Now that the grand opening hub-bub is over, it might be worth your while to check out Costco. If for no other reason to pick up some 20 percent-off gift cards to local eateries. Sure you’re going to have to become a member, and that’s going to run you $55 for the year. But on that one item, you already get about half your money back!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s rewind.
My family has been Costco members since before Costco was even Costco (I’m looking at you, Price Club and PriceCostco!). So I’m pretty familiar with the store, its brand Kirkland, and the fairly obsessive way members will sing its praises. I border on it too. So I was pretty stoked when Costco opened in my now-home of Sioux Falls.
But this blog is about eating, not warehousing retail! Fair enough. But that gets to my favorite part of the store: the samples. Yes, I know other stores and grocers have samples, but Costco is the gold standard. If through no other means than by sheer mass. There are a TON of samples. And not just at peak times either. On my most recent trip, at 4 p.m. on a Wednesday, I was able to grab samples of: Mandarin Orange Chicken, Angus Beef Cheeseburgers, Bacon, Spinach Quiche AND Ham/Cheese Quiche, Mango Salsa with Baked Chips, Honey Roasted Ham and Honey Roasted Turkey and drink a little Mango Nectar Juice.
So that’s one way to eat at Costco: the samples.
The second is the actual food court. Basic, and very cheap, this is my least favorite of the three ways. But, you can get a hot dog and a soda for $1.50. The pizza is passable, they have non-fat yogurt soft serve, and a few other items like the Chicken Bake I had (above). Creamy with both chicken breast and bacon inside, the best part was the bread tube with cheddar cheese baked on the outside. The crispy, just nearly burnt pieces are the best. But overall, it wasn’t that great. Again, you get what you’d expect here. Also, you can eat at the food court even if you are not a member. So, bonus?
My favorite way to eat “at” Costco is the one I led this post with: buying gift cards! And beyond the two chains they feature right now, Granite City and Cold Stone, I was surprised to see the local restaurant ownership group Big Three Restaurants selling $100 worth of gift cards for $79.99 (below). Big Three consists of Spezia, Bracco and Starz. That’s a great buy, because I actually like Starz. (And Megan likes Bracco, which is one of her ONLY flaws.)
So there you have it. Three ways to eat at the new Costco. What do you think?