|About 20 minutes before the 10 a.m. opening today, Costco Wholesale members were crowding into the vestibule and jockeying for position outside the warehouse in the Teterboro Landing Shopping Center off of Route 46 in Teterboro, above and below.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
In a mere two and a half hours this morning, I filled the gas tank of my wife's hybrid car at the Costco Wholesale gas station, had a repair made on one of the tires and bought more than $330 worth of food and flowers.
I've been stopping at my favorite food stores since last Friday. Usually, the pre-Thanksgiving crowds have been manageable, and at one or two places they were non-existent.
My major purchase at Costco today was $59.81 for Wild Cooked Red King Crab Legs at $21.99 a pound, about $2 more a pound than last year, according to the Costco employee who weighed and bagged them.
I'll cut the crab meat into large chunks for a cold salad dressed with Dijon mustard, fresh lime juice, cumin and other spices -- a luxurious appetizer for our Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.
For crunch, I'll add diced celery and sweet peppers.
The rest of our Thanksgiving menu includes:
Maryland-style jumbo lump crab cakes from Phillips Seafood Restaurants, sold frozen at Costco ($16.99 for six 3-ounce cakes).
We'll also roast turkey drumsticks and thighs from the Goffle Road Poultry Farm in Wyckoff. See:
A trip to the turkey farm
And we'll have a side dish of sweet potatoes mashed with extra-virgin olive oil and a salad of Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix, also from Costco (1 pound is $4.79).
During the holidays, ShopRite supermarkets are selling 5-pound boxes of sweet potatoes for only $2.49.
We'll drink Kirkland Signature Prosecco, a sparkling wine from Italy sold at the Wayne Costco; and have fruit and cheese for dessert, including Lake Country Asiago, a hard, reduced-fat cheese from Wisconsin made with part-skimmed cow's milk ($5.69 a pound at Costco).
Most of the food I bought today were items we use year-round, including two dozen Kirkland Signature Organic Cage Free Eggs for $5.99 or $1 less than before.
A 22-ounce jar of Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto was $7.79, an 18-ounce package of fresh Blueberries from Peru was $6.99 and a pound of Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon was $14.89.
A dozen 10-ounce bottles of Naked 100% Juice Smoothies, with no added sugar, were $10.59 with an instant coupon; and a 64-ounce bottle of Naked Green Machine was $5.99.
A pound of fresh Organic Spinach was $3.99 and 3 pounds of Organic Bananas were $1.99.
The Costco warehouse in Teterboro is too large for a shopper who makes a list and goes looking for individual items on it.
Instead, with list in hand, walk methodically up and down each aisle and when you see a item you need, grab it.
I leave produce, milk, eggs (moved to the cold room marked "Dairy") and fresh fish for last, then head for the checkout lanes.
|Red King Crab Legs and Claws at Costco's Seafood Road Show.|
|Nor do I buy Costco's wildly popular but low-quality Seasoned Rotisserie Chickens, which are raised on antibiotics. See: Chicken makes good dog food.|
|Costco's pre-seasoned chickens arrive in boxes. They are fully cooked at the warehouse, although members complain about bloody and under-cooked birds. Ingredients include sodium phosphate, carrageenan, sugar and dextrose.|
From Costco's small selection of hard cheeses, I chose Lake Country Asiago from Wisconsin.
I got a good deal at Costco on a 3-pound bag of medium-to-dark-roast coffee beans from Guatemala ($5.26 a pound), but grinding them in a coffee mill near the food court took a lot longer than I expected, below.
Regular gasoline for my wife's Toyota Prius was $2.04.9 today, and a friendly Costco employee did the pumping. New Jersey recently raised the gas tax by 23 cents a gallon.
There was only one car ahead of me. The Costco gas station and tire store open before the warehouse.
The fish counter at the Super H Mart at 321 Broad Ave. in Ridgefield offers too much choice. This supermarket is the biggest Bergen County store in the Korean chain. On Thursday, I bought whole wild-caught Porgy for $2.99 a pound.
|Once you assemble all of the ingredients in a foil-lined pan, the haddock cooks in about 12 minutes in a pre-heated 400-degree oven.|
A 5-pound box of Bagu Clementines from Spain were $5.99 at the Super H Mart, compared to $7.99 for the same clementines I bought at the H Mart in Little Ferry on Nov. 6.
|Two 5-ounce containers of Olivia's Organic Spring Mix were $3.99.|
The Super H Mart has one of the biggest selection of prepared Korean food, including pancakes, below.
|A package of Pan-Fried Seafood and Chive Pancakes was $5.99.|
|The Super H Mart was a pleasure to shop in on Monday afternoon around 2:15.|
Around lunchtime on Friday, Jerry's Gourmet & More at 410 S. Dean St. in Englewood was busier than usual. On the way there, I braved the crowd jammed into the small retail store at Balthazar Bakery, 214 S. Dean St., for a pair of $2 baguettes.
Jerry's complete restaurant-quality Meals To Go are $7.99 and $5.99 after 4 p.m. I bought one fish and two chicken dinners.
I gladly paid full price for my Tilapia Marechiaro Dinner with Linguine in White Clam Sauce, Roasted Potatoes, Broccoli with Garlic and Zucchini Stuffed with Vegetable, above and below.
Dinner was complete with a glass of red wine and an organic spring mix salad.
Ignore the overpriced wine and beer at the International Food Warehouse at 370 Essex St. in Lodi. I only bought a couple of items, including a 3-liter tin of Artemis-brand Extra-Virgin Olive Oil from Greece ($20.99).
Also at the International Food Warehouse, a Whole Wheat Lavash from Damascus Bakeries is labeled "natural," but has a long list of ingredients, including sugar and corn starch, below.