A Costco hot dog combo with diced onions. Chopped onions are back in the food court after Costco discontinued them in 2020. (Mike Henneke / The Herald)

A Costco hot dog combo with diced onions. Chopped onions are back in the food court after Costco discontinued them in 2020. (Mike Henneke / The Herald)

Diced onions, a pandemic casualty, are back at Costco food court

You have to ask for onions in Lake Stevens. For some, it’s a much bigger deal than a single-use cup. It’s a reminder of a pre-pandemic world.

LAKE STEVENS — Cry for joy.

As of this week, diced onions are back at the Costco food court.

The cranking gizmo that dispenses diced onions isn’t back, though. Instead, customers must ask at the counter for a free plastic cup of the diced delight.

Like this: “A hot dog and a cup of onions, please.”

Still, it’s a throwback to the old days before COVID.

Chopped onions are one of the top things people miss at the food court, based on the millions who love to talk about all things Costco on social media.

“I can’t believe how happy this news has made me,” read one comment.

“Like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano,” said another.

There are a few dissenters: “You guys are excited over damn onions?”

Others complained about the plastic waste over single-use containers for the onions.

During the condiment crisis, Jeffrey Airman, of Stanwood, starting bringing his own toppings or using items handed out as samples, such as chili and seaweed.

“The removal of onions and sauerkraut was my original inspiration,” he said. “I see Costco hot dogs as a blank slate for creative flavor and texture combinations … I do get a few curious looks every time I add ingredients to upgrade my Costco hot dog.”

Most people have made do with ketchup, mustard and relish.

The onion comeback is huge.

“Everyone has been waiting,” said Heidi Smith, admin of the “Lake Stevens Costco” Facebook page. “We lost so much stuff during the pandemic.”

The local page she started when the new warehouse opened six months ago has 12,500 members. That’s equal to about one-third the population of Lake Stevens.

“I’m holding out for the sauerkraut,” Smith said.

That’s also on the miss-it-so-badly list, along with combo pizza and Polish dogs.

“There is more good news. Mango smoothies and chicken Caesar salad are coming back,” she said.

You can smell the celebration in the air.

A Facebook group member has planned a tailgate party 5 p.m. Saturday at the Lake Stevens Costco.

“Grab a food item and drink from the food court … We’ll gather by the fuel station,” it reads.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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