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My Happy Place

Hopefully...everyone has their happy place. For some it's the cool water and warm sands of a coastal beach. For others, it's curled up on the couch with a dog at their feet and a good book in their hands. For every kind of person there's every kind of happy place. For me, it's food shopping. Imagine a place where you can walk up and down, purchasing things that you can eat. The wondrous diversity of products in even the most spartan of markets is simply astounding....and there are so many terrific markets to shop in. Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Publix, Ralph's, a local italian market, the Chinese grocery, the list of great places goes on and on, but for me there is one that stands out; a Parthenon of Produce, a Mecca of Meat, A Machu Picchu for me to feed you...and that place is... Costco.

I know, I know...you're thinking Mr. Bites, you've lost your goldurnned mind, or perhaps, Mr. Bites, you've sold out and are now writing sponsored content for Costco, or even Mr. Bites, you must really eat a tremendous amount of pickles. None of these are true (although if anyone wants to buy space on this site, or invite me to have a delicious meal, by all means please email me at bites@smallerbites.com and we'll talk, no big whoop). I take amazing joy in walking up and down the aisles, wondering what incredible food stuffs I can buy. I'm aware that Costco is most definitely not just a food market, but hey sometimes you just need a new tie rack revolver, even if you're like me pretty much wear ties once every six months, tops. Or hey, 168 package of AA batteries that expires in 2038, perfect! I'll never have to buy batteries again!


All of that, the batteries, the tie rack revolvers, the giant rows and rows of TVs, the 1000 count bottles of Magnesium are secondary to the food, oh the food. Rows and rows of things you would NEVER consider buying but once you're there it seems like the best idea since democracy. Two pounds pimento cheese dip? INTO THE CART! Thirty ounces of carmelized onion and gruyere cheese dip? INTO THE CART! Forty-eight ounces of hummus WITH fresh pita? INTO THE CART! (I really like dips). Not to mention the meat, so much delicious meat. Before you judge me for my Costco meat love, it's worth noting that their meat is actually some of the highest quality of meat you'll find anywhere (The Meat King told me this so it must be true). Now I know that it's hard to buy that quantity of meat and use it all at once, but Jamie, just Jamie introduced me to the greatest and most fun problem solver of all time....the FoodSaver vacuum sealer (this is not a paid endorsement).

When I get my flapmeat home, or my pork tenderloins, or whatever else I've brought home, I whip this baby out and do my best Sam the Butcher impersonation, slicing and sealing, making meal sized packages of meat out of the mountains I've brought home. It's carne carnage time!


The only thing you're limited is your own appetite and the size of your freezer.


Now of course I would be not telling the whole story if I didn't talk about the pure joy I get from those refrigerated cases next to the meat. Whole cheese spreads, giant salamis, lobster bisque, bags of so-much-better-than-dried Ramen, it's all there and it's all delicious! ..and don't get me started on the COUS...condiments of unusual size. You need capers? They've got four pounds of them. Hot sauce? Two giant shrink-wrapped bottles of Frank's, here ya go...and so many spices Magellan set sail for a quicker course to them.


It's worth noting that Costco also has a sense of humor about themselves. Not sure if any of you have seen the fantastic Zach Galifianakis show, Baskets, but it's set in Bakersfield and Costco plays a very subtle but funny role in pretty much every episode (while googling it for the link, I just found out that it was cancelled last year and there will be no fifth season... Not cool, FX, not cool at all).


There was one thing Costco used to do and they no longer do but it's a fantastic idea and they should bring it back. All organic items price tags were green, so if you are one of those all or mostly organic produce/food people, you could look down an aisle and see if they had anything that fit your Monsanto-avoiding needs. Not sure why they stopped, perhaps inflation on green lucite tabs, but bring that back, Mr/Ms/non-binary Costco CEO.


So there we have it. Costco is my happy place. Mock me all you want, but when you're coming over and we're having a bottle of wine and sharing a thirty-six slice Detroit-style cauliflower meat lover's pizza, you'll be in mouth heaven.

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