October 10, 2011

Costco Food Court - Uncovered!

This weekend, Travis and I embarked on a journey to solidify our status as a married couple: we joined Costco.  We even bought into the up-sell for the executive membership.  (I already kind of regret that.)

Our mission was simple: splurge on a nice camera.  My mission had a little more nuance: convince Travis to eat a hotdog with me afterwards.  (He’s much healthier than I am.)  I succeeded.  The hotdog was delicious.  Duh.

Photo used under creative commons from j6tran2

Now that I’m a legit member, I’m coming up with more reasons to milk that (ugh executive) membership for all it’s worth.  I’m going to run to Costco during my lunch break tomorrow and get passport photos. (Only $4.99, guys!)

I’m well aware of my lack of self-control and fully know that I will eat lunch while I’m there.  At first I thought: Yum, hotdog!!  It was so good on Saturday!  But then I thought: You animal!  You can’t eat Costco hotdogs twice in a week like a maniac!  Then I thought: Mmm… cheese pizza… also good!  And also not a hot dog!  Then: Wait... isn't a piece of pizza probably just as bad for you as a hot dog?  What's even going on?!  And then I thought: Joanna, put on your best Nancy Drew face, get your detective on and get to the bottom of this!

I’m basically okay with eating unhealthy food as long as I am generally aware of, like, just how bad it is.  Know your enemy.  Like… is this 800 calories (okay) or 3500 calories (um… nothing’s that good)?

So I present… 
Your Helpful Costco Nutritional Information Guide
 ...to help you make an informed choice next time you’re buying in bulk and starving from looking for a parking space for 20 minutes.

First of all, fun fact: Costco posts all their nutritional information online.  Nice!

Second of all, let me get this “spoiler” out of the way… Surprise!  A chicken Caesar salad is bad for you!  I say this sarcastically because during my web research, this seemed to be quite the to-do.  Guys, haven’t we known that eating a ton of Caesar dressing is super unhealthy since, like, 1999?!  Geez.

Okay… are you ready?

A hot dog will set you back 540 calories (a polish sausage for 10 more).  Which really isn’t that bad.  Except… it is 34 grams of fat (15 saturated – eek!) and a buttload of sodium.  Honestly, about what I expected.

Here’s the surprise, though, guys!  Pepperoni pizza has fewer calories than cheese pizza or combo pizza.  At 620 calories, it’s not that far off from a hot dog, and fares a little better in the fat department (29 grams, 12 saturated).   Similar sodium.

So in short… Costco’s food court is what we thought it was: pretty disgusting and bad for you.  But so delicious, and not that that that bad for you.  And... treat yourself... grab a dog or a pepperoni slice!

(Oh also, stay away from the Chicken Bake and the Turkey Wrap.  They will kill you.)

Also, here is my masterpiece from our splurge camera!
 :: Travis's Snout ::


  1. You didn't even mention the samples! I used to eat entire meals out of samples at Costco! Gawd I loved those banana muffins cut into quarters, which are probably as caloric as the pepperoni pizza.

  2. You know, Kerry, one of two things happened since we were kids:
    - The samples got worse
    - My tastes changed

    Both are totally possible. I feel like you used to be able to get things like... pieces of muffin, a nice little taste of a stir fry, half a pot sticker, raviolis, etc. Now I feel like you can get a paper cup of 2 cashews, a piece of a power bar, and, if you wait in line for 4 minutes, a small piece of chicken. Over it.