- Costco and Sam’s Club both serve food – and hot dogs are among their most popular meals.
- Fans of Costco’s hot dogs are diehards, swearing by the all-beef wiener.
- Ultimately, Costco’s hot dog is much better than Sam’s Club’s.
Members-only warehouse retail is big business. Walmart – and, by extension, Sam’s Club – tops the National Retail Federation’s Top 250 Global Retailers 2017 ranking, and Costco comes in second.
Sure, most shoppers come for the deals on just about any item under the sun, from toilet paper to Toshiba laptops.
But any true warehouse shopper knows that the hidden gem of these stores is the food court. It’s dirt cheap with little fuss – and lo and behold, the food is actually good.
Costco and Sam’s Club have extremely similar food courts with standard American fast-food fare. But while on paper the food is the same, the difference is easy to taste.
While we’ve established that the hot dog is worth the hype, we were curious to see whether Sam’s Club’s version could have what it takes to unseat the popular favourite.
We know by now that Costco’s food court is something to behold. Cheap, reliable, and delicious food is the cornerstone of its legendary status.
The hot dog is perhaps the most celebrated item on the menu — even more than the pizza. There are two main pillars of its popularity: price and taste.
It’s a darn cheap dog. For $US1.50, you get a fountain soda and this enormous hot dog, and it could very well be the best deal on the whole menu. Its price hasn’t changed since the chain began serving it in 1985.
The hot dog is very flavorful, with a slight smokiness to it, similar to kielbasa. It’s shockingly hearty, and the quality belies its bargain price. With some mustard, ketchup, and relish on top — Costco has all three out, as well as onions — it’s the perfect textural melange. Plus, the bun is surprisingly resilient in the face of several condiments.
Over at Sam’s Club, the hot-dog combo costs the same.
Sam’s Club’s hot dog is only slightly smaller than Costco’s, but the bun is a much more pedestrian affair.
The dog itself is bland and a tad on the rubbery side. It doesn’t have the same indescribable depth of Costco’s Kirkland dog. And ketchup and mustard (no relish in sight at this particular Sam’s Club) do little to save it.
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