Thursday, December 20, 2007


Costco Wholesale
2431 N Germantown Pkwy
(901) 214-0003

Yes, we’ve hit an all time low here at Dining with Monkeys. With holiday madness upon us, we haven’t had the time to frolic about town to check out new restaurants or cook healthy meals at home. We’ve been forced to eat what we can, when we can. On Wednesday night this meant eating dinner at the Costco snack bar before attempting to purchase a few gifts.

In theory, shopping and eating in the same establishment is a good thing. I just recently had lunch and a visit to the Holly Jolly Christmas Shop at The Women’s Exchange with my mom. I suggested to Warren that we eat at Bronte and then do some shopping at Davis-Kidd just last week. One of my former favorite places to lunch was at the café inside the Palladio antique mall. (Not that I could ever afford to buy anything there.)

In mentally preparing myself for our meal at Costco, I tried to imagine it was comparable to eating and shopping at Ikea—practical and fun, or so I imagined. (Anyone know what’s on their menu?)

We have never taken the monkeys (Satchel, 5, and Jiro, 3) to Costco before and on Wednesday we didn’t mention anything about eating there, so I was pleasantly (?) surprised when Satchel said upon entering (and seeing the snack bar), “Oooh! I want to eat a hot dog!”

“Me too!” Jiro piped in.

I looked at Warren and said, “Well then, let’s eat!”

We walked past the smattering of white plastic picnic tables (replete with umbrellas) and over to the counter. Most of the menu items could be seen “sunning” themselves under a heat lamp or in a large photo next to the menu board. “I want a hot dog!” the monkeys continued to clamor as Warren put in his order for a Polish sausage. I scanned the board, briefly considering a salad before opting for a “Chicken Bake.” Then I requested a couple of drinks, but the cashier informed me that all of the pork products came with a drink.

Our total was $7.50ish. The hot dog/Polish sausage drink combos were $1.50 each and my Chicken Bake sans drink was $2.69. “That’s a good deal, huh?” Warren gleefully exclaimed. (The extended Oster clan, who reside in California, is very fond of Costco.) “This is the same menu they have in California,” he said. “And Alaska,” he happily added.

It only took about 30 seconds for the cashier to gather our food. I carried it over to a table while Warren led the monkeys to the soda fountain. Oh how they love the soda fountain! Their main objective is to see if they can score something with caffeine in it. Satchel happily ran up to me, showed me the contents of his paper cup, and said, “Look what I got!”

“What is that, Coke?” I asked.

He grinned and scampered off to his seat. I shot Warren a look, but he looked back as if he was completely unaware of what was going on. Then Jiro sidled up to me and squealed, “I have raspberry tea!”

“What did you get?” I asked Warren, since I planned to share with him.

“Half Mr. Pibb and half Diet Coke,” he replied.

Ew I thought before realizing that he had attempted to recreate Diet Dr. Pepper, my fountain drink of choice. Aw.

As we all sat down to eat our very unbalanced dinner, I wondered if I should have gotten us chips or fries or something on the side, but I don’t think there were any sides to order. Looking at the assembly line of mustard, ketchup, and relish it dawned on me that I was in one of those situations where ketchup was going to have to count as a vegetable.

“Do you guys want ketchup on your hot dogs?” I asked the monkeys.

Satchel shook his head.

“No ketchup? Mustard?”

More shaking.

“I want mustard,” Jiro said.

I got up, grabbed Jiro’s hot dog, which I now realized was a foot long, and headed over to the mustard station. When I returned, Jiro looked at me and said, “Not mustard! I told you I wanted ketchup!”

“No you didn’t,” I said, wondering if I might have misunderstood him. (He doesn’t exactly enunciate.)

“I was teasing you when I said I wanted mustard!” he laughed.

Uh, okay.

“You really want ketchup?”

He nodded. I wiped the mustard off with a napkin and walked over to the ketchup station. When I returned this time, Jiro seemed quite happy and didn’t even try to point out the remaining specks of mustard on his wiener.

By the time I had a chance to take the first bite of my Chicken Bake, Satchel was just about done with his entire hot dog. He started singing a song with the lyrics No more work/In my mouth/Or Miss Melissa/Will be upset, which prompted me to ask what had happened at school.

Jiro ate a few bites of his hot dog and then decided it would be more fun to play with it. After a few moments of him manhandling it, I took it away, wrapped it up, and put it in my purse for later. (Double ew!)

My Chicken Bake was basically chicken breast and cheese rolled in dough and deep fried with Caesar dressing on the side for dipping. It tasted okay, nothing special. Two bites in, Satchel looked at me and said, (all together now) “I need to poop.”

“Me too!” said Jiro.

“Are you serious?” I asked certain that they had both gone before leaving the house.

They nodded.

I looked at Warren, prepared to pass the buck, when the monkeys both started giggling and said, “We’re teasing you!”

Ha ha.

Back to the Chicken Bake. I ate half of it and gave the other half to Warren who had no trouble polishing off the Polish.

“I need some water,” Satchel said.

I looked at his untouched cup of Coke and wondered why he is always so hot to get a “forbidden” drink when he never drinks it. (Because he is five, maybe?) I dumped it out and filled his cup with water.

By now everyone was done eating. As we threw away our trash and planned our attack on the giant warehouse full-o-stuff, Satchel came up to me and started talking to me in his special sign language. He made a circle with his thumb and forefinger and motioned up and down. Up and down. Up and down.

“What are you trying to tell me?” I asked like I always do when he attempts to communicate with me with made-up symbols.

“I need to *moves circle up and down*.”


“I need to *moves circle up and down*.”

“You need to poop?” I asked.

“Yes!” he said, thrilled that I cracked the code.

“For real?” I asked.

“Yes!!” he said squirming a bit uncomfortably.

“Me too,” said Jiro.

And (of course) we were off to the (fairly clean and inoffensive) restrooms.

Later that night while we were getting ready for bed, Warren asked, “Is that hot dog still in your purse?”


Courtney said...

I grew up with the cheap costco food. I remember when the soda and hot dog combo was $1. I've also found that the pizza is pretty okay. I can get away with sharing an enormous slice with sofia and cj, so we can eat sometimes for $3. On other days we all split a hotdog combo, so we eat for $1.50.
I've never tried the salads because they seemed so pricey compared to everything else. And the chicken back has never been very good. But the veggie pizza has veggies!

Courtney said...

ewww. not chicken back. chicken bake.

Chip said...

Yeah, the chicken back is only at Sam's, not at Costco.

Unknown said...

Was that last question a euphemism?

Heather said...

You skipped a fabulous dessert!! They have ice cream bars that are made to order. They dip them in chocolate and then roll them in almonds. YUM!!!

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