On Friday at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, some of the free samples contained poultry, such as the mini tacos, above. The samples are prepared and offered by employees of a company called CDS, and I don't know whether it is affiliated with Costco.
Editor's note: Today's buffet includes a warning about free samples at Costco Wholesale, the simple pleasures of preparing meals at home, a visit to my favorite Korean tofu house and shopping at H Mart in Englewood.
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Don't shop for food when you're hungry, especially on Mondays at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, where you'll have a hard time finding any free samples.
Last Monday, the only samples that didn't contain chicken, which I don't eat, were tiny cups of aloe drink.
Two CDS employees confirmed that the fewest samples are provided on the first day of the workweek.
At the Hackensack warehouse store on Friday, I tried a little salad with queso fresco and sweet-and-sour pickles, which gave me gas and a bloated feeling.
Two other free samples I saw, ravioli and mini tacos, contained chicken and cheese.
|One CDS employee said fewer samples are offered on Mondays, because they are "slow."|
Simple food, simple pleasures
Kirkland Signature 100% Egg Whites and reduced-fat Swiss cheese slices from Costco make a great omelet, especially with bottled Mexican green salsa or salsa verde, above, available at Hackensack Market, ShopRite and other stores.
In the last few weeks, Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix has exploded with the peppery flavor of arugula, above and below. Spring mix over warm organic brown rice adds up to a simple, delicious dinner.
|What's for breakfast? A wedge of sweet potato frittata with organic brown rice and Mexican green salsa.|
|So Gong Dong serves four free side dishes, including cucumber kimchi, above, and cabbage kimchi, below, and when you finish them, they are replenished without any need to prompt the servers.|
|Side dishes of seasoned bean sprouts, above, and radish and raw squid, below, the spiciest of the four.|
|A Korean pancake or pajun with seafood serves four and comes with a dipping sauce, below ($11.99).|
|A scissor is supplied to cut the beef barbecue.|
|Part of the place-mat menu.|
|The second-floor entrance of So Gong Dong, 118 Broad Ave., Palisades Park (201-313-5550). Open seven days.|
Wild shrimp from Mexico
At H Mart in Englewood on Saturday, I asked to use the public restroom upstairs, and discovered it wasn't renovated when the store got a welcome makeover.
Still, the food downstairs looked as good as always, and I picked up large, wild shrimp from Mexico ($14.49 a pound), collard greens (99 cents a pound) and from the wide selection of prepared food, Stewed Tofu ($3.99), Stewed Pollock ($6.99) and an Assortment of Pan-Fried Seafood Pancakes ($6.49), all from Jinga, a food company in Queens.
One-pound packages of sweet Driscoll's Strawberries from California were two for $3.99.
|At H Mart in Englewood, clockwise from the top, seafood pancakes, seaweed-and-rice rolls called kimbap and spicy fried chicken.|
|The selection of panchan or side dishes is extensive.|