in the background, with lots of Asian people wearing gas masks and raincoats running around on bicycles, and everyone talks like they came out of a 1940's detective movie?

and they're carrying 40-pound bags of pepperoni sticks.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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