By David Wight
RESPONSE TO OUR MARCH COVER STORY about
Costco Food Courts confirmed two assumptions for
us: Costco members have a perpetual supply of happy
memories to share about their personal Food Court
traditions, and they are fanatically passionate about
their favorite hot dog. Many readers were unhappy
about the fact that the Sinai Kosher hot dog, sold by
Costco for 25 years, is gone forever (see ”Food Court
Because the story prompted other Food Court
memories, we want to share more member anecdotes
and to review again the state of the Costco hot dog.
Hot dog buy-product
On a Saturday last September my wife
informed me we were going to the White
Elephant Sale at the San Diego Zoo. After
[our] purchases, we stopped at the zoo food
court, but the price for a hot dog was $6 and
a Coke $4. We could stop at Costco since it
was on the way and save $17.
We did, and after eating we decided to go
inside and just look around. On the way out
there was a painting kiosk. We were contemplating painting the interior of our house. We
discussed it with the salesperson and in two
weeks had a beautiful paint job done for
about half the cost I had expected. We are very
happy about the way things turned out.
If it hadn’t been for the hot dog combo
we would still be wondering who to contact
for a painting contractor.
Frank and Edwina Gibson
San Diego, California
After reading the story of Cafe 150, I realized how important having a hot dog at
Costco has been to me and my son. When
Jonathan was about 2 years old, our family
became members of the Costco near Tualatin,
Oregon. There was no Cafe 150, just a hot dog
cart in front of the store. We started going
there every Saturday and would sit outside on
the grass by the railroad tracks. We both loved
the great hot dogs and soon found ourselves
there every Saturday, waiting to see the train.
We moved east in 1992, and, fortunately
for us, a Costco had just opened across the
state line in Nanuet, New York. So the tradition continued. Our Saturdays at Costco gave
us a chance to talk, just father and son, and
many important family and personal issues
were discussed and resolved over those Costco
In 1996 we moved to Sparta, New Jersey,
and instantly picked up our tradition at the
Wharton Costco. Even those times when we
were not seeing eye to eye, we managed to
work out our differences at the Food Court.
The story continues when we bought a vacation home back out west in Palm Springs,
California, in 1998.
Recently Jonathan was out in Palm Springs
on vacation. He has since joined the New
Jersey National Guard and had just returned
from active duty. It wasn’t a Saturday, but we
made a trip to the nearby Costco in Rancho
Mirage and talked about his experiences over
those great Costco hot dogs.
My wife and daughter occasionally do join
us, and are always welcome, but they know that
Saturdays at Costco are “boys’ time.”
Soft drink wishes, hot dog dreams
I loved your article about the Costco
Food Court. I used to eat at that original San
Diego stand 23 years ago.
Recently there was a funeral service for
Larry Alpert, a longtime successful sales representative in the sporting goods industry.
During the eulogy, a funny story was told
[about] how this very successful [man] would
drive miles out of his way to find a Costco
where he could have his favorite meal—the
$1.50 Costco hot dog with a 20-ounce soda.
This [was a] millionaire who lived in a multi-million-dollar home overlooking the ocean in
Corona del Mar, California, and his favorite
meal was the Costco $1.50 hot dog!
Wilson Sporting Goods
Mission Viejo, California
ages 2 to 15? James Fong’s solution
was to load them into an 18-passen-
ger stretch limo and take them to the
Costco Food Court in Citrus Heights,
California. Once filled with pizza and
sodas, it was on to mini-golf and