Costco’s food was a charming poison. It lures you in like a peacock spider, flashing its enchanting colors confidently, but once you get close it strikes with a deadly venom. 

My friends Aidan, Ethan, Fisher, Nate, Owen, Donovan and I piled on to the 71 bus for a nearly hour long ride to Costco. We arrived at Costco’s food court nearly two hours later. The entire interior was concrete, with bright red metal benches, which created a cold interior. Four cashiers received cash and delivered food in precise, robotic movements.

We piled in behind a line of fifteen people. Three other lines contained forty or so hungry customers. Six posters above the ordering area depicted perfect food: Coca-Cola with fizz bubbling around the lip of the cup, perfectly decorated pizza being lifted from the pan while cheese strands drooped from its crust, and glistening hot dogs with inordinate amounts of relish. These pictures should have been appetizing, but there was a plastic-like quality to them that rendered them decidedly un-foodlike. 

I ordered a strawberry ice cream sundae, a hot dog, and a Coke. The three items were in my hands before my card had finished reading. Fisher, Ethan, Donovan, Aidan and I met at a bench with our food while Nate and Owen stood next to us. Between us there were a few hot dogs, five pizza slices, an ice cream sundae, at least three extra large churros, and six cups of pop. 

The hot dog: an unironic masterpiece. It was a classic American hot dog. The bun was plump and doughy, and complemented the hot dog’s texture perfectly. I asked Fisher what he thought of the hot dog; he proceeded to bark at me for a few seconds and then plainly stated “I don’t remember.” Thanks Fisher. Donovan said it wasn’t “smokey enough,” so take his opinions with a grain of salt. Aside from the admittedly lackluster topping selections (a standard ketchup, mustard and relish), the hot dog was something that I could definitely eat without fear of deadly intestinal issues. 

The ice cream sundae: You know how a lot of places will dump some frozen yogurt into a plastic cup and call it ice cream? That’s Costco’s model for everything on the menu, but especially the sundae. It had a flat, taciturn taste; it was like biting into what you thought was an expensive wedding cake and finding out it was just a bunch of Fred Meyer sheet cakes stacked on top of each other. This sundae had secrets it wasn’t telling. However, I couldn’t deny that the vanilla and whole strawberries came together nicely, adding an exciting texture I truly wasn’t expecting. This sundae was meant to be paired with a meal, but after getting three quarters of the way through, I could barely stomach another bite, so naturally I moved on to the churro.

The churro: Donovan described to me in detail the taste as he experienced it, “It’s like a biiiiiig churro that tastes really good.” Everyone gave simultaneous “mhm,” as if Donovan had just delivered a moving sermon. We continued eating and by the five minute mark, most of us were breaking out into a cold sweat, not Ethan though. His eyes were closed and he wore a wide grin with his churro in his hand. He was in a meditative state.

The pizza: Fisher described the pizza as “a spiritual experience. Like Niagara Falls.” Donovan praises the pizza as “somehow some of the best pizza I have ever had”; although hunger definitely played a large factor in the taste, his comment seemed genuine. Aidan compliments “the texture of the pepperoni with the gooiness” and adds,“the combination adds up to be heavenly.” He says this all in between gigantic bites from both his slices. This pizza was a must-order with any meal.

The pop: I’m sure they just dumped salt into every dispenser at the food court because the way my throat was drying out was like I had ripped open a desiccant and swallowed its contents. I had at least seven full cups.   

The Costco food court experience was one I would recommend only to shoppers who are hungry after a stressful 30 minutes of pushing a shopping cart around the giant store. A solid three and half out of five pallets of off-brand Oreos. 

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