After you stock up on bulk toilet paper for the end times, the Costco exit leads you past the food court, where one noble $1.50 hot dog is king (with the chicken bake as jester, let’s be honest). Now there’s a shadowy usurper: a cheeseburger in testing mode at 10 Costcos, including Seattle.
Some liken the pared-back composition to the burger at Shake Shack, a cult favorite with zero Northwest locations (until 2018, anyway). At Costco, five bucks gets you one-third a pound of organic ground beef patty, cooked beyond the traditionally desirable medium rare and topped with cheddar cheese that’s more uncold than melted. Lettuce and tomato are also at this burger party; you’re glad they’re there even if they don’t really add anything special. Then there’s the “special sauce,” a tangy, slightly smoky Thousand Island–style spread inside both ends of a brioche bun.
It’s a perfectly satisfactory cheeseburger—unlikely to overthrow the hot dog, but a supremely American way to wrap up a shopping spree when consumed amongst a corral of steel carts and stacks of Michelin tires.