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Da’ Costco Sample Lady

Time to talk about da’ most best’est’est’est person in the whole wide shoppers world, Da’ Costco Sample Lady!

Upon my daily lunchtime walk through the Iwilei Costco today, one of da’ Sample Ladies was handing out bags of Maui Wowee Pakalolo samples….

Nah, that’s actually Good Grains Organic Quinoa and Kale, and it was supah ono!

There’s magic dust in the air inside Costco

OK, first what I want to discuss about Da’ Sample Lady is, notice how she magically makes da’ food samples she hands out right there in the store taste so dang delicious. Then when you buy it and take it home and prepare it yourself, it doesn’t taste quite as ono as is did when you tried in the store at Costco? Ya’ know?

I just know, while that Organic Quinoa with Kale was broke da’ mout’ winnahz in Aisle 32 at Costco from Da’ Sample Lady, when I take it home and serve it in Aisle 1 at home on my sofa in front of the TV, da’ buggah going be like, “Eh… Meh.” Wassup wit’ dat?

Vultures

Oh yeah, you know who you are. You’re either one of them “snooze, you lose” type, or you’re the one like me who despises them. Here I am about 5 feet away from grabbing 1 of 6 fresh batches of Organic Quinoa and Kale from the wonderful Sample Lady. But wait, comin’ in from my 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, we’ve got inbound bogeys that SWOOP right in and grab every single one; some taking two or three sample cups at a time. 2 or 3 at a time!  And I’m like “What the hell!  Not one left for me? Damned vultures!”

Costco Shopping Cart & Sample Cops

Costco needs to hire several staff who’s only job is to monitor the sample stations and people who have bad Costco Shopping Cart etiquette. Nab those greedy, inconsiderate folks who grab 2 or more samples at a time for themselves, as well as those folks who ram into unsuspecting patrons with their massive, overloaded, out-of-control shopping carts. Ouwee Aunty, my toe!  In fact, I’m all for traffic lights at busy Costco main aisle “intersections”. Seriously!

Profilers

Then you got those folks who wait there at the sample lady’s table, staring at her impatiently as she takes her sweet ‘ole time oven-baking that Rising Crust Digiornio Pizza. She’s probably thinking in her head, “Well, if you want this pizza that badly, don’t just stand there and stare at me, buddy. There’s a whole stack of them in the freezer case right next to me. Buy some and get a move on! Scoot!”

Da’ Conversationalists

Then there’s those folks who try to pass up the precious 5 minutes of time it takes to cook the Chicken Taquitos by striking up a conversation with Da’ Sample Lady. She tries so graciously to talk about what’s it’s like to work at Costco, and whether it’s better to microwave or bake the Taquitos, when really she’s thinking, “Please don’t talk to me right now. Can’t you see I’m really busy here cooking?”

Da’ Sample Lady Nazi

I once came across a Costco “Sample Lady Nazi”. Not the nice lady pictured above, but one who used to work here long ago… and to top it off, she had the looks to match!

True story. I once grabbed a cup of trail mix  Da’ Sample Lady Nazi was serving at her station, when upon looking at what I got, thought it didn’t have quite the “mix” I wanted. So I put the one I grabbed back and tried to grab another one with a better trail mix variety in the cup. To which she put her hand in front and blocked me, giving me this wicked stare like I had just committed all seven deadly sins in front of God Almighty.

I swear at that very moment, if she had a bolo knife, she would have chopped both my hands and n#ts off. Seriously! She then told me in a very stern, bass-like monotonous “Mommy Dearest” voice, “You picked that one, you take that one”.

I just stood there frozen in fear, took back the first cup of trail mix I grabbed and went on my way, looking over my shoulder just to make sure she wasn’t following me out to my car. Dude, I kid you not! I was freakin’ s#itt#ng bricks! lol

No Make “A”

Because of the Sample Lady “vultures”, I sometimes feel embarrassed taking samples, having this anxiety that I’m just like the rest of “them”. So I’ll sometimes take the sample I grabbed and hide in a aisle that nobody else is in (like down by the paper goods) to eat my sample. That way too, I can “pig out” and nobody will see me; especially for the samples that don’t included a tiny spoon, yet should have one. All I need is to be wolfing down a spoonless sample cup of Progresso Vegetable Soup, with tomato sauce, pasta and a piece of carrot stuck on the side of my lip, and up walks my ex-girlfriend on me. Zoinks! lol

Renew Your Membership

Please share your “Costco Sample Lady” experiences! What were some of your favorite samples? What samples would you like to try that haven’t been offered yet? Can you relate to any of the Sample Lady experiences and Costco shopper/scavenger profiles mentioned in this post? Are you one of those people?  Are you mad at me for calling you out on it? lol

The Tasty Island related links:
Costco Food Court Honolulu Summer ’14 Update
Costco Made in Hawaii Eats
Costco Food Court: Eat This, Not That

P.S. For my silly selfie of the day, here I am bidding farewell to my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Black Edition, as I mistakenly threw it in my washing machine for a complete cycle, being I didn’t realized it was tangled within my bed comforter that I put in the wash….


Pomai bids a sad farewell to his Galaxy Note 3 after it went through a complete washing machine cycle.

Not to sweat though, as under the handy-dandy T-Mobile “Jump” program, I was able to take it in and switch it for a brand new exact replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 3, this time getting the white edition, which is what I originally wanted, anyhow…

I can’t wait for September when the Galaxy Note 4 comes out. That bad boy’s gonna’ blow the panties off the wannabe iPhone 6 “phablet”. Too late Apple, Samsung beat you to the party 3 years ago!

32 thoughts on “Da’ Costco Sample Lady

  • August 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm
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    Pomai, it not so easy whole day long doing samples to customers. I use to worked for Godiva Chocolate as teenager. Whole day long saying the same thing like a robot. I gain also 20lbs working due to part of job to taste all the candies they sold there. I even get to take home the expire ones too. Could be a few boxes. Those were the days.

    Reply
    • August 1, 2014 at 7:07 pm
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      Amy,

      Now that you mention the term “robot”, I’ll bet Japan has robotic “Sampuru Garu” (Sample Gal) that mechanically prepares and hands out food samples. I bet you! If not, I’m so patenting that!

      Reply
  • August 1, 2014 at 7:19 pm
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    You mean they have a costco in Makaha now????

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    • August 1, 2014 at 7:26 pm
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      Chow,

      Um, the closest thing to Costco near Makaha would be Tamura’s. :-P

      Reply
  • August 1, 2014 at 8:00 pm
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    What was it, national Chicken Taquitos and Rising Crust Digiornio Pizza day at Costco? I was at the Kapolei Costco today for refills to my monthly stash and that is what the sample ladies were giving out along with ice cream samples. Kapolei normally has out 16 sample ladies and Waipio Costco normally has 15 sample ladies. Strange Kapolei stopped carrying my cranberry juice but Waipio still does so I shop both. I don’t mind driving up to Waipio Costco because coming back it is all downhill to Waianae and my new 2014 Toyota Prius 3 onboard computer indicates between 68 mpg and 71 mpg because I’m coasting most of the way plus stop and go traffic on Farrington Hwy. it runs on electric only. After 4-months and just breaking 2,000 miles the on board computer indicates I’m getting for an average 64 mpg ($18/mo. at HI Costco gasoline price).

    Bad move Pomai taking a sample and then trying to put it back for another person to take! That is why the sample ladies wear sanitary gloves! No spread your body germs to another person. No one knows where your hands been or the last time you washed them!

    Reply
    • August 1, 2014 at 8:12 pm
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      Ken,

      Yeah, yeah, yeah, stop bragging about the phenomenal gas mileage you’re getting out your Prius Hybrid. I hear it every day at work from Diner A, who owns the same car you have. Disgusting, when I think about how much my Toyota FJ Cruiser is burning. Seriously. Ughhh.

      The Kapolei and Waipio Costco stores normally have around 15 sample ladies? Dang! You can make a meal of it out there! At Iwilei, I’d say 8 max on any given work day. I don’t know about weekends. Hawaii Kai Costco, around 10 Sample Ladies on weekends, max (+1 VitaMix Dude).

      As for putting back the cup I took and putting it back, I totally understand the germs part, and “Nazi Sample Lady” was just LIVID about it. Lesson learned! Never do THAT again! *back-hand slap* Still, it was a fun, very true story to tell!

      Reply
  • August 1, 2014 at 8:05 pm
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    Who said there was a Costco in Makaha??? I live in Makaha and there is no Costco. You have to go to Kapolei for the Costco.

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  • August 1, 2014 at 8:45 pm
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    A certain blogger said he worked in Makaha and drove,to town for lunch;)

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  • August 1, 2014 at 10:05 pm
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    Pomai FYI for grocery shopping out here in Makaha and Waianae we got The Waianae Store (full service super market), Waianae Market, Waianae Meat Market, small convenience grocery market in the Makaha Mall, small Polynesian and Samoan food grocery store across from post office, multiple 7-elevens which are all closer than Tamura’s Super Market. Some are cheaper than Tamura’s depending on what you are looking for and local grown produce.

    This is the last vestige of old Hawaiian style neighborhoods left on Oahu. It is definitely more country here than the North Shore and we like it like that. It is truly not like living in downtown Honolulu or central Oahu. It’s basically cheaper too! Maybe that is why it’s called the Wild, Wild West! Waianae in Hawaiian history has always done its own thing and not fallen in line with the rest of Oahu. Almost no tourists out here to bother us. We don’t need a Costco out here because we can always go into Kapolei and we don’t need the extra traffic either. The most luxury gourmet super market we have out here is a Snack N’ Save in Nanakuli. After that it’s Foodland, Safeway, Costco in Kapolei and Times, Don Quijote in Waipahu and Foodland in Waipio.

    I can get veal cutlets and lamb in Snack N’ Save, Nanakuli but can’t find them in Foodland, Kapolei and Waipio. Times and Safeway are too expensive. Don Quijote has all the Asian groceries you could want except Palama Market, Aiea beats it out for Korean groceries. Foodland Waipio, Kapolei carries excellent New York Deli Style Boars Head brand meats and cheeses but Foodland Kapolei has an R Fields Company in it which has excellent wine, cheese, sausage and cured meats. I can get King’s Hawaiian New England Style Top Split Hot Dog Rolls in Foodland, Kapolei which are used to make official original and authentic New England Lobster Salad Rolls, Crab Meat Salad Rolls, Fried Clam Rolls, Fried Oyster Rolls, Poached Shrimp Rolls, Tuna Salad Rolls, Chicken Salad Rolls, Ham Salad Rolls, Turkey Salad Rolls, Fried Portuguese Sausage, Peppers N’ Onion Rolls and they also use them to make hot dogs but in all cases the rolls are buttered and toasted each side to a golden brown on a grill oozing with buttery goodness then stuffed.

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  • August 1, 2014 at 11:38 pm
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    The “job” of the Costco Sample ladies (men too!) is to get you to buy the product they’re demonstrating. At the end of the month, the one with the highest # of sales of the product their demo’ing gets a prize. So when we see someone demo’ing the Ghirardelli brownies, we know they have a good shot at winning. But when they’re demo’ing something like that Quinoa, no chance! =)

    Reply
  • August 2, 2014 at 12:50 am
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    This is why I shadow the Costco Sample Lady when they are making a batch, so I can find out what the heck they are doing to make things so tasty.

    I have been to Costco when there are NO sample people at all.. that is so wrong, it should never happen! :( Only in Australia I guess.. :)

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  • August 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm
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    @ Snocksred – Sometimes the Costco stores here have like only one or two sample people at a given time, which makes it seem pretty much nonexistent.

    @ David – Interesting to know the sample people get prizes for highest sales results of the product they’re demonstrating. Didn’t know that. No wonder they make it taste so good! If that’s the case, if I were the “Sample Guy”, I’d be sneaking in truffle oil on all my buttered bread samples. Customers would be like, “Dang… this is the best buttered toast I ever ate! I’m buying 10 boxes of that butter and 10 loaves of this bread!” lol

    @ Ken – I walked into that Polynesian Market out in Makaha once to check it out, however the timing was bad, as I got kinda’ spooked, being at the time there was a bunch of local “mokes” in there loitering, acting like they were high on “ice” (probably were), and looking at me “funny” like I was a haole “tourist” (probably because the way I was dressed-up (office attire), so I walked (quickly) out. The Samoan hot food looked interesting, though. I’ll definitely blog Tammy’s Polynesian Market in Kalihi, which has the same stuff. Interestingly, Tammy’s Polynesian Market is operated by a Korean lady. Go figure.

    Dang, just the mention of a King’s Hawaiian Split Top New England Lobster Roll has me craving one right now. If you make one for me, I’d be willing to drive out way out there to Makaha for it! Onegaishimasu! A Portuguese Sausage, Peppers and Onions King’s Hawaiian Split Top Roll Sammy sounds awesome as well!

    @ Chow – See my last paragraph above addressed to Ken-San. ;-)

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  • August 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm
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    I just purchased 2 lbs. Nova Scotia hard shell flash frozen cooked lobster claws and arms plus 2 lobster tails to steam cook from Costco, Kapolei and a fresh package of King’s Hawaiian top split hot dog rolls from Foodland, Kapolei. Butter the rolls and grill toast both sides. Shell the lobster meat and roughly chop the meat saving some whole claws for top garnish; lightly dress with Best Foods mayonnaise and stuff the toasted hot dog rolls. Simple authentic Maine style New England lobster rolls for stuffing da face!

    A great Maine style lobster roll (about 6 oz. of just meat) in New England will cost you in a restaurant about $21 ea. Costco 2 lbs. lobster claws and arms = $17.99 with a yield of about 1 lb. meat. Costco 2 lobster tails .84 lb. = $18.47 with a yield of about ½ lb. meat. Foodland King’s Hawaiian hot dog rolls 6 pak. made with Portuguese sweet bread =$3.50. $39.96 total for 4 home-made lobster rolls plus tablespoon or little more of mayo and unsalted butter for rolls.

    You can also flash sauté the lobster meat in clarified unsalted butter just to warm meat to make a Connecticut style Hot Lobster Roll (buttered sweet lobster meat; butter toasted Portuguese sweet bread hot dog rolls = buttery goodness).

    I forgot we also use the hot dog rolls for egg salad rolls but the ham salad roll got me thinking why not make a Hawaiian chopped Spam salad roll?

    When would you like a NE style authentic lobster roll? I could also drive into Waikiki (don’t mind using a teaspoon of gasoline with new car) to do some shopping bringing the lobster rolls wrapped and sitting on blue ice in a beach cooler as I also need to spend another Thur. afternoon and night at the Mai Tai Bar pau hana time or you can still come out to the Wild, Wild West country and see the Hawaiian and Samoan brothers (they call me uncle). lol! Did you know Makaha in Hawaiian means fierce, savage, ferocious; to seize property, to desolate, plunder, cheat?

    Reply
    • August 2, 2014 at 6:34 pm
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      Ken,

      If you don’t mind long-term frozen, the Kaheka Don Quijote has some pretty good deals on lobster from various sources, including the Pacific region and Maine.

      Shoots! I’ll take you up on meeting at Mai Tai Bar with that authentic New England style Lobster Roll in-hand to share with me. eMail or call me for the hook-up!

      Reply
  • August 2, 2014 at 6:51 pm
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    Surprised no one mentioned the YI-HAA lady of Costco years ago. Remember her? She was the best!

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    • August 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm
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      mastu,

      Nope, don’t remember the YI-HAA! Costco Lady. Which location, and what was her shtick?

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    • August 3, 2014 at 12:14 am
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      I remember her from the Hawaii Kai Costco when I was at UH from 1995-1999. She was in the very back IIRC. She used to say something like, “Mmm, it tastes so good!” but I remember her yeehawing too.

      Reply
  • August 3, 2014 at 11:56 am
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    Those types that sit and stare at sample lady are creepy. Not Hawaii style.

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    • August 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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      pat,

      Those are the ones I named “Profilers”. Creepy and tacky. At least the “Conversationalists” talk to her and break the ice. I don’t think I’d last one day as “Da’ Sample Guy”. The bad mannerisms so many people display would really get under my skin. Just observing it as a customer upsets me. I’ve seen young kids swoop right in front of adults waiting in line and grab the samples as soon as it’s set on the tray. It’s happened to me! Is that what parents are teaching them? Pilau.

      Reply
  • August 3, 2014 at 9:14 pm
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    Pomai,

    I hate that when kids cut or a young adult sees me lining up for last tray sample and moves quickly to grab it or the people that just park themselves blocking till next sample tray. I just continue shopping and come back.

    No one really knows how many restaurants and seafood shacks up and down the east coast use canned or frozen lobster meat for their lobster rolls or passing off their lobsters as Maine caught (I was surprised one highly ranked RI restaurant I provided customer service to used canned lobster meat saw it with my own two eyes). Of course a restaurant inland with no fresh lobster on the menu means no cold water lobster holding tank but if it has lobster rolls on menu be wary. A 1 lb. lobster takes about 6 min to cook and then another 5 min. to shell the tail and 2 claws plus another 3 min. to mix the salad and stuff the grilled hot dog roll or their special gourmet roll so do the math if you are standing in line and your order comes out in less than 6 min. something is not right or they are pre-making the rolls and are not fresh especially if there is a big wad of lettuce under the meat to keep the roll from getting soggy and a lot of celery and extra spices. A lobster roll is all about tasting the lobster meat. You can always ask your server if they cook the lobsters in house and you’ll be surprised how many say no they use frozen or canned especially if the lobster meat is chopped fine; just walk away! BTW 1lb. of fresh cooked lobster meat runs about $34-$36 in local NE seafood stores depending on the high (hard shell)/low (soft shell) season. I sent you an email about the Mai Tai Bar.

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    • August 4, 2014 at 9:32 am
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      Ken-San,

      I’ve certainly had my share of “cut-offs” at the sample lady counter, hence this venting post.

      Your sentiment about genuine Maine Lobster is the same problem the coffee industry suffers with Kona Coffee. I hear there are South American coffee beans that taste exactly like Kona’s at a much cheaper price.

      Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco has vendors selling lobster rolls everywhere, however I don’t recall any touting them as being Maine Lobster. Was probably from Asia. Are you a Dungeness Crab fan? That’s huge in San Fran’ and all the north west Coast.

      As for making a truly authentic Maine Lobster Roll, is there a preference on the type of Mayonnaise used? You know in Hawaii we insist on Best Foods (Hellman’s).

      Also, have you ever seen a Surf ‘n Turf Lobster Roll, where it also included slices of grilled Beef Ribeye Steak? I’m thinkin’ that’d taste pretty awesome!

      According to Yankee Magazine, the best Lobster Rolls in Maine are:

      • Red’s Eats
      • Bagaduce Lunch
      • The J Cod End
      • J’s Oyster
      • The Lobster Shack at Two Lights
      • Thurston’s Lobster Pound

      http://www.yankeemagazine.com/best-of-new-england/best-lobster-roll-maine

      Reply
      • August 4, 2014 at 3:52 pm
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        @ Pomai,

        We have a Costco sample talker in Kapolei also! Must come with the job!!!

        Back in New England the only mayonnaise of choice is Hellman’s which is Best Foods on West Coast and in Hawaii.

        American lobster, Homarus americanus species is fished from Labrador to North Carolina but the most highly prized hard shell sweet lobsters are found in Maine and North Nova Scotia waters into Labrador. The closest relative is the European lobster Homarus gammarus, which can be distinguished by its coloration and the lack of spines on the underside of the rostrum. American lobsters are usually bluish green to brown with red spines, but a number of color variations have been observed. There have been a great number of incidences where unscrupulous lobster pounds and restaurants have tried to pass off their non-Maine caught lobsters as certified Maine lobsters.

        There is a restaurant called The Lodge Pub and Eatery I used to dine in. I would order their special entrée call the “Newport Filet” which is an 8 oz. char-broiled filet mignon topped with lobster meat, béarnaise sauce and Ritz cracker crumbs; so Ono! It is a great combination so it will work in a sandwich. I’ve seen lobster BLT clubs, lobster topped hamburgers, beef tenderloin filet stuffed with lobster, lobster sausage, lobster fried rice and I’ve had lobster omelets for breakfast.

        You could probably get away with a ½ large pita bread filled with thin sliced seasoned grilled beef ribeye steak and topped with lobster meat dressed with béarnaise sauce for a sandwich. You might even be able to add a mild cheese also to melt into the beef but no lettuce and tomato as it would make the sandwich soggy. Sweet Maui caramelized onions in butter could also be added as the butter would complement the lobster, steak and sauce.

        Big Island grass-fed ribeye shave steak and Kona lobster sandwich with Naked Cow Dairy melted cheese, caramelized Sweet Maui onion and béarnaise sauce served in a fresh baked pita bread; sounds like a winner!

        Yankee Magazine is pretty much the New England bible on life, travel and eats in the 6 state areas. They really research the subject matter before they go to press so you can rest assured if they say it’s a great place for lobster in Maine it is as they say. Those are all great places and I been to most of them. As a matter of fact Red’s Eats is pretty much the standard which all lobster rolls are judged by.

        I love all types of crabs. In New England we have Snow crabs up in Maine waters and Jonah crabs all over the coast which looks like the Florida Stone crabs. They are smaller than the Dungeness crab but closely related in the same family. Both the Jonah and Stone crab have large strong claws with very sweet meat. We eat the whole Jonah crab where in the South they only harvest one claw of the Stone crab and throw it back in the water where it will regrow another claw. We would have a crab boil in place of a lobster boil. You could get a dozen crabs for $3. Maine is famous for their crab meat salad roll which is like a lobster salad roll.

        I try to keep king crab legs and claws plus Dungeness crab legs and claws, snow crab clusters and picked crab meat in the freezer all the time in case I have the urge for a taste of crab.

        Reply
        • August 5, 2014 at 4:57 am
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          Ken,

          Regarding the “Sample Talker”, how’s this for a local comedy skit: “Da’ Podagee Sample Guy”. The premise would be “Da’ Podagee Sample Guy” would talk SO MUCH while “cooking” and “presenting” his samples, the anticipated customers would get so turned off and irritated, as starved as they are, they’d leave his table, not even bothering to try the samples. And he keeps ranting on, and on, and on, and on as they all walk away. “Eh! Wheah all you guys going!?” lol

          I think the BLT Lobster Club would be something I’d like. The idea of bacon mixed with Lobster sounds ideal. Rich meets rich, just like “buttah”.

          That Newport Fillet from Lodge Pub sounds AMAZING. I’d totally order that.

          Your idea of a Big Island grass-fed ribeye shave steak and Kona lobster sandwich with Naked Cow Dairy melted cheese, caramelized Sweet Maui onion and béarnaise sauce served in a fresh baked pita bread sounds like a winnah, indeed! Can I have one like, now?

          Speaking of which, have you ever tried the Kona Lobster? If so, does it stack up to Maine Lobster?

          I’d say crab is my least favorite of all the shellfish. Something about its flavor doesn’t rock my world. I mean, if it’s prepared with a nice sauce, great. I also enjoy a good Crab Cake, when again, it has a tasty sauce. But just by itself, not really. For instance, if I go to a buffet and they have have snow crab or king crab, I’ll grab a few legs, but it’s not like that’s the main deal for me.

          I had brunch at the Oceanarium (Pacific Beach Hotel, Waikiki; the place with the huge salt water aquarium) not long ago, and there were these two fellahz sitting next to my table, and that’s ALL they ate for over 1 hour. Snow Crab. Piles and piles of snow crab dipped in clarified butter. Hey, whatever floats their boat. Me, I’m all about da’ sashimi and poke!

          How about Clams and “Chowdah”. I’ll bet you have recipes and places to recommend on a great bowl of New England Clam “Chowdah”! I LOVE Clams! (he he).

          Reply
          • August 6, 2014 at 1:18 pm
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            Pomai,

            As far as “Da’ Podagee Sample Guy” I don’t think that’s not that all bad; it’s when a Costco employee stands there and continuously talks the sample person distracting them from handing out samples and cooking!

            Yes I’ve had Kona Lobster as Tamura Super Market has them all the time in seafood department. Only problem is they are 1-pound Maine lobsters flown in that stay at the “Lobster Hotel” run by Kona Cold Water Lobsters Ltd: http://konacoldlobsters.com/ and their prices are not bad. I’ve got to call them and see if they ship in state. The Hawaiian native spiny lobster (ula, ula poni) and the native Hawaiian slipper lobsters (‘Ula-papapa) don’t have the big claws like Atlantic lobsters do. I’ve had native Hawaiian slipper lobster which is not as sweet as Atlantic lobster. The colder the water makes the lobsters develop more fat in their meat which collects more sugar.

            I love any type of crab meat as is straight out of the shell Jonah and Stone crab meat is very sweet!

            Precooked frozen Alaskan King and Snow crag you have to be very careful with because they are boiled in ocean salt water. When you cook them at home it is best to steam them so the salt drips away leaving the sweet meat. Try to boil them and the salt stays in them making for a bad very salty taste. I’ve eaten a number of times in the Oceanarium Restaurant buffet.

            I love clams. In New England common verities we have from small to large are Soft Shell, Countnecks, Littlenecks, Topnecks, Cherrystone, and Quahogs. Soft Shell we use for fried clams or steamed clams with Portuguese Hot Spicy Chourico sausage, onions and wine. Countnecks, Littlenecks, Topnecks, Cherrystone we eat raw on the half shell, make Clams Casino appetizers, make chowder or soup, make Clam Cakes or Clam Pie and large Quahogs we use for chopped clams and make Stuffies.

            I make my Quahog Stuffies with Portuguese sweet bread, Portuguese Hot Spicy Chourico sausage, Chopped Quahog meat, Fresh corn off the cob kernels, onion spices and clam juice. I think I live off of clam dip and potato chips.

            Lobster claw meat is very sweet and grainy compared to tail meat which is less sweet and stringy. I don’t eat the tomalley nor the egg row but some people love it as a delicacy! Shelling a 1-pound lobster legs and body is not worth the time and effort for the amount of meat gained in a restaurant where better use would be in the stock pot. However larger lobsters you do gain a lot of extra meat. I’ve never seen tomalley, small thin leg meat (smaller than a pencil) or meat flakes from body in lobster rolls. It’s always been big chunks of tail meat, claws, knuckles and arms.

            When I eat a lobster at home or in a restaurant I demolish the whole thing leaving nothing but shell, body cartilage, lung feathers and tomalley. I pop the tail, knuckle, arm meat out with index finger, crack claws and remove meat in one piece, suck leg meat out and crack body in half and remove all the meat in cavities.

            I offered in an email to you but Iselle has other plans for this Thursday night at the Mai Tai Bar.

          • August 6, 2014 at 6:41 pm
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            Pomai,

            I missed mentioning you’d love New England “Clam Cakes” because the closest thing to them is malasadas filled with chopped clams throughout the dough. They are addictive and we eat them standalone sometimes sprinkled with vinegar and salt or dipped into clam chowder (New England cream style, Rhode Island Clear style, Manhattan Red style, Hatteras Clam Chowder style or Minorcan Clam Chowder style). Chowder and Clam Cakes makes a great meal!

            Speaking of chowder both Massachusetts and Rhode Island have an annual restaurant chowder cook-off with public vote for the best clam or seafood chowder bragging right for the year.

          • August 6, 2014 at 7:07 pm
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            Ken,

            I’ll take a rain check on that Lobster Roll, yet I’m holding you on it!

            As for the employees “distracting” the sample lady (or guy), sounds like they’re doing that intentionally because of unruly customers.

            Interesting that Kona Lobster is really just a “Lobster Hotel” for Maine Lobster. From what understand, they pump super cold ocean water from hundreds of feet below the ocean surface off the Kona Coast for all the products raised at the aquafarms out there, including Kona Abalone and Ogo. GREAT concept!

            Interesting difference between the Lobster claw meat vs. tail meat. I’m surprised you don’t eat the Lobster Tomalley or egg roe. You seem like a “Bizarre Foods” kinda’ guy.

            Those New England Clam Cakes sound AWESOME! A malasada filled with chopped clams? Genius! I so need to try that!

            When it comes to clam chowder, it MUST be the creamy New England style for me, served either with the traditional oyster crackers, or the local Diamond Bakery soda crackers. I don’t care for the tomato-based Manhattan style Clam Chowder at all, which I think is influenced by Cioppino. Nor do I care for seafood chowder. Strictly a “purist” bowl of classic N.E. style Clam Chowdah!

      • August 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm
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        Boston also has great lobster rolls. They use Hellman’s (Best Foods) everywhere I went. Fresh tanked Maine or east coast lobster. Too much celery for a Hawaii family tho. But we suffered thru it. Over and over.

        Reply
        • August 4, 2014 at 9:07 pm
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          @Pat

          A true Maine style lobster salad roll is comprised of a unsalted clarified buttered grill toasted top split New England style hot dog bun, fresh boiled or steamed in Atlantic Ocean water or salted water lobster de-shelled of meat (coarsely chopped tail meat, knuckle and arm meat and whole claw meat for top presentation) lightly dressed with just enough Hellman’s mayonnaise to just hold everything together but not overpower the lobster taste.

          No celery, shallots, green onions, lettuce, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder gourmet style buns or rolls lemon or other spices and herbs added. Adding fillers is just a way not to put a decent amount of lobster meat in the sandwich for price charged and takes away from the lobster.

          You just taste the buttery sweet goodness of the lovely toasted bun caressingly holding the heavenly sweet lobster meat with a background hint of creamy Hellman’s mayonnaise like fine wine showcasing the lobster. Rustic Heaven bliss!

          What really kicks a lobster roll way up the scale is King’s Hawaiian sweet Portuguese bread top split hot dog buns which you can get in Hawaii and all through the mainland because New England top split hot dog buns are made with normal white bread.

          I get my Maine style lobster roll fix every year when I visit New England flying into Boston from HI at Belle Isle Seafood in Winthrop, MA at the end of runway 22L. Boston’s top chefs hang out here for their seafood fix and everything is cooked to order. Belle Isle website: http://www.belleisleseafood.com/

          Right after I get rental car out of Logan Airport take RT-1A North to very first exit which comes up very fast stay to your right (drivers may not let you over) RT-145 Winthrop going straight and merging to your right on to Bennington St. following to red light at large intersection square turning right on to Saratoga St. RT-145 and following to Winthrop Bridge. End of bridge over the river will be Belle Isle Seafood on your right. Reverse travel will take you to on ramp for RT-1A South at highway overpass to your left and north about 3 block before the overpass on Curtis St. to your right. Belle Isle lobster roll 2014 price $21 and standard size is ½ lb. (8 oz.) fresh cooked lobster meat with one side order and yes there is a whole hot dog bun under the lobster meat! Yelp old/new Belle Isle photos: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/belle-isle-lobster-and-seafood-boston?select=N-DczDqn42UNb8L4s2AeIQ#8Dr-zTQwUDFKHC2YXzuPnQ

          I also drive up I-95 to North Shore Massachusetts on RT-1 exit in Topsfield and then turn right (East) at red light at Ipswich Rd. following in to Ipswich, MA town center and turning left (North) on to RT-1A (The Fried Clam Highway) to The Clam Box on your left just north of town which Yankee Magazine voted the “Best Fried Clams in New England” and many other magazines and TV stations have voted or proclaimed the same (been eating their fried clams since 1963). Each “Native” fried clam morsel is like a little pad of sweet sugared butter. The Clam Box website: http://www.ipswichma.com/clambox/index.htm

          Reply
          • August 5, 2014 at 4:19 am
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            Ken,

            I don’t think your directions to get a great Lobster Roll way out there on the north east coast is informative enough. Can you please be more specific? ;-P

            With that particular Belle Isle “Epic” Lobster Roll Yelp photo you linked, I notice it has a very pronounced single lobster claw sticking out one end, which I read is a key to a GREAT Lobster Roll. The fact that the meat includes not just tail meat, but claw as well. Which I imagine would significantly increase the price of said Lobster Roll. With your experience, can you distinctively define the difference in taste and texture between Maine Lobster tail meat and claw meat? Or is it just a visual thing? Also, what about Tomalley (guts) and leg meat: does that ever get mixed in on a Lobster Roll?

            All I can say is, with all this talk about Lobster Rolls, I’m about to go buy myself a tail (that didn’t sound right) and some King’s Hawaiian Split Top and make my own dang Lobster Roll!

  • August 4, 2014 at 7:38 am
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    Only saw your Costco sample lady post today, and I’m ready to go ballistic! I shop at the Waipio Costco because it’s on my way home. Wednesday and Thursday for me are the big sample days. I don’t go to Costco on the weekends ’cause it’s too crazy. Anyway, from my observations, a lot of the “samplers” are Costco employees who hang out and talk and eat. There’s this odd guy who hangs around the sample lady and just talks…who knows how many sales they lost with this dude hanging around.

    What do you think about people who shift fruit around in boxes or open sealed boxes to sample? I saw this lady who ate a cherry but all the boxes were sealed with a small sticker or there were loose cherries in the crates. Yikes!

    They need a parking area in the store for people who are on their cells phones and who shouldn’t or can’t manuever their carts while texting or talking.

    But, there are nice people too, people have let me go in front of them when I only have a few things to purchase. They will get good karma, everything will be there ready for them when they roll up to the Sample Lady.

    Lastly, attention all Costco shoppers: put your carts away, don’t leave them in a parking space.

    Hope to see you at Costco.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2014 at 8:59 am
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    @ Momona – It’s rather ironic hearing you complain about this subject with a screen name “Momona”. LOL!!! Truth be told, you’ve probably got a smokin’ hot bod’.

    I’ve never noticed Costco employees fraternizing around the sample stations at the Iwilei and Hawaii Kai Costco I frequent. What I do notice is Costco’s employees have a great morale. You can tell they like their jobs and their employer, which Costco is known for. I’ve never ever come across a rude Costco employee, except for “Da’ Sample Lady Nazi”, which she was just doing her job, so I don’t consider her rude, just “stern”.

    Speaking of shifting fruits around, my mom told me she was once at the Customer Service counter at the Hawaii Kai Costco, and this one customer (you can guess what type) had the nerve of returning an entire case of fruit… get this… after all but one fruit was left! She claimed “it tasted spoiled”… after she ate pretty much the entire case of fruit! What the fffff???!!!!! And she got her money back! Costco’s return policy is as liberal as it gets, which is great for customers, however it gets so abused.

    As for people’s phone etiquette, that problem is everywhere, not just in Costco. Pretty soon businesses will start banning cellphone use in their stores and restaurants, which I think would be a GREAT thing.

    As for letting people go in front of me when they only have one or 2 items to purchase, I do that all the time at all the stores I shop. It’s my nature. Same for when I drive. It’s called Aloha Spirit.

    Leaving a shopping cart in a parking space is as inconsiderate as it gets. But don’t worry, Karma will catch up to them.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2014 at 9:20 am
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    Oh Pomai, you so kind! But never judge a “bod” by it’s name! Ha!

    Reply

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