Don Bauder 6:30 p.m., May 22
Outrage at Costco food court: Pepsi replaces Coke
First Hebrews out, Kirkland in, and now this!
Who cares if it has nothing to do with movies? This is vital news the entire San Diego community needs to hear!
Coca-Cola is out and Pepsi is in at Costco food courts! No, I am not kidding!
It began in 1984 as a single hot dog stand in front of a remodeled airplane hangar on Morena Boulevard. Today, it's almost impossible to find a Costco that doesn't offer members and civilians alike a jumbo frank and glass of soda for the small price of $1.50.
Coming from Chicago, where there's a Vienna hot dog shack on every other block, it took some time to adapt to San Diego being an NHZ: No Hot Dog Zone.
THE 10 BEST PLACES TO GET A HOT DOG IN SAN DIEGO:
1.) Lefty's Chicago Style Hot Dogs with locations serving North Park and Mission Hills.
3.) There is a guy working a dirty water hot dog cart on the Oceanside Pier who forks up a mean Sabrett.
4.) The refrigerated case of any local supermarket that features Hebrew National or Nathan's.
5 - 10.) Der Wienerschnitzel? 7-11? You tell me.
For years Costco answered to a higher calling by serving up Hebrew National. This changed 4 years ago when Kirkland, the wholesaler's in-house brand, decided to go into the hot dog making business. According to their website, Kirkland dogs are "10 percent heavier and longer than" Hebrew National, made with "100% beef with only fresh USDA Choice or better cuts" and "without fillers, binder, phosphates, corn syrup, artificial color and artificial flavors."
Had the signage on the umbrellas not switched, I'd have been none the wiser. And for those still craving a Hebrew National foot-long, Costco sells packs of 20 for under $10.
I'll take the Pepsi Challenge and declare Coca-Cola the winner every time! I was bottle fed on Pepsi. My father once owned a burger joint that exclusively served Pepsi products to wash down the grease. While Dad managed to instill a preference for mustard over ketchup as my french fry condiment of choice, damn if I couldn't wait to grow up and make the switch to the Real Thing.
Not every venue stocks Coca-Cola. The General Cinema Chain was a Coke-free zone. So is Balboa Park where I once ran MoPA's film program. (Luckily there is a staff Coke machine situated on the premises.) It's not that Pepsi causes my gag reflex to kick in, it's just that I prefer the flavor of Coke.
With Coke out, the choice of fountain drippings also took a hit with only Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, pishox-flavored Sierra Mist, and maybe Mug Root Beer (Feh!) or Slice on tap. Say goodbye to Snapple's Dr. Pepper and Coke's Mr. Pibb. Mountain Dew, Pepsi's answer to anti-freeze, is also off the menu. Another favorite, Minute Maid Pink Lemonade was replaced by a "lite" version of their standard issue brand.
Maybe it has something to do with Coke's snooty perception of their brand. 2 liter bottles of Pepsi products line the shelves of dollar stores. Not Coca-Cola. Unless it's on sale, a similar serving of Coke will set you back almost twice that much at Ralph's or Von's.
At one point, Costco sold a 40-pack of 16oz. Cokes for under $10. Returning two-weeks later to claim another load, I was told by an employee that Coca-Cola would no longer allow their products to be sold by the warehouse giant at such a cut rate price. It was beneath them. Is this Costco's way of suddenly enacting sweet -- actually, high-fructose corn syrup -- revenge?
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