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Nov 16, 2009 10:40 AM

Costco Nanuet Kosher Beef

Hi all,
Was just at the Costco in Nanuet (near Monsey), and they now have kosher beef. Was surprised to see that it wasn't Empire beef but two brands I had never heard of. One is Colorado Kosher, ( and the other is Teva Kosher Beef ( Colorado is under O-K supervision, and Teva is under OU.

Prices for stuff I bought:
10.99/lb first cut brisket
14.99 for 3 pounds of 85/15 ground beef (separated into 3 one pound "bricks".
13.99/lb boneless ribeye steaks

They also had short ribs, stew beef, bone-in rib steaks, chuck roasts, and london broil.

All of these are vacuum-packed and say freeze by Dec. 11-not a bad shelf life!

Can anyone comment on what other Costcos have these products available? New Rochelle, Manhattan, Hackensack?

By the way, they also have lots of other products there-Meal Mart deli (turkey, corned beef, pastrami), and Natural Kosher (chalav yisrael version of the Little Farm Girls cheese)-shredded mozzarella 7.99/2lb bag (obscene!) and blocks of sliced American and Muenster cheese.

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  1. Lucky! Costco in Brick (near Lakewood) has massive giant pound-and-a-half packages of Meal Mart cold cuts for, like, $10 but no one buys them. I guess they only want to shop at heimishe places? Maaris ayin, maybe? I have no idea, but Costco recently cut down the amount of refrigerator space devoted to kosher products.

    21 Replies
    1. re: The Cameraman

      Well, I have to drive 45 minutes or more from Connecticut to get to this one, so it's not SO lucky. They have those Meal Mart cold cuts there as well, not a big deal. There are lots of Monsey people shopping in this Costco, obviously.

      1. re: ravyossi

        You should check in New Rochelle has kosher meat as well, given that they have a kosher bakery and I've seen the Meal Mart stuff there. We were in Nanet today and they were out of the ground beef and chicken cutlets.

        As for the Meal Mart cold cuts, they are terrible. We bought them when they first started carrying them. They had no flavor, awful texture, and both the corned beef and pastrami had thick areas of cartilage-like fat running through the middle (conveniently covered up by the label). Maybe this is what passes for good glatt kosher cold cuts? I see they have turkey now but I am afraid to try it.They had been carrying Best Kosher corned beef and pastrami in 1.5 pound packages (2 indvidual vacuum packed 3/4 pound packs in a box) and they were really excellent quality. The Meal Mart stuffed cabbage is good.

        1. re: MisterBill2

          Can someone in Westchester comment on this?

          1. re: ravyossi

            So I visited the New Rochelle Costco yesterday and I am sad to report that they do not have the kosher meat there. They do have 2 refrigerated cases marked kosher with all of the cheese, Meal Mart, etc. stuff that they carry, and they do have the 2 pound package of shredded cheese mentioned earlier.

            I stopped by and spoke to a manager and I was told that they were "looking into" carrying the kosher meat like in Nanuet. I intend to email corporate telling them that I would like to see them do this, and it probably couldn't hurt if others wrote to them as well.

          2. re: MisterBill2

            Then again, Best has been out of business since last winter, shut down by Sara Lee

            1. re: bagelman01

              That's too bad. But you'd think they could find someone else to package decent quality kosher cold cuts. Has anyone else tried the Meal Mart stuff? As I mentioned earlier, I did and the pastrami and corned beef were just awful. I can't believe that Costco sells enough of it to justify carrying it.

          3. re: ravyossi

            Costco has Solomons Glatt Kosher Meat in about 20 locations. they plan to expand and have it available in over 50 locations. if they dont have it in your location, ask for it. when they see there is a demand, they will probably bring it in sooner.

            1. re: Jacob999

              Do you have a list of the locations??? It was not in New Rochelle last time I looked and that is an obvious place.

          4. re: The Cameraman


            1. re: YUMMY KOSHER

              Yes, and they are awful. I can't believe that they sell enough of those Meal Mart cold cuts to continue carrying them. The Best Kosher stuff they carried previously was really excellent (and actually cheaper, you got 1.5 pounds for $9.99).

              1. re: MisterBill2

                The kosher marketplace has changed greatly in the last 40 years. Growing up in America, descendants of 1880-1920 immigrants, we knew 'Kosher', not Glatt Kosher. There were many brands of Kosher Deli, Hebrew National, Isaac Gellis, Morrison and Schiff, Bests, Shofar, Empire National, etc. Those of us who came from 'European Traditional' homes that had kosher kitchens, tended to buy and use any brand with Rabbinical Supervision. Small cities such as New Haven where I grew up in the 50s and 60s, had a dozen kosher butchers, 6-8 kosher delis, 10 kosher bakeries, etc. Times have changed. Today, there is one butcher/deli and the bakery in the chain supermarket is kosher, but mostly dairy. No independents. In the early 70s I worked for a local kosher deli, we pickled our own deli, now everything comes cry-o-vac'd. There is no local kosher slaughter done, and butchers get boxed beef, no more meat on the hoof, hanging from hooks in the ceiling.
                The post WWII immigration, and especially the Post 1956 Hungarian Revolution immigration brought a new kind of observant Jew to America. They observed a stricter standard of Kashrut--Glatt, accepted only certain certifications. Centralized kosher meat production in operations such as the failed Agriprocessors, and drove most mainstream kosher deli producers out of business.
                Hebrew National used to be a local company in Maspeth, NY with certification not acceptable to many orthodox jews, today, it is owned and operated by ConAgra moved to the midwest with new supervision. It is not glatt and would not survive if the vast majority of its customers were not Jewish.
                Costco places glatt meat operations in locations with that type of Demand. I agree that Meal Mart is not of the taste and quality that you or I would accept, but it has the certification the Costco kosher customer will buy. If Costco was to carrry good kosher deli that was not glatt, it would not sell enough in those locations with today's orthodox trade.

                Finally, you're right Non-Glatt is cheaper than Glatt, there are economies of scale. Best's was owned by Sara Lee Corp. The same people bringing you Hanes Underwear and Bali Bras. There is no way Meal Mart or Abeles and Heyman can compete with megacorporations on price/cost.

                1. re: bagelman01

                  please understand that just because a company says they are kosher, are they really kosher. don't you realize that if the shechita is not reliable and the hechsher not reliable than the quantity of beef rendured kosher and the deveining and salting are done correctly that the quantities that are actually really kosher will be a lot fewer and then the cost is higher. you can buy beef much cheaper if you buy treif and there is a huge chance that the product you were referring to is in fact treif. So why pay them more.

                  1. re: YUMMY KOSHER

                    treif and not glatt are not the same thing

                    every post that you make on these boards is full of these sweeping generalizations and statements, if you want to be taken seriously here, be careful how you talk

                    1. re: YUMMY KOSHER

                      I think you reply is misplaced. I never made claims that mere declaration bvy a company that it is kosher makes the product kosher.
                      There are many different hashgachot, and different schehita styles. As it is said: consult you local rabbinic authority.
                      I was merely explaining the change in kashrut standards in Post WWII USA and the prevalence of demand for Glatt that exists now.

                      Some of us grew up salting and soaking our meat, not having everything prepackaged and ready to cook.

                      That said, the consolidation in the kosher meat/poultry industry has led to higher prices due to lack of competition.

                      30 years ago, I could go into the marketplace and find 10 brands of kosher chicken under RELIABLE (Orthox Union) hasgacha, today, I find 2.

                      "you can buy beef much cheaper if you buy treif and there is a huge chance that the product you were referring to is in fact treif" This statement is condescending and insulting to the non-glatt kosher producers who were under reliable kosher supervision. It is almost as offensive as seeing chickens advertised as Glatt, which is a physical impossibility!
                      Not being glatt does NOT make Kosher food treif. If you want glatt, fine, but not everyone takes that obligation upon themselves.

                    2. re: bagelman01

                      I bought the Meal Mart corned beef and pastrami when Costco first started carrying it. Both had veins of fat running through the middle of each piece, they were inedible. The alleged spices on the pastrami had no flavor, it was as if they put some brown topping on it to make it look legit. If a kosher deli were selling that garbage they'd be closed in a month. And they carry that stuff in many of the stores that do not have the full line of kosher meat.

                      I guess it's good for my health that the deli meat is awful since I don't eat nearly as much as I would if it were good quality.

                      1. re: bagelman01

                        "there are economies of scale. Best's was owned by Sara Lee Corp. The same people bringing you Hanes Underwear and Bali Bras. There is no way Meal Mart or Abeles and Heyman can compete with megacorporations on price/cost."

                        There was little benefit cost-wise with Sara Lee's acquisition, which ultimately led to the company's demise. It's not like they could share much beyond distribution, and even then not much.

                        1. re: ferret

                          I suppose it created an in-house consumer for the back half of the cow.

                          1. re: GilaB

                            Not really; they didn't consolidate any of their processing so I'm guessing that it was business as usual at Best (and as a lifelong Chicagoan, Best/Sinai was better before the acquisition (which was in the early '90's)).

                          2. re: ferret

                            I think the idea was that just their kosher food operations are much larger than Meal Mart and the others because of mass distribution. maybe save on the corporate infrastructure as well (assuming there's much of one at the competitors mentioned).

                            1. re: MisterBill2

                              I understood what was meant but I don't believe it applies here. Best was never that big under Sara Lee, which is ultimately why they dropped it. They never really competed on a national level. Hebrew National (which obviously doesn't compete in the Glatt market) always had a national presence and a TV identity. Best never really got big enough to appreciate any economies of scale beyond where they were pre-Sara Lee (Best was at nearly $100MM in sales when Sara Lee bought it and not much higher when it folded).

                          3. re: bagelman01

                            It's funny, I grew up in Los Angeles in a Kosher home. At the time, as stated above, there was no glatt kosher, cholov yisrael for dairy, either kosher or non-kosher. We also had a lot of small grocery stores, butchers, deli's etc. that have all closed up. I live, in a very Chasidic neighborhood, and things are a lot different. Now, there are so many hechshers out there, and you don't know what is what. I really believe being around my neighbors, that a lot of multitude of hechers is the result of making moneyand very political. Every sect, doesn't trust or want to buy from people other than their own. I have seen where these chasids do not trust other people with their own values. I find this very sad, and has driven up the prices.

                    3. So I take it from this thread that there are currently no Costco's in NJ that carry kosher meat? Just Nanuet, Lawrence and Brooklyn?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: MisterBill2

                        As far as I can tell, not >>fresh<<. The ones in Hanover and Hackensack do deli meats and frozen chicken from Empire. I cannot understand what is going on, unless there is some kind of conspiracy with the local Shoprite.

                        1. re: vallevin

                          I suspect they are just trying it in limited stores with very large Jewish populations. Hopefully it works out for them and they can expand it to other stores.

                          So we stopped off in Nanuet last Thursday night and they were well stocked on kosher meat. We bought 2 3-packs of ground beef, a 2-pack of rib eyes ($50, oy!), and a huge package of chicken cutlets. My wife made meat balls with the ground beef on Friday and they did not come out well (rubbery and not the same taste as normal), which is strange, but I have a feeling she did something wrong (which I know sounds odd for meatballs, but I think she did not adjust her normal ingredients to account for the extra meat) because she was making them with 2 pounds of meat vs 1.5 that she usually does and they came out much larger. We grilled the rib eyes tonight (yes, we shoveled snow off the deck!) and they were excellent. I need to find a recipe for the short ribs so we can buy those next time we are there.

                      2. So, I was at Costco in Nanuet this weekend for the file time in a while, and NO KOSHER MEAT!!!! They had the other stuff like cheese but the fresh kosher meat was gone. Anyone know how long it's been like this? We complained to someone at the front but they said "well we've been moving stuff around, I don't know what happened". Gee, thanks.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: MisterBill2

                          I went Monday afternoon and they were unloading HUGE amounts into the case. I came home with 3 briskets, 3 packs of Flanken, and a pack of ground beef. It was Crown Glatt (which, contrary to the report below, is from Colorado-it is produced by the same people who made Colorado Kosher-Auerbach's. This is marked "Chassidishe Shechita", so they clearly are learning their customer base a little better-I imagine a lot of Monsey demands things like that.)

                          1. re: ravyossi

                            Well it does appear to be the same as the Colorado meat , but Crown Glatt is listed on the label as being in Commerce, CA. Anyway, it is good and available.

                            1. re: susiejane


                              1. re: YUMMY KOSHER

                                Why? And what do they have now, if anything?

                            2. re: ravyossi

                              That's good news. Did you try the ground beef yet? I bought 2 packages of the Angus stuff they were previously carrying. It was awful, very rubbery. I still have a few packages in my freezer as my family will not eat it. I would have brought it back to Costco but I'd cut them apart into 1 pound packages.

                              Did they also have the rib steaks and Empire chicken?

                          2. The Costco in the West Palm Beach areas have only the empire frozen chicken breasts and carry a vacuum packed pastrami that is truly horrible. Other than that, nothing in the meat line that you are discussing. I guess their people in charge of working on demographics for their stores have decided we have no Jews here. Must be the same man in Costco corporate i spoke with about a year ago when they stopped serving their kosher hot dogs at the snack bar and he told me that they had done a survey of all of their Jewish employees at corporate(perhaps all one or two of them?) and were told that people didnt care.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: faleentoby

                              even in the five towns costco, the selection of kosher meat has been cut by like 2/3rd, no more chuck roast, no more chuck steaks, no more rib steaks, all th stuff that made me ready to switch totally to costco for annoying

                              1. re: shoelace

                                it's depends when you go and when they get new shipments in

                              2. re: faleentoby

                                Yes, the Meal Mart brand vacuum packed pastrami is just terrible. I don't understand how they sell enough of it to justify carrying it. I bought it once and took it back for a refund.

                                1. re: MisterBill2

                                  I read earlier, and I think you make a good points about the kosher food companies evolving an growing differently.

                                  Many of us, who have learned to kasher our own meats have (in my opinion) a different taste or palette than traditional glatt kosher some of the meal anyway that are offered. It would be nice to see more kosher foods that can find that "flavor".

                                  I eat only glatt (bet yosef) so I am always amazed by the complaints about the tastes of some of these packaged foods. I think many people have just accepted that "new kosher food taste"?

                                  I know there are some new deli products form Empire wrapped and then put in a gladware type of container...Has anyone tried those yet?

                                  I was wondering why everyone was looking at Costco for meat is it because it is cheaper there? Or is it a lack of kosher meat availability/variety?

                                  Has anyone looked for kosher groceries that ship kosher meat to the various states for cheaper prices?

                                  1. re: wanderingkosherfoodie

                                    Yes the meat prices at Costco are pretty good, almost definitely better than the local butchers. However, I just picked up a package of rib eye steaks and london broil there this week and the prices seemed higher than they had been. On the other hand, the rib eyes were really excellent.

                                    1. re: wanderingkosherfoodie

                                      The neighborhoods in which costco is carrying the kosher meat are solely the neighborhoods where there is a huge demand for it, so its not a lack of availability, and no, at the moment, the prices are about the same

                                      at the point, the quality was better at costco, then itw as at most of the local markets, so that was why i was looking towards costco, now its just mroe convenient to one stop shop

                                      1. re: wanderingkosherfoodie

                                        The only meat item I've purchased from Costco was the Empire ground turkey. It was 4 single pound packages for $12.99. That's much cheaper than any of the local butchers.

                                        Re the Empire new deli products- I've bought them for my husband and he's liked them. One complaint though- sometimes the sealed package inside was opened.

                                  2. Costco in Lawrence had rib steak and chuck steak today, Perhaps chuck roast also. Different brand. It ws Crown Glatt from California. Had a rib steak tonight and it was perfect.