Costco's food court hot dogs and pizzas are famous around the world, and with good reason, but all this time Costco has been missing one obvious item to complete the heavenly triumvirate of American food court junk food: a cheeseburger. Now a new double cheeseburger has been spotted at a Costco food court in California, and it looks glorious.
Costco has tested cheeseburgers before, but none of them have really stuck the way the hot dogs and pizzas have. Last summer, Costco started a new cheeseburger test at 10 locations, and the internet was thrilled. Eater LA said the new burgers looked just like Shake Shack's, and everyone wanted to try one.
Initial reviews seemed to be mixed, though. In July, Buzzfeed said it was not bad, but a little dry and underwhelming. A Costco shopper told the Orange County Register it was "OK," but that he wouldn't go out of his way to buy it again.
Over on Reddit's subforum devoted to all things Costco, a user going by jonzehcnas posted a photo of a Costco food court in Carlsbad, California, that serves a cheeseburger, but this one looks different.
Menu signs posted around the internet in July showed a 1/3-pound, single-patty burger listed at 1140 calories. The cheese was on the top, the dressing was on the bottom, and the burger sat on a lettuce leaf and a slice of tomato.
The photo in jonzehcnas' post shows a two-patty burger totaling six ounces of beef — so .375 pounds instead of .33 pounds of total weight, with a calorie count of 1030. The dressing is on the top, the cheese is between the patties, and the tomatoes on the bottom appear to be diced. Both burgers are made with organic ingredients and cost $4.99.
Several commenters seemed to think $4.99 was a lot for a Costco hamburger. The burger does seem like a comparatively high-market item, considering Costco has charged only $1.50 for a quarter-pound hotdog and soda since the 1980s, but it is enormous. A person would be hard-pressed to find a six-ounce organic burger for $4.99 anywhere other than Costco.
The Reddit thread's original poster actually bought the burger and reported thinking that it was worth the price and very good.
Of course, it is a universally acknowledged truth that any burger in California must be compared with In-N-Out for any real assessment to be made. This one apparently stacks up pretty well.
"It's not in the same category of burger, it's a bit more fancy," jonzehcnas explained. "Though if they were both put side to side, I would find it difficult to choose which is better."
That's extremely high praise in California. In-N-Out Burger is Ina Garten's favorite fast-food item, and it was Julia Child's too.
Costco's food court menu could really use a good cheeseburger, and this one looks stunning. With any luck, meaty, buttery, cheesy burgers will be joining the permanent menu at a Costco near all of us soon. It might be enormous, but I'm pretty sure that I could make room for it with a little advance notice.
What do you think of the Costco cheeseburger?