An Ode to the Costco Hot Dog

Categories: Schaefer

costcohotdog.jpg
Eric Schaefer
The Costco hot dog.
Introducing "Schaefer," in which Eric Schaefer -- a local guy with a big (but discerning) appetite and a sense of humor to match -- takes on the Phoenix food scene.

Is there any better value in food than a hot dog at Costco? No, I say, there is not. Because for precisely $1.63, I just consumed a perfectly delicious all-beef hot dog on a wonderfully slightly soggy bun and topped it with onions, relish, deli mustard and sauerkraut. The sauerkraut is important, as it takes this dog from "average" to "really satisfying." You have to ask for it.

See also:
- 9 Best Sonoran-Style Hot Dogs in Metro Phoenix
- Eric Schaefer's Five Metro Phoenix Restaurants He Misses the Most

Even better, dining at Costco is a pleasure. It affords a certain degree of anonymity, as you squeeze in between strangers at the white plastic tables and gaze at people leaving the checkout lines. It's always fascinating to see what people bought. Today, in particular, I saw a lot of white-haired people buying Kirkland brand vodka in large quantities. I'm not sure if that makes the idea of getting older better or worse, but it was hard not to notice.

A hot dog at Costco is the great equalizer. Any notion of status is moot; we're all there together. I once sat next to the CEO of Dial Corporation; he may have driven away in a $100,000 Mercedes, but he spent $1.63 on his lunch just like me. Wealthy or poor, a hot dog at Costco appeals to all.

And, for what it's worth, the hot dog isn't second-rate. There was an uproar a few years ago when Costco switched from Hebrew National to its own private label non-kosher brand. I don't taste a difference and cannot detect any decline in quality. It's the perfect delivery medium for a load of raw onions and pickled cabbage -- sturdy, juicy, and efficient.

Sure, Costco offers other options ranging from a "Chicken Bake" (the name alone scares me) to a Roast Turkey Sandwich, but I stick with what works. I also admire the fact that Costco treats its employees well and offers them great benefits; many of their employees have been with them for over 10 years.

What's more American than buying 24 rolls of toilet paper, 64 ounces of mayonnaise, a case of beer, a few racks of ribs from the butcher, and throwing down a hot dog on the way out? Simply put: nothing. And as a bonus, you can also buy enough antacid to last a lifetime.

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Location Info

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Costco Wholesale

4502 E. Oak St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General


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5 comments
harrydevlin551
harrydevlin551

I used to like the Costco hot dogs until they switched from Sinai Kosher and Hebrew National to Kirkland in order to reduce costs. The quality went way down.

I once saw the CEO (now former CEO) of Costco at the Sunnyvale Costco, eating a hot dog, and I went up to him and I said, "Jim, bring back Kosher hot dogs." The other executives eating with him laughed, but he was NOT amused. It's a very sensitive subject. He vowed to keep the price at $1.50, so keeping the higher quality product and raising the price by 25¢ was not an option--they were forced to lower the quality.

mjlseahawk
mjlseahawk

I like the Kirkland brand better than the HB dog. It's still all beef. I'm Kosher with that...

1amiga
1amiga

I agree with merkinallday, but perhaps he/she missed your factoid that It's no longer a Hebrew National. A forever Costco loyalist - opened the NScts Price Club late '80s,  I recently caught up with fellow employee - now in mgmt - 25 years! - and convo turned to the dogs.  My dog addiction had faded over the past year; it didn't taste the same.  He told me about the change; somehow I missed the "hoopla", but it made sense then. and he felt the same way.  Maybe because I'm a straight up deli mustard/kraut girl..but Kirkland can't match the HB flavor. And I'm a mustard fiend - everything's a mustard delivery vehicle :-) - but the Polish and the dog taste "off" to me.  Still the best deal around though!! There's probably a FB page about this - lol - there was a revolt a few years ago when Costco changed the edamame brand :-)) oh well... cheers!

Anon
Anon

Chicken bakes rock

Merkinallday
Merkinallday

Absolutely agree, not a better value, you wont find the freshest condiments depending on the Costco location, however nothing better than a Hebrew National Polish dog at Costco.

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