Heavenly Food in the Midst of Hell


I dislike Costco as much as any good latte-sipping, intellectually-superior blue-stater. It’s the only place on earth where I start to believe there is indeed a culture war going on in this land—a war between smart, slim, urban people and their opposites. It’s an ugly, us-versus-them reaction brought on by fluorescent lights, over-stimulation, long lines and screaming kids.

So why do I belong to Costco, you ask? Because I needed a flat-screen TV. And like all good liberal elitists, you can bet your sweet patootie that bargains matter more to me than retail atmo. But that’s another story. The real story, for our current purposes, is that Costco has good food. Damn good food. Food that would make a Chowhound blush.

I’m talking about crunchy-soft baguettes from La Brea Bakery, fat pink Gulf shrimp, marinated pork loin and imported mozzarella di bufala. Even more surprisingly, you can get healthy gourmet items there too: Oregon blueberries, perfect Gala apples, fresh pomegranate juice, 12-packs of Stonyfield Farm organic yogurt, soy milk, huge bags of roasted almonds, tubs of baby greens. Soon after the flat-screen outing, my husband threw one of their Morton’s of Omaha tri-tips on the grill and a half hour later we had a tender steak with sautéed French green beans and a bottle of Concha y Toro Cab—at probably about two-thirds the price of most markets.

It feels a little like the path to hell, paved as it is with temptations of the flesh and the wallet. So, you know, don’t go and shop there every week—don’t go putting your neighborhood grocery out of business or anything. I’m just saying, if you happen to need a computer or digital camera or vacuum cleaner or perhaps some luggage, then FYI: you might want to pick up dinner.

I’m not alone! Check out our April issue, in which Slow Food SF founder Lorenzo Scarpone admits his own Costco weakness.

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