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Everyone Needs a Pound of Poppers

Every Costco has a vibe. For instance, my old walking distance Sunset Park location was pure ghetto. Eh, not completely, but it's busted and crammed, there's that annoying cart conveyer belt to get to the second floor, and you can't browse or look at any single item for more than about two seconds because you?ll be forced out of the way by the endless crush of aggro shoppers. And I thought Costco was supposed to be all about food samples, which never seem have caught on in Brooklyn, or else the free tidbits were decimated by the time I showed up.

Despite moving up figuratively and geographically, this is still the closest Costco. We'll try others at all costs. As usual, any chain location not accessible by public transportation and even better, not in NYC, is a good bet. Staten Island, which I've tried once, wasn't horrible. But if you're going to pay the nine freaking dollars to cross the Verrazano you may as well go the extra mile into New Jersey (hmm, more than a few extra–I didn't realize Edison was 22 miles away, the same as the Yonkers Costco across from Stew Leonard?s, which takes twice as long to get to). Paramus used to be our NJ hot zone, but recently Edison has won us over with its unassuming charm, plus it feels more convenient (yet also not closer in distance).

Apparently, this is the Asian Costco (yes, Brooklyn's is the black and Hispanic one while Staten Island's is teaming with working class white folks) which was different, though not unexpected. This area is also home to the best Hong Kong Supermarket ever, and countless Indian restaurants and shops. Unfortunately, it?s not like Western Beef where they carry items to reflect the neighborhood. And no, T.G.I. Friday?s frozen Southwestern Egg Rolls don't count. I made due (or is that do–I'm always confounded by this phrase, though I certainly get the difference between bare and bear feet) with the woman independently selling eight varieties of caramel apples in the middle of the store. I don't know the logistics of that, but it reminded me of how you see in Malaysian malls. It felt foreign and old-timey at the same time.

We hit the bonanza. This is the only Costco I've been to with a comprehensive wine and alcohol section inside (as opposed to the Sunset Park one with an adjoining run of the mill liquor store). And the only one to stock the elusive-since-leaving-Portland, giant box of frozen jalepeno poppers. Ole!

My only complaint with Costco (because there must be at least one), once the crowd issue is eliminated, is the carts. They're impossible to push and/or steer when filled even modestly with the economy sized products on display.

Costco * 2210 Route 27 N., Edison, NJ

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