Let me first begin, as always, by telling you that this is not a sponsored post. Costco did not, and would never, ask me to review anything for them, much less a dollar ninety-nine slice of pizza and some free condiments.
So here’s what happened — I got hungry at Costco.
I try to avoid going to Costco at all costs. I feel like stuff about Costco should come with trigger warnings, because the place causes me panic attacks. It’s too big for me. There aren’t enough decorations. It’s way too ‘Murica for my delicate sensibilities.
As I said in my book, my tastes skew towards twee. I like to go to Nordstrom because when I shop I enjoy some live piano music, and ladies spraying perfume on me telling me I’m pretty. I like there to be a nice café that sells tiny French cookies that cost $75.00 that I can photograph from above and put on Instagram. Except here’s the deal. Syntax. I said I like to GO to Nordstrom, not actually shop there, because I can’t actually afford anything. I just go for the atmosphere. Or something. Plus, they don’t sell the 800 pack of Tampax, razor blades, sixty pound sacks of coffee beans, or entire shipping containers of coconut water, all of which I needed today. And yes, I realize that list sounds something like a New Age kill kit. All I need to complete it is a 100% organic hemp tarp and a ceremonial knife. Maybe one of those hooves they drink maté out of.
But don’t let me get off on a tangent. I had to go to Costco today, and as I hadn’t been in about a year or so, I figured I could handle it emotionally.
About halfway through getting the things on my New Age kill kit list, I found myself hungry. Now as everyone well knows, Costco is a good place to be hungry and poor. You can make an entire meal of free samples. At one point I was double fisting Larabars and it was everything. There were sausages and some sort of terrible olive spread, plus green chili taco things that smelled both delicious and like the grease of decay, and there was some cheesecake, which I don’t like, and it was all so exciting and FREE, and nothing makes food taste better than not having to pay for it. Then I made a fateful mistake.
And it was in trying to be healthy while consuming Costco free samples, which isn’t even possible, but this old man convinced me to try his COQ10 MK Ultra AK 47 some kind of mess of letters and numbers, pineapple juice. And it looked like actual pineapple juice, and I needed something to wash down the taco samples, and I believed that I was doing this for my health, so I slammed it. And then I almost died.
I don’t even have words for how bad this tasted. It was possibly the most fish-assed, bitter, vitamin flavored, taste-bud catastrophe I have ever drank. One time I bit into a bad shrimp, and that was preferable to this alleged “pineapple” juice of health miracles, which was, of course, fashioned with one hundred percent biodiverse botanicals from hidden mountain peaks in remote rainforests in the Orient and also some mushrooms. Which tasted like they were grown in the ass crack of a rotting corpse. The juice was so bad that the man apologized, like he knew how gross it was before I tried it and he let me try it anyway, which is so wrong. He should’ve warned me.
So I decided that I immediately needed to stop everything I was doing and use pizza with onions all over it as a palate cleanser. Plus my kid was complaining that she was going to starve to death in agony even though she had two waffles for breakfast an hour earlier, and then there was my husband who just sincerely enjoys the culinary offerings at Costco, I think.
You might remember from my book that my husband really loves Costco because he is practical and sensible, and I don’t because I’m not, which I think we’ve long since established.
And off to the “food court” we headed. Food Court is such a misnomer in this case that it’s almost offensive. When I think of FOOD COURT my mind goes to the mall where there is a Chinese place that sells Mount Trashmore sized piles of fried noodles in oil sauce, another place where you can get baked potatoes, a modified Chick-fil-a, and a bunch of places you’ve never heard of that are most likely owned by Israelis that sell things like both shitty falafels and really inauthentic, non-kosher, Philly Cheesesteaks at the same time (*note – my dad is Israeli and I have spent a lifetime eating shitty falafels and liking them so I have earned the right to say this).
That is a food court. Costco isn’t a food court because there is no variety of choices. It’s just…Costco. And hot dogs, chicken bakes, BBQ sandwiches, lots of thick, floppy pizza, and a chicken Caesar that no one in the history of Costco shopping ever gets — it’s just there as a token green thing. To eat a salad in a Costco is unpatriotic. That’s like something a Bernie Sanders supporter from the Bay Area might do (actually not, because the chicken would need to be vegan). Real Americans eat bad pizza and they like it because of guns and Jesus, and everyone knows Jesus loved bulk shopping and terrible food, as proven by the story about the loaves and fishes.
God help them, they DO try to create some ambience at the Costco “food court.” Take for instance the hot dog themed umbrellas over the little picnic tables. Why they need big red umbrellas over tables that are inside, I will never know. I guess they’re “festive.” Maybe they’re to protect customers from the fluorescent lights while they eat their chicken bakes. I have never seen anyone eat a chicken bake, by the way, and I haven’t been brave enough to take this step myself.
What even is a “chicken bake” for the love of God? I’m always suspicious of vaguely named food that doesn’t truly resemble actual food. Case in point: 7-11 used to sell a thing called a “bakery stick.” WTF is a bakery stick? I think it’s a chicken bake’s convenience store cousin. When food is vaguely named, it can literally be anything. Anything. That’s why I’m not eatin’ it, yo.
Pizza, however, can only be pizza. There are infinite variations on pizza, and even the worst ones aren’t truly that bad because any combination of cheese and carbs is bound to be pretty good. I mean, I don’t love admitting this, but I’ve enjoyed Tombstones on many occasions, and no I wasn’t even stoned. I just have a somewhat high tolerance for garbage food. Bring on the boxed mac and cheese, let’s get this party started!
My problem is with food guilt. I have a conscience when it comes to food and I suffer from severe low self-esteem when I eat uhealthy food. I go to yoga too much and when confronted with Costco pizza I start thinking things about how I am not honoring the temple of my body. I am giving my inner goddess acid reflux from eating this shit, and she doesn’t like it.
So I start justifying things in my head, and doing pointless weird stuff that I convince myself will make a difference, but it actually doesn’t. For instance, I will stare down at this ginormous slice of Costco pizza and tell myself, well at least I didn’t get the pepperoni. Right? Because animal rights, and calories from fat. So the plain cheese is HEALTHY and GOOD FOR THE EARTH. A slice of Costco pizza is roughly the size of a manta ray’s wing and a good inch thick. I think the sign said it had 780 calories, which, in my opinion, may as well be 10,827 calories, so I start to try and reduce the calories.
I will not eat the crust. Yeah, I said that. True confession: I am so neurotic that I peel the cheese off pizza and just eat that because I’ve convinced myself that that is actually better for me (it’s not, technically). But it makes me feel a little better about my disgusting lifestyle choices. And I can always go to the farmer’s market tomorrow and stroll around in a sundress with a wicker basket slung over my arm, right?
Whether you’re eat a hot dog, pizza, a chicken bake, or the mysterious Caesar, Costco offers a fascinating condiment option not found ANYWHERE ELSE. This is where things get interesting, folks. This is where the Costco dining experience truly goes next level.
COSTCO HAS MAGICAL ONIONS.
Check them out:
There is a special machine at the Costco Food Court that dispenses infinite amounts of fresh, diced onions. They don’t have this thing anywhere else that I’ve ever seen, and it’s obviously a big deal because they have to padlock it. If the onions were regular (as in unmagical) they could just leave it open. I’m assuming. Because I’m fairly confident that onion theft isn’t a serious problem faced by warehouse superstores, so why else would they have to lock it?
It’s not as if there are packs of thieves sneaking into Costco, totally bypassing the $23,000.00 diamond earrings and all the glitzy electronics and running out with their arms full of diced onions.
I also imagine that getting to be the keeper of the onion key is a really high honor for Costco employees. Like a promotion. Like, you have really made it at Costco if you get to be the keeper of the onion key. But God forbid someone would lose it. I can’t even imagine. (YOU HAD ONE JOB! AND YOU LOST THE ONION KEY! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW??)
Maybe Jim Sinegal himself holds the one master key to all the Costco onion machines and when they need to refill them he has to fly in on his fancy private jet and unlock the onion box and refill the magical onions, and that’s basically all he does as CEO of Costco – open onion boxes all day.
It’s important to note that I hate onions with a passion. I cannot stand onions, especially raw chunky ones. When confronted with raw chunky onions I turn into a four year old. Yet, knowing that I despise onions, I still decided to try some on the cheese layer that I peeled off my pizza crust for health reasons. It was all because of the padlock. I needed to know why these onions were so special.
The onions were not special. They were horrible. And they ruined my cheese. So I immediately scraped them all off, except they had already contaminated my cheese layer with their evil onion juice flavor, so all hope was essentially lost. There was nothing left to do except get a refill on my Diet Pepsi and eat the rest of my daughter’s slice of pizza and give up on life.
Besides, I still needed razor blades, which means that I had to go take out a line of credit, and actually try to find the razor blades, which are apparently so valuable that I’m pretty sure they keep them in a glass case with the engagement rings. I was there for about three more hours. I got hungry again, but I decided to eat at home this time. Sorry, Costco.
Join me next week when I take on…The Olive Garden.
If you liked this you will also enjoy:
If you enjoy my blog, you'll also enjoy my memoir THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL LIFE, available everywhere. Buy online at these links.