Thursday, September 10, 2015

Enjoying Familiar Costco Grub in Vancity!

After landing in Vancouver, settling in and in search of a few necessities which also included lunch, I ventured forth to find the downtown Costco (605 Expo Boulevard, Vancouver) and it's famed Food Court.

First the hard part was actually find this place.  Based on my Google Mapping of the place it was supposed to be easy to find right near both BC Place and Rogers Arena.  Seemed simple enough.  

My first attempt saw me try going down Georgia Street and the Georgia Viaduct looking for a way around BC Place Stadium.  Big mistake as all I got were stunning views across False Creek to Science World and no exit in sight.  So I backtracked and decided to head down Beatty Street in hopes of finding a coffee shop with Wifi.

Before I could find a Starbucks or Tim Hortons for Wifi, I stumbled across a ramp leading to a parking garage with a sign overhead saying "Costco Wholesale".


...Not quite as I was on foot. Next to the ramp was a park with pedestrian entryway with stairs that looked like it lead to the parking garage.


...Not quite as the door was locked.  I turned around figuring I was snookered.  Should I venture down the parking ramp on foot to the disgust of many a driver?   Hmmmmm....  As I was thinking and scanning around I saw another Costco Wholesale logo which accompanied a map.  Apparently I wasn't the only one to question how to get to Costco from here.  But perhaps they could move the map to the opposite stairwell where I tried and failed entering Costco from there.

I followed the directions on the map around to the Dunsmuir Viaduct and took the stairs (next to the elevator) just before reaching Rogers Arena when heading from downtown.  A tip on accessing Costco from here:  Take the elevator down!  The stairs wind their way around the elevator shaft making them a little longer than necessary compared to the traditional switchback style of most staircases.

After a little shopping and exiting the regular Costco store,  I ventured over to the food court.  Yes, this is a different type of Costco Food Court as the restaurant access is located outside the store as opposed to within the membership checked area.

I waited in the short line to order my usual Costco cheap lunch for $4.86:

The Order: 1 Jumbo Hot Dog, Soft Drink and Fries.

After paying and assembling my food, I asked for the usual tray for the meal and got the weirdest answer from Costco:

"We don't have trays".


Apparently the trays have been stolen or used for other unmentionable purposes.

I made several valiant efforts to juggle my food over to the drink station, condiment station and back to the food counter to inquire about napkins.  Unlike other Costcos where the napkins are located directly next to the ketchup, mustard and relish dispensers, this Costco has it right next where you order.  I presume this is so customers and non-customers are supervised so they only take what they need.

Finally, after almost getting lost and ending up in the far reaches of Burnaby and shopping at Costco I could eat!

Costco Food Court Jumbo Hot Dog
Jumbo Hot Dog

The Hot Dog was the usual standard all beef hot dog that is very similar to what you would get at a baseball game or from urban downtown hotdog stand.  In fact at less than two dollars with a fountain soft drink included this hot dog puts Ikea's famous hot dog deal to shame.

Costco Food Court Fries
The fries were the usual Costco slightly breaded fries.  These, I would argue, could be improved by changing them to a more freshly sliced technique made famous by New York Fries (i.e. slice the potatoes into fries and fry them up!).  That is to say to improve on an already decent product to make it even better.  Perhaps though this idea was considered to be too time consuming or costly so shipping them in a unique breaded style was better. To say the least, Costco fries aren't my all time favorites, but they aren't my least favorite either.

Overall, this Costco's uniqueness of being outside the members only store is great for those in the area looking for a cheap quick bite to eat while not being a Costco member.  With average Costco fare along with decent service that Costco Members have come to expect, this is a great spot to grab a hot dog, fries, pizza and a drink.

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