Sunday, October 20, 2013

Warehouse Pizza - Costco

Once this exercise is done, there won't be a pizza stone unturned.

Today, we dip down into the world of mass produced warehouse food with a trip to the Costco Food Court.  I am confident that the Costco experience will be consistent across their stores, so you could probably apply this review to the Costco in your own town!

As you can see . . . a slice of Pepperoni is $1.99.  That's on the less-expensive side of what I have been eating, for sure.  IF the pizza slices were a comparable size.

This is a behemoth slice of 'za.  It's a two-hander as you carry it to the plastic picnic bench.  So, they are off to a good start.

Plus, the smell of this slice was amazing.  I was eager to eat it, with the distinctive Italian food aroma wafting up to me.  It smelled spicy.  It enticed me with the aural blend of spices. This just might be the best value yet.  Maybe.

The taste, well . . . it jumped down into the "serviceable" realm.  Not bad, but ... let's just walk through it.

Overall Impression:  Well, it's a bustling warehouse.  With efficient, but not special, service.  Counter jockey takes and fulfills my order.  That's actually fine with me.  But, you are sitting on smooth plastic benches under massive lights.  So, you don't go to Costco for the unique dining atmosphere.  Score: 1 out of 5.

Crust:  It featured a chewy crust that was the right size under the toppings and quite bready at the edges.  It was not bad, but not special. You will certainly get full if you eat it all, although you may elect to leave some of the crust edge behind unless you are famished and need a full belly for a while.  It gets extra points because it can hold the weight of the toppings pretty well.  Score: 5 out of 10

Cheese:  The quantity is fine, but the only word I could come up with was "unremarkable."  The score would go up if either the cheese seemed like a higher quality or you got a massive quantity.  They sell their pizzas as bake-at-home, too, and I'd probably add some flavorful mix to the pie before baking.  One interesting note - as I ate it, I felt like I was eating a greasy pizza, but my fingers and face weren't greasy at all.  Curious . . .
Score: 2 out of 5

Sauce:  Slightly bland.  Accessible for all.  Not the reason to buy the slice, but not a major detraction.  Score: 2 out of 5

Pepperoni:  There is a slightly smoky char flavor to the pepperoni slices, which is very nice.  I like the spiciness of what is the best feature of this pizza.  Score: 4 out of 5.

Price/Value:  Based on sheer weight alone (the photo of the pizza is on a full size plate, not an appetizer-sized plate), this is a winner.  $1.99 for mega-pounds of junk food?  Good deal.  The full pie is 18" and they get 6 slices out of it.  That's a big slice.  Score: 5 out of 5.

Overall score:  19 out of 35.  Yep.  If you happen to be in Costco and don't like Hot Dogs, this is an okay choice to get real full, real fast.  But you wouldn't seek it out. (Their Hot Dogs are the best deal in fast food - better than gas station deals!  $1.50 for a 1/4 pound+ Hot Dog and a 20oz refillable soda.  Crazy.)

Scorecard so far:

1.  Ian's on State = 26 points
2. (tie) Falbo Brothers = 25 points
    (tie) La Fortuna = 25 points
4.  Pizza Pit Extreme = 21 points
5.  Costco = 19 points
6.  Pizza di Roma = 17 points
7.  Rocky Rococo = 14 points