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Costco Hot Dogs (moved from L.A. board)

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  • subal Jun 5, 2009 08:05 PM
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Several weeks ago I read on a hot dog thread here that Costco had quit serving Hebrew National dogs. We were at the Yorba Linda/Anaheim Hills location and asked if this was true.

Tha food manager advised that Costco was running trials at sone stores , serving their in house brand Kirkland, but not at this location. They said they never realized how many people were concerned about this, yet even knowing of the trial. No info if it is going to be a permanent change!

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  1. Still serving HN at the Burbank location.

    1. Last week at the Costco in Canoga Park they were selling the Kirkland hot dogs in refrigerated case and still selling the Hebrew National at the food court.

      1. We love Costco but the Best Dog (Polish) is the NEW Nathan's Polish Dog at SAM'S no comparison.
        If in Chicago the Vienna Natural casing Polish dog is very good also, not easy to find in LA.

        4 Replies
        1. re: russkar

          Last week I checked out the new Weenie Shack in Woodland Hills. They feature Vienna products. One of the Vienna product poster's on the wall was a Vienna Spicy Polish dog which I tried. It was OK, but I don't think it had a natural casing.

          Weenie Shack
          21014 Ventura Blvd.
          Woodland Hills
          (818)710-1934

          1. re: monku

            If it didn't SNAP it wasn't natural casing which is rare in Calif.

            Sam's Club's Nathan's Polish Dog (not natural casing) is going to Rock your World blows Costco away!

          2. re: russkar

            I don't have a membership at Costco or Sams, but non-members can still purchase hotdogs, pizzas, etc at Costco because most of their food courts are outside. Do you know if SAMS is like that?

            1. re: HBfoodie

              The Sam's in Fullerton is located just inside the exit. You can time it to go in the out door (when someone walks out) and get a hotdog w/o membership.

          3. From what I recall, the reason for the change was due to a production problem with the largest kosher meat packer going bankrupt and a problem with supplying the stores nationally with the hot dogs.

            5 Replies
            1. re: fourunder

              The real story from Costco
              http://www.costcoconnection.com/conne...

              1. re: monku

                shocking. I might have to rethink a tradition. if it aint hebrew national, it aint as reliable.

                1. re: monku

                  Did the article really say the new quarter pound dogs are 10% heavier than the old quarter pound dogs? So the older ones were short-weight? The new ones are 4.4 ounces?

                  1. re: Akitist

                    Seems like it must be 4.4 ounces.
                    0.4 ounces = 11.3 dollar bills.

                    1. re: Akitist

                      I think they are calling these a "quarter pound plus"

                2. I wrote to the CEO a couple of months ago and asked if he would have Turkey dogs for us who don't eat Beef hot dogs..haven't heard back..
                  What's up with that?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    For those that don't eat beef don't they have the turkey wrap and the chicken bake?

                    1. re: monku

                      yeah, but nothing like a 'turkey' dog and a soda for $1.50!

                  2. I actually prefer the Kirkland to the Hebrew Nat'l.

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Heretic!!!

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Like mine with the the addition of the little sauerkraut provided when requested

                        1. re: soto i am

                          I have never heard about sauerkraut available, does it come in packets or do they apply it to the dogs before serving?

                          1. re: DWB

                            You have to ask for it. Served on the side in a little cup. Some Costco's have it some don't.

                            1. re: monku

                              The torrance costco has always had it available. Used to be you got as many as you wanted but times have changed and now only one is provided. Additional cups are a quarter apiece.

                              1. re: soto i am

                                At our Costco's in Orange County, the little cups of sauerkraut are served warm if you ask for it that way.

                                They all still have the Hebrew National umbrellas but I have to say that the Polish (my choice) just doesn't taste the same. Could be the dogs are still HN but the Polish are Kirkland. Need to ask.

                        2. re: ipsedixit

                          Must respectfully disagree. We had dogs very recently, and both my daughter and I noted that they were a different color and mealier. Now I read they don't put fillers in, but to our taste they did not have that particularly juicy meaty taste of the Hebrew National. This is a sad time for us; shopping at Costco, ending with a Hebrew National, and an occasional slice of pizza, had become a tradition.

                          And they do have the sauerkraut at the Marina Costco.

                          1. re: Bruin2

                            There is also sauerkraut at Signal Hill and Northridge. In both places, it is kept warm until served.

                            1. re: susans

                              Costco's I go to they take it out of the refrigerator.
                              Burbank, Los Feliz & Alhambra.

                              1. re: monku

                                doh, same costcos I go to!

                                1. re: ns1

                                  Maybe we've rubbed shoulders at the condiment bar....I'm at one of them at least once a week.

                                  I'm a Costco fanatic from being a shareholder to wherever I travel I've got to visit the local Costco.

                                  1. re: monku

                                    You and me both - I HAVE to visit the local Costco no matter where I am!

                        3. So far, they still have HN at my Northridge Costco. If they stop, I'll either switch to a slice of pizza or I'll saunter over to the nearby Pinkberry. In my book, the Costco HN Polish dog and coke is the best value in town. I'll miss it, but won't switch to the Non-kosher "all beef dog," or whatever it's called.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Golem

                            Although I like the Hebrew Nat. Spicy Polish a lot (but rarely buy one) I'm gonna try the Kirkland Polish at least once! Hey, ipsedixit prefers it!

                            1. re: sel

                              It isn't a "spicy Polish", it's just Polish Sausage (mild).
                              It's tough for me to tell the difference between the hot dog and Polish Sausage...they look almost the same and on a few occaisions I think they've given me the hot dog. Both are good.

                              1. re: monku

                                Yea, you're right. The HN Polish does taste a BIT spicier than the regular Hot Dog albeit not really spicy.

                                1. re: monku

                                  I've never been able to tell the difference between the polish and the hot dog lol

                                  1. re: ns1

                                    Haven't had the polish in awhile but I remember it having a stronger taste than the hot dog not spicier

                                  2. re: monku

                                    The hot dog is good. I tried the Polish once, and was disappointed in its lack of zip. Not that I'm a Kielbasa Konnoisseur, but it was a real "why bother" to me. So I haven't since.

                              2. Ok, been to numerous Costcos in several countries (the ones in Mexico- TJ & Ensenada are bigger but less "meaty") and states, its seems Costcos trying to pull a fast one, they serve the good hot dogs (original Sinai 48) in the northern CA and of course WA at least as of a month ago

                                I don't buy their excuse that they can't get "that" hot dog made, its their cost cutting. They switched all the So Cal Costcos from Sinai 48 to the cheaper smaller H N now this?
                                Costco can get anyone to make anything just because of their sheer volume. Even Pinks with a single location can get their custom made by a local meat processor.

                                Also have you noticed their freakin soda cups always dissolve at the bottom! I guess its so people can't use it again later in the day.

                                25 Replies
                                1. re: pob1035

                                  I've never had the problem with their soda cup bottoms "dissolving".

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    put it in your cars cup holder at lunch on a hot day and wait a few hours.... then take a look at the bottom... had it happen many times and with different drinks (but mostly I get the pink lemonade cause no caffiene)

                                    1. re: pob1035

                                      I don't think those cups were intended to be kept in a hot car's cupholder for hours on end.

                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                      I've had a couple that by the end of the day if there's liquid in it they leak a little at the bottom seams.

                                      1. re: monku

                                        A whole day? Drink up, already.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          sample scenario: I get a hot dog at the Costco in Chino Hills for lunch with 1 fill up and go to the COI or Glendora location for a refill

                                          or I might get 2 hot dogs since they are smaller now to fill up and so have a spare cup

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            I think its an unwritten Costco rule.
                                            You never leave with an empty cup even if you're not thirsty....or does that sound like a Chinese thing.

                                      2. re: pob1035

                                        Oh and had a Costco hot dog at the Nei Hu location in Taiwan (month ago), the dog was ok but bun was stale (and in a country where fresh baked goods is really abundant) didnt seem to stop all the locals from chowing down...I should've complained... and the sauerkraut was in the big stainless pot like it used to be back in US (until Costco got cheap ass or sanitary) .... I hate sauerkraut thats been steamed, I like it cold & crunchy some locations have it cold others warm/steamed

                                        oh yeah do not get the promo peking duck pizza at Costco in Nei Hu Taiwan, again crust was old and the pizza was under the heat lamps too long.

                                        Agree that the Sams hot dogs are getting better now with Nathans, most of the food courts are in doors unlike Costco, but locally City of Industry is outside and Fullerton is at the exit so you can kinda get in just for the food cart

                                        1. re: pob1035

                                          25 years at $1.50, that's a pretty good record and still a deal. They're promising a new product that's just as good if not better. Don't think there's a Kirkland product I've ever been disappointed with.

                                          As far as the soda cup goes, the $1.50 includes a hot dog/Polish Sausage and a 20 oz. drink w/ refill..........not REFILLS.

                                          1. re: monku

                                            LOL.... what are you trying to say.. that I've been using the same cup too long?

                                            Deal? not really look at Sams, same price and bigger sturdier (though not as good for the enviro) stryofoam cups more drink choices (heads up the new/remodeled El Monte location has horchata & tamarind drinks- though the horchata is really sweet)

                                            Kirkland private brand stuff is ok, its mid to uppper mid line stuff, but anything that doesn't work out: tires, refrigerators, washer/dryer etc etc they just stop offering

                                            went to the Seatle (or the Costco nearest to it) WA and they even have a mini paint factory (they actually mix the ingredients not just the color) in there and they do computer repair

                                            1. re: pob1035

                                              "what are you trying to say.. that I've been using the same cup too long?".......Do people do that?

                                              Know nothing about Sam's hot dogs, but sounds like I should look into it.

                                              1. re: monku

                                                yea, their pizzas a better deal too if you like more meat/ toppings, but a few times the dough doesn't taste as fresh but they do cook it more thorough unlike Costco which tends to still be raw

                                                heres a tip for getting in if you don't have membership, go through the tire entrance for locations like Chino or Glendora or tell them you forgot your card then just go to the food court

                                                the saurkraut is in a sealed bag thats sometimes cold or room temp

                                                1. re: pob1035

                                                  heres a tip for getting in if you don't have membership, go through the tire entrance for locations like Chino or Glendora or tell them you forgot your card then just go to the food court
                                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                  pob1035,

                                                  This is not to single you out, so please do not take it as so. Your post is simply the last one at the moment and there is another with a similar suggestion to get into Costco stores......

                                                  My observation is this....why all the stealth and deception to try and buy a hot dog and soda for $1.50? Just walk in and say you are thinking of joining and would like some information.......if you actually think about it for a second, there is no lie or deception and you can enjoy your meal a little easier without trying to catch the door without timing when another person leaves....(tongue in cheek or not).

                                                  ;;;---)))

                                                  1. re: fourunder

                                                    Or you can point to someone in who just walked in and say "I'm with him". Or I don't have a membership but want to use the pharmacy.

                                                    It's the game, no one really cares.

                                                    1. re: monku

                                                      Or just go to a Costco with a food court that is outside.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        That won't work in some countries (like Mexico), they card you!

                                                    2. re: fourunder

                                                      I have membership to both and all the ones before it: Price Club, Price Costco, Pace etc.

                                                      its all tongue in cheek, Costco spins the hot dog thing a year or two ago in their mag, then quietly switches to the Heb Nat dogs in So Cal while still offering the Sinai 48 up north

                                                      I think what happened is that they figured out how to turn it into a money making (or more money making) if you look at the construction & other costs....

                                                      meanwhile fast food chains are able to offering a decent dollar menu, like Tuesday at Popeyes get 2 piece for 99 cents

                                                      1. re: pob1035

                                                        A popeye's 2 piece for 99 cents + 1.54 for a drink ONLY on tuesdays or a 1.50 hot dog and drink everyday

                                                        Seriously, costco =/= fast food joint

                                                      2. re: fourunder

                                                        Or just say you're going to the food court. Shockingly simple, I know. I used to be a Costco greeter and people did it all the time and we didn't bat an eye.

                                                        1. re: Lixer

                                                          Lixer,

                                                          Honesty????? Really.

                                                          Now would that work for general members trying to get in an hour earlier, like the business members do?

                                                          :-)

                                                          1. re: fourunder

                                                            If it worked, you would probably need to ship for an hour before buying anything since the cards are different.

                                                            1. re: michele cindy

                                                              mc,

                                                              I'll assume you mean (shop). but for me it does not matter.....I am a business member.....

                                                              or, the cashier can just look the other way.....and assume since they were let in....what's the big deal.

                                                              For the record.....I do not condone circumventing rules in place....my position is it none of my business....no one is really getting hurt.

                                                              1. re: fourunder

                                                                I wish I had the nerve to circumvent - I'm a wimp when it comes to that type of stuff. Like you I don't care what others do, but I have too many guilt issues I guess! :)

                                                                1. re: michele cindy

                                                                  In San Diego and LA, all of our food courts are outdoors, so anyone can walk up and get a hot dog, pizza, chicken wrap, etc. They have never asked for the Costco card.

                                              2. re: pob1035

                                                Sinai 48 was manufactured by BESTS Kosher, owned by Sara Lee. It was shut down months ago.
                                                Hebrew National is owned by Conagra

                                                There is limited amounts of Kosher beef avilable to process. Remember, only the front half of the animal is usable for kosher product. It is not possible to just order huge quantities of Kosher hots dogs from a processor.

                                                There was a major immigration raid at Agriprocessors in Postville, IA that shut the plant down, they were the largest slaughterer of kosher meat in the US. Thetre has been a shortgae of kosher meat product that has been easing over time.

                                                Costco has sold the kosher hot dog and a soda as a loss leader. It costs them more than the $1.50 for the dog, roll, soda, cup, lid, straw, napkin and condiments. But, it brings families in and they spend money.

                                              3. Had my first Kirkland dog today. A major step down. Kinda suprised that Costco would put the Kirkland brand on it. Slightly off taste, kinda like a mild liquid smoke, but mostly a texture issue. Grainy, yet mushy. Very odd, not enjoyable. Never could pass the food court without grabbing a dog, now it will be 1.50 saved.

                                                1. Costco is making a huge mistake by getting rid of the Kosher dog. They have no idea how it's such a strong part of what them Costco! Kosher is the best and I hope they go back. Sometimes I think companies have no freakin idea about customers!!

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: swrecruiter

                                                    It's unlikely they can get Kosher anymore. I'm just surprised they didn't get something better than they did.

                                                    1. re: swrecruiter

                                                      I guess then we don't believe them that there is not enough supply of Kosher meat production to meet their needs???

                                                      1. re: Midlife

                                                        They said that to me but I called HN and thy told me that's not true!

                                                        1. re: swrecruiter

                                                          Saw your post down at the bottom. I don't doubt your word, but that's a major thing for a company to tell a random consumer about one of the largest retailers in the US.

                                                          Given that so many posters here say that HN is still sold at THEIR local Costco, could it be more like Costco responding to last year's major shortage of Kosher meats a year ago, due to INS raids (several online stories about it)? It's possible Costco decided to take defensive measures to broaden their supplier base and protect that business. If HN was a clear sales leader, and the supply came back to normal, I don't see them not going back. Could it also be that they sold just as many non-Kosher dogs?

                                                          I don't personally like the dogs at my local Costco and they still have the HN umbrellas there. Maybe everyone doesn't share your feeling that they're the only good dogs?

                                                    2. Hey, it's just a hot dog. And it's a buck fifty. Just enjoy.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: NewDude

                                                        No such thing as just a hot dog..............
                                                        I wouldn't eat a mixed blend with chicken in it...blech!
                                                        I had a Hebrew National at the Costco In MIlford, CT today. They say there is no plan to change away from HN in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area.

                                                      2. After reading this thread I asked at the Costco in Canoga Park (CA) if they were selling HN or Kirkland. I was told that they were still selling HN but would switch soon to Kirkland; she didn't know when. I snagged a couple of HN and was happy.

                                                        1. If you like a spicy kick, try your Costco dog this way. Order it with sauerkraut, and then add mustard, and sprinkle it with about 5 of the red chili flakes packets they leave out for the pizza. Really good!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: michele cindy

                                                            Five packets of the red pepper flakes? That would make anything spicy! You wouldn't even be able to see the hot dog anymore, lol..

                                                            1. re: monkuboy

                                                              I'd say it comes to almost a tblsp.. You don't have to add that much of course! & they are pretty big dogs. I like it spicy

                                                          2. Ok just spent several days at the Arlington, VA / Washington DC area and I have to say Costco is jyping the rest of us, the hot dogs at the Fern St location near the Pentagon are like they used to be.

                                                            Advertised as 1/4 pound and they still are! plus the buns are soft & fresh with that grain stuff instead of sesame seeds.

                                                            downside, cups are still the same leaking after a few hours

                                                            You may want to ck out the chocolate shop with the chocolate Capitol Building, Pentagon and champagne bottle, was going to ship one back but ...

                                                            tip: parking is validated for 2 hours, if you hurry you can park and go visit the Pentagon Memorial

                                                            chicken bake is only so so, missing some of the scallions and bacon and cheese is sparse

                                                            1. Every 2-3 months I buy a package of Sinai National Dinner Franks at Costco (bought I should say now) at one of three locations within 15 miles of me. Because of a flood at my house, it's been a little longer between visits this time. Last time I bought any was in March I think. Last week I went to CostCo and did my shopping. I noticed the Dinner Frank was now the Kirkland Brand and the package said it was the same as was served at Costco Food Courts, so I figured, okay CostCo has bought out Sinai National. I paid for everything and stopped for my always anticipated treat of the hot dog lunch. Boy was I disappointed!! I didn't even finish my lunch. On the way out, I stopped at customer service and returned the dinner franks and the buns (what do I need the buns for without the Franks?) . Then I wrote a complaint and put it in the box at the counter. It has the texture of Spam now. Don't get me wrong. I actually like Spam, but not when I was expecting the fabulous hot dog I'm used to from Costco. My family is very small so there are only certain things I buy at Costco. One of them was the dinner franks. I understand from either somewhere in this discussion or one of the others that's going on about the issue, that Sinai National is no exists?. I'm hoping to find a good replacement for it, but it won't be what they have now, nor Hebrew National, which has soy protein in it. I can't remember but I think Casper's does also. Quell bummer!!
                                                              OH!! I had to return something else a couple of days later (this was a bad week at CostCo, something that has never happened before in the 15 years I've shopped at them). So I tried lunch again, but this time the Polish Dog (I don't give up easily). It was more like the old Sinai National and I liked it. Never liked the old Polish Dog before. So I will buy a package of the new Polish Dogs for home. In the meantime everyone who is dissatisfied with the new dinner frank/hot dog should be complaining. If it's a matter of cost, I'd pay more--just give me something as good as it's always been in the past.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: ruafoodie

                                                                If you read through the thread, you would know that Sinai Kosher, and Best Kosher are no more. There is a shortage of kosher beef, and Costco couldn't find anyone that could supply their demand. I agree, the Kirkland signature isn't very good. I've just given up on dinner franks.Better of going local and getting brats.

                                                                1. re: Bobfrmia

                                                                  HN told me that can easily support Costco. Costco just wants to cut corners by selling a non-kosher dog, which is cheaper, but you have no idea now what goes in it!

                                                                  1. re: swrecruiter

                                                                    Yes you do. They sell the same hot dogs inside the store. Ingredients are written on the package, along with nutritional information. There are laws that ensure that the ingredient list matches how they are made.

                                                                    They also sell HN inside the store and you can compare and just buy a pack of that brand if you choose.

                                                                    The lines in the Costco food court are not any shorter since they started selling the Kirkland brand items, people are not grossed out and spitting out the new hot and Polish dogs after the first bite as some stated above. Above all, the Kosher dogs were never prepared in a Kosher kitchen and anyone who keeps Kosher was not eating there anyhow.