For months, Costco has been undertaking a “secret sushi project” involving extensive tests at the big box chain’s R&D kitchen and even flying teams out to Japan to research types of rice, reports the Seattle Times. As of a couple weekends ago, that project was unveiled to the public, as the Issaquah location debuted a sushi counter, the first of its kind in the U.S.
Costco sells sushi in Japan and South Korea, and contractors sell it at Costco in Hawaii. The chain has occasionally offered prepackaged sushi, but judging by Reddit comments it hasn’t been a huge hit. The Issaquah sushi counter represents potentially a big step for the company, which may soon bring sushi and sashimi to stores across the mainland U.S. True to Costco’s brand, the idea is to offer a product that’s a cut above what’s available at a typical grocery store (not hard to do, in the case of grocery store sushi) and at a price point that seems like a steal.
Also true to Costco’s brand, news of a new product inspired a rush of customers eager to try it, with lines at the counter being fairly common. On Reddit, reviews have been mixed, though one commenter was pleased: “I never thought I would enjoy sushi from the same place I buy my tires, but wow!” Tan Vinh of the Times was especially impressed by the sashimi, which cost $30 a pound but apparently worth it: “The quality is just as good, if not better than what you might find at your neighborhood sushi restaurant.”
Pike Place institution the Crumpet Shop is up for sale
In a breadcrumb first reported by the newsletter SEAtoday, the Crumpet Shop, one of the landmark businesses of Pike Place Market, is looking for a buyer. The founders, who opened the store in 1976, are retiring and their son (who has run the business) is “embarking on a new journey,” according to SEAtoday. The asking price on the listing is $715,000.
The U Village’s Piatti reopens
The University Village location of the Italian chain Piatti — which has been there since 1995, long since the surrounding outdoor mall became University Village — reopened this week redesigned and freshened up in that rustic-minimalist way. This is part of a nationwide reset planned by the brand since before the pandemic began, according to a San Francisco Chronicle article from 2021. The new-look Piatti at the U Village will focus on pasta and cocktails and also now offers brunch.
Seattle has a representative on the ‘Great American Recipe’
The Great American Recipe, an under-the-radar Great British Bake-Off clone produced by PBS, is now in its second season. It highlights exceptional home cooks and their recipes from across the country, including one cook from North Seattle. Maria Givens is a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Idaho whose cooking is inspired by her Native background and Northwest ingredients. In the first episode (available here), she made salmon with huckleberry sauce, then bison short ribs. She told the Times that she was scouted by a producer who found her Instagram account, further proof that taking food pics is a worthwhile activity. You can watch The Great American Recipe on KCTS at 9 p.m. Mondays.