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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

In Hackensack, a Costco with no crowds, spicy food warms us at Bangkok Garden



In the nearly two years since the old Costco Wholesale warehouse in Hackensack reopened, members have found an oasis of calm at what is now called a Business Center.

Another Costco member I know describes the reimagined Hackensack warehouse as a combined restaurant supply house and consumer store.

On Tuesday, I was out of organic spring mix -- which serves as my daily salad -- and organic spinach, and I had a 2-pound bag of organic coffee beans I wanted to grind for my daily brew at home.

When I bought the beans on sale at the Costco Wholesale in Teterboro, that warehouses' two coffee mills were busy.

So on Tuesday, I drove to the Costco Business Center, and parked in the uncrowded lot.

After grabbing a shopping cart and showing my membership card at the door, I headed for an enormous cold room in the back of the warehouse.

That's where shoppers find milk, eggs, OJ, yogurt and many other items they are familiar with from the busy Teterboro warehouse.

I picked up a 1-pound tub of organic spring mix and another of organic spinach (only $3.69 each), paid with the Costco Visa credit card -- which is also a cash rebate card -- and took my coffee beans for a Turkish grind in the mill, which has been moved into a corner of the Costco food court.

No fuss, no muss. See video on brewing coffee at home, below:

SOME LIKE IT HOT: On a chilly and rainy Saturday, me and my wife warmed up with a few spicy dishes at Bangkok Garden Thai Restaurant, 261 Main St., Hackensack. Our main dish was called Pla Nung, a steamed whole striped bass ($26.95). But instead of the Thai brown bean sauce topping, we asked for a chili pepper-garlic sauce on the side.
ON A SCALE FROM 1 TO 10: As with the chili-garlic sauce we got with our fish, the server asked us how hot we wanted the dressing on the Som Tam Malakaw ($8.95) or crunchy Green Papaya Salad on a scale of 1 to 10. When I asked for 5, she cautioned me, so I revised that down to 3, and that was plenty hot for us.
SWEET & SPICY: We also shared an appetizer of Tod Mun Pla or Fish Cakes ($6.95) served with a Thai sweet and spicy chili sauce and ground peanuts. The menu says the chewy, deep fried  cakes are made with minced "fresh water fish." My wife also had a bowl of Thai Wonton Soup ($4.50 for small), made with chicken, not pork.


Bangkok Garden Thai Restaurant, 261 Main St., Hackensack; 201-487-2620. 

Open 7 days, liquor license, metered parking on street or in rear lot (25 cents for 30 minutes).


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