What I found at Costco: Cheeseburger

$4.99 includes two organic beef patties and lots of secret sauce
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What I found at … is a series that tests and vets intriguing store-bought foodie finds.

What: Kirkland Signature Cheeseburger
Where: All Oahu Costco Wholesale food courts
Cost: $4.99 

Q: Is this $5 cheeseburger better than what you can get at a fast food drive-thru? 

 

Remember the $5 acai bowl that replaced Costco's chocolate-dipped fro-yo bars? Ya'll were not too happy about that, but Costco did it again — they just rolled out a new food court cheeseburger for $4.99 and it's getting all sorts of reactions across the interwebs.

Some people are all about this new beefy option; others can't find the will to finish it. As a burger lover, I had to weigh in for myself: Should I brave the battlefield that is Costco's parking lot for this double patty behemoth? Or am I better off hanging a right into my nearest McDonald's drive-thru?

As I stood in line, all I could hear were cashiers yelling out orders of "burger!" to the kitchen. I watched how they assemble the burgers. The bottom bun gets sauced and receives chopped lettuce and tomato. Then the pre-cooked patties, reheated in a convection oven, are layered with a slice of cheddar cheese before being topped with more secret sauce and the top bun. 

Costco's food court beef cheeseburger

There's no mistaking, this burger is big! I had trouble carrying it in one hand while balancing my drink cup and condiments in the other. 

I bit in and immediately knew something was missing. It was straight-up bland. Because the burger patties aren't cooked on a grill or flattop, they're missing an important element called seasoning. A little salt and pepper goes a long way. If Costco thought the secret sauce could make up for the lack of flavor, they're wrong.

The menu states the burger is made using organic ingredients and while that's remarkable, I don't think I could tell the difference. The bun is a buttery brioche, similar to those you'd find on McDonald's signature sandwiches. The lettuce is crisp and the tomatoes are juicy, but because they're chopped as if they were meant for Taco Bell, they just make a mess and fall out at every possible angle.  

A: Nah! But ...

A half-eaten Costco cheeseburger

Six ounces of beef is between a third- and a half-pound burger, so for the $5 price tag, you won't find a bigger burger out there, and an organic one to boot. Value is the name of the game at Costco and I think they've nailed it here. If they just worked a little more on the taste and seasoning, I think this has the potential to be a solid burger. 

I ended up adding onions and a schmear of dijon mustard from the free hot dog condiment bar to my burger. If I had taken it home, i would have added a few cracks of pepper and salt.