I have only one.
The Costco Food Court.
Some of you might be aware of my great affection for Costco, and more specifically, the Costco food court. The $1.95 pizzas, $1.50 hot dogs (comes with soda!), $3.95 Caesar Salad, and those Chicken Bakes. Oh, and don’t forget $1.00 Churros, along with the Mocha/Latte Freeze and Very Berry Sundae. Man, those are tasty. I’m well aware that all this food is quite disgusting. Doesn’t stop me from loving it.
Mom and I were at Iwelei Costco last night to purchase up some odds and ends. We had an early lunch that day and were quite famished as we waited in one line to pay. Then another line to check off our receipts. As we exited, mom asked, “What’s for dinner?”
It’s been two years since I last ate at Costco. And that is an awfully long dry spell from my old two times a week during those youthful Punahou days. Back when my metabolism worked at warp speed. I lusted after those thick crusted slices of pizza oozing cheese and glossy pools of oil, crisp pepperoni, and always finished with extra chili peppers, and sauerkraut! I love sauerkraut on pizza. Love, love, love.
And now, even after trips to Di Fara’s and the likes and legends of NYC pizza, I still have a soft cuddly spot for Costco pizza. Nothing can change that.
In answer to mom’s question, I pointed right, right at the Costco Food Court where the lines were long, the food cheap, and the crowds happy. Mom and I each had a Hot Dog and shared the Caesar Salad. I filled my soda cup with a horridly delicious mix of Coke, Fruit Punch, and Sprite, and the put every single topping possible on top of the hot dog. A purist, I am not ;)
75% through the hot dog, and with the salad demolished, I noticed the Japanese couple next to us splitting a slice of the pizza. Oooh The Costco Pizza. I got all weepy and weak in the knees. Oh why, oh why did I order hot dog instead of pizza? 22 years old and yet I make such silly mistakes.
I did the next logical thing, and shoved the remaining 25% hot dog in my mouth and told mom, “I’ll be right back!” Then went to stand in line, with the biggest smile on my face, a perfect $2.08 neatly counted out, and hopped from foot to foot, giddy with excitement. Costco pizza! Costco pizza! Costco pizza!
I ran back to the table, with the pizza piping hot in on hand, and three packets of chili peppers in the other. A joyous moment indeed. Mom looked at me as if I were positively psycho, and then burst out laughing. I love my mom. The pizza was awesome, just as I remembered, with a sloppy doughy interior, and far too much cheese, the cheap kine super salty cheese, just enough black olives, pepperoni and green peppers to keep me happy.
The plan was to eat half and THROW THE REST AWAY. But my good intentions were foiled as those lovely high school memories of hot Coscto pizza scarfed down post-beach, post-school, post-everything & anything, came tumbling back. The pizza was gone in just over a minute.
And then because I had the pizza, I needed to do the meal justice, and stood in line once more for the Very Berry Sundae. Don’t worry, I didn’t not eat all of it. Just under half.
I felt so good for the first few minutes. And then really disgusting as it all sank to the greasy dark pits of my stomach.
I suspect it’ll be another few years before I have a Costco meal again, but when I do, you bet I’ll be having a hot dog, half a salad, and a slice of pizza, and a bit of the sundae. Heck, I should throw in the Latte Freeze next time. Nothing like a complete meal ^_^
(Note: the goodness I describe about the Costco Food Court applies ONLY to Hawai’i Costco’s. I’ve eaten at the Costco Food Courts on the mainland – totally NOT THE SAME :)