Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Costco Wholesale experience starts in the parking lot

One of my favorite summer dishes is fresh, wild sockeye salmon from Costco Wholesale grilled on the stove top and smothered in a reduction of organic diced tomatoes, chopped garlic, red wine and fresh herb. Here, I served it with mashed Korean sweet potatoes.

Today, I discuss the bad manners some Costco Wholesale shoppers exhibit in the parking lot, some of my favorite items from the warehouse store, elusive Jersey Fruit and more.


You can separate Costco Wholesale shoppers by those who want to park as close to the front door as possible -- and will slam on their brakes and block the entrance to the lot -- and those who don't mind walking from spaces in the back.

The lazy shopper also thinks nothing of leaving the big Costco shopping cart between cars or up against a fender.

Other Costco shoppers I have spoken to complain most about the lot, which one woman described as "a zoo."

In Hackensack, the entrance to the lot leads almost directly to the front doors. But in Wayne, the entrance to the lot is far from the doors, meaning less congestion.

At the Costco Wholesale in Hackensack this afternoon, a lazy shopper left this shopping cart between two cars.
I enjoyed leftover wild salmon and a baked sweet potato for dinner tonight, followed by a salad of Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix.

Wild salmon, nuts and spring mix

Fresh, wild sockeye salmon continues to top my list of Costco favorites, now selling for $9.99 a pound.

I have been grilling the fillets skin side down on top of the stove and smothering them in a reduction of Kirkland Signature Organic Diced Tomatoes, garlic, red wine and fresh herbs cooked separately.

A 1.57-pound fillet I bought on Monday yielded six serving pieces.

I also bought a 3-pound bag of sodium-free Kirkland Signature Almonds ($14.99), roasted them at home for 1 hour and 20 minutes at 275 degrees and dusted some of them with Ground Saigon Cinnamon from Costco.

Today, I picked up another 1-pound tub of triple-washed Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix ($4.99) with an expiration date of Aug. 13, 2014.

At the ShopRite in Paramus on Monday, I couldn't find any Jersey peaches and settled for fruit from South Carolina, on sale for 99 cents a pound. But they were listed on my receipt as "PEACH JERSEY." At Costco Wholesale in Hackensack later in the day, the 2-pound container of blueberries ($4.79) was from Michigan, not New Jersey.

Both of these bottles from the Italian Wine Club (Giordano) contained 750 milliliters of wine.
As seen from the car

On Wednesday, I drove by Pine Hill, a Korean restaurant in Paramus, and saw a huge dumpster near the door and scaffolding against the building's glass front on Paramus Road.

Pine Hill, where I have enjoyed lunches and dinners in recent years, looked as if it has been closed for months.

Driving east on Route 46, I looked across the highway and a new Chinese restaurant called Lan Garden appears to be open after many months of renovation to the building, a former truck-stop diner that once housed China 46.

The cyclone fence blocking the parking lot was gone and I saw three or four cars parked head on in front of the building at 88 Route 46 west in Ridgefield.

The large red sign that said the restaurant specializes in seafood and dim sum has been changed.

China 46, which had a liquor license, closed in 2007. Before that another Chinese restaurant, Phoenix Garden Too, operated there.

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