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Dining at Airports

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On ‎1‎/‎31‎/‎2016 at 1:22 PM, Sundae in the Park said:

Terminal A (United terminal) at Sacramento is dead as of 7 PM on a weekday (Wednesday, don't know if that's special). All but one of the restaurants inside security were closed (Freshii saved me - they have perfectly adequate-good fresh and crunchy rice/noodle bowls and wraps and burritos - I had the satay noodle bowl and there were lots of chicken, broccoli, cabbage, and carrots with a kicky sauce over a healthy helping of rice noodles) and most of the stores as well. Ghost town!!!

There is a Freshii down the street from where I work.  I have been eating my way through the salads and bowls.  They really are quite tasty with fresh ingredients and sensibly portioned,.  The most expensive item tops out at about $8.00 (unless you add chicken, steak, tofu, or falafel) so I find it reasonably priced as well.  I have been trying to like their spicy lemongrass soup, but there is something missing in it for me.

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CLT

Note that Whiskey River took the cheesesteak off their menu, which is unfortunate as it was the only thing that ever appealed to me (and was tasty to boot).  Instead I had some generic BBQ Burger that wasn't very good and a side of tater tots that had no crunch. I'll never go back.

It's Phillip's Seafood or bust from here on out. Oy vey!

 

DAY

Also, I go thru DAY several times a month and am a Max & Erma's expert at that location. Some quick notes: they can be slow, so mind your time. say hi to Craig at the bar. avoid the house salad, which varies in quality. french onion soup is surprisingly good for an airport (tho could spend an extra minute or 2 under the broiler). if you get the quesadilla, ask them to plate it without the wax paper. all the burgers are solid. the cheesesteak is very good, particularly due to the steamed bun. if you go black bean rollups, get them fried, but skip the pico de gallo "dipping" sauce (which doesn't work with the item as it's not dip-able), and ask to substitute something else. you can find a good club sandwich here. great blue cheese dressing.

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Ate at the "PGA Tour Grill" restaurant in Terminal B at BOS Sunday night because I could get a seat with a good view of the Patriots game. Against my better judgement I ordered the "Boston Roast Beef" sandwich and it was even worse than I expected--gray school cafeteria-grade meat, barely any barbecue sauce (and it was the wrong kind anyway), and the roll was some overly toasted brown thing rather than the "soft onion roll" promised on the menu. Back to clam chowder at Legal next time.

The beef shawarma bowl from Lebanese Taverna Express at DCA was pretty good and sufficiently filling. My first choice would have been Taylor Gourmet, but judging from the line, the number of people impatiently waiting for their sandwiches, and my own past experiences, it might have been half an hour before I actually got my sandwich. Love the new food options at DCA in recent years but they need to find a way to speed things up at some of these places.

 

 

 

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EWR

Is anyone familiar with Terminal B (the international terminal) at the Newark Airport?  Any recommendations for a sit-down restaurant there?  

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JFK

Had Shake Shack in Terminal 4 (the Delta terminal) on Sunday night and it tasted nearly exactly like what I used to get at the brick and mortar locations in DC. I had never stopped at the ones in JFK when I lived in DC since I figured it was better back home, but now that I no longer live in the District, it definitely scratched an itch for me.

ATL

Ecco: Decent, but pricey Italian in Terminal F (the new international terminal). Had a respectable braised pork papparadelle that needed a little bit of acid, which I provided by adding the caramelized onions that came with my wife's cheese plate to the bowl of pasta. Service was odd in that the food came out quite quickly after ordering but our cocktails didn't come until we were about halfway done with our entrees. And since mine was a variant of a Negroni with Fernet Branca instead of vermouth, it required me to continue sipping long after the food was gone since it's so boozy. Expensive for an airport meal, but was able to expense it. Still, it was a nice, relaxing atmosphere prior to our trans-Atlantic flight.

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IST

If you have the good fortune to be a United pass holder, or you are flying premium class on Star Alliance, run, do not walk, to the business class lounge.  A huge variety of excellent food and wine, all free, and a million other ways to pass your time.  I was there on about a month ago on a seven-hour layover and relished every minute.  

This article says it way better than I could:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janice-s-lintz/12-reasons-why-the-turkis_b_7308256.html

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Terminal 3 at McCarran International in Las Vegas has almost nothing open very early in the morning. At 0530 our choices were Burger King and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, which actually had pretty good coffee, but no food except a few stale-looking cinnamon buns and racks of almost-frozen burritos and sandwiches that hadn't been put in cases yet. Fortunately the instant oatmeal in a cup stuff isn't too bad. Anyway be warned if you have an early flight.

On the other hand, Sky Canyon at Dallas Love Field had really good tacos. Seriously good. Mr. P thought his hamburger was fine but nothing special; I thought the beef tacos and pork tacos were exceptional. There's also a gelato shop that makes a decent milkshake.

LAS   DAL

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I've been catching early flights out of Albuquerque the past couple of months and relying on Black Mesa Coffee Co. near Gate A9 for breakfast. Their yogurt parfaits are pricey ($7.75), but have plenty of granola and good fresh berries to make them worthwhile. The "loaded" oatmeal, on the other hand, is seriously underwhelming; tasty enough oatmeal, but a scant teaspoon each of dried cranberries and walnuts. They make several types of breakfast sandwiches (including some on bagels, which: no. I love you, Burque, but bagels are not your specialty.) and at least one breakfast roll-up as well.

ABQ

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I just had two of the worst chicken enchiladas ever at El Centro. They came out in under 3 minutes, and it showed. Tasteless, soggy, and showing absolutely no care or thought. Avoid!

DCA

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ATL

I suggest that you avoid Mustard Seed BBQ at Terminal D in the Atlanta Airport.  As a final insult to my travel day (the flight was delayed by over 4 hours, followed by opening the door at 1:45 am to a hotel room that had clearly NOT been made up after the prior tenant), I enjoyed a violent case of food poisoning for the first day of a 4 day, 2 city trip this week. Was it the pulled pork or the potato salad?  I have a pretty robust immune system but whichever it was, it was too damned much.    

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On 5/15/2017 at 7:50 AM, Dr. Delicious said:

I just had two of the worst chicken enchiladas ever at El Centro. They came out in under 3 minutes, and it showed. Tasteless, soggy, and showing absolutely no care or thought. Avoid!

DCA

I had a Cava Breakfast Pita ($8.25) a few days ago, and it was a decent airport sandwich - nothing you'd remember or care about, but served its purpose.

DCA

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ORD

It's been discussed here before, but Tortas Fronteras is still good. Had the Milanesa which was a chicken cutlet with a mashed black bean spread and green crema sauce. It came with a charred tomatillo salsa (not sure why, it didn't need it.) Not sure if it was just my sandwich, or if they're meant to be like this, but my sandwich came out HOT!

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On 9/3/2006 at 2:09 PM, sara said:

Hi

I think this is a really important thread, since a decent meal can help ameliorate the anguish of being stranded in an airport for hours and hours...So here are a few more tips:

1. My favorite airport food, which I'll even consider rerouting a trip to get, can be found in Cincinnatti at Gold Star Chili, in the Food Court in Concourse B. If you land in a different concourse, you can hop on the shuttle to get over there between flights. Have the chili 5 ways, with onions, spaghetti, beans, and cheese, and don't forget to bring home a couple of spice packets! Delicious, tho not as good as Skyway Chili, not found in the airport.

2. In Atlanta, go for BBQ at Paschal's Southern Delights, located Concourses A, the Atrium, and C.

3. In Detroit, have Japanese food (including sushi rolls and noodle soups) at Musashi Japanese Cuisine, located in the food court in the hallway where the Westin is (across from gates A31-37). You'll often see Japanese flight attendants here, whereas they are noticeably absent from the other sushi restaurant, Sora, located in the main corridor. I don't find the sushi there fresh or tasty at all.

4. In Washington DC-National, a good alternative to Legal Seafoods is sushi at the high quality restaurant Matsutake Sushi in the National Hall. This place is as good as many non-airport sushi restaurants in the DC area, and is the only sushi restaurant at an airport in the entire country where I will order sushi and sashimi pieces, rather than rolls.

Hope this helps!

CVG ATL DTW DCA

Oh, come on, Sara - who are *you* to be discussing food?

Okay, okay, there's ... this (*), which is actually pretty damned cool.

Our members continuously amaze me.

(*) Posted with Sara's permission, as she had never explicitly identified herself here.

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On 9/3/2006 at 2:09 PM, sara said:

4. In Washington DC-National, a good alternative to Legal Seafoods is sushi at the high quality restaurant Matsutake Sushi in the National Hall. This place is as good as many non-airport sushi restaurants in the DC area, and is the only sushi restaurant at an airport in the entire country where I will order sushi and sashimi pieces, rather than rolls.

I've been told of a CEO who likes this place so much that he has brought his family to this place just to eat.

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PSC (Pasco/Tri-Cities Airport, Washington state)

Not gonna lie, the grilled cheese sandwich at the sandwich kiosk was pretty darn tasty. 

As far as I could tell there are three places to eat at the Pasco airport: this kiosk, which also doubles as the convenience store for all your snacks, magazines, and forgotten toiletries.  A full service bar which also serves food.  Both are in the concourse behind security.  Another sandwich/grill type place is in the main lobby near baggage claim.  It looks like they are all run by the same concession company, Tailwind Concessions.

Anyway, we were hungry and still had an hour drive to Walla Walla, so we stopped off at the kiosk for a grilled cheese.  It's made to order, first it's put in an oven to melt the cheese and then put on a griddle to toast the bread.  You can add tomatoes and a pesto mayo type sauce.  A bag of chips is included.  We were pleasantly surprised.

Pasco airport is so small that by the time we had eaten the sandwich our luggage had been removed from the baggage carousel and we had to go to baggage claim to rescue it from storage.  I love small,  regional airports!         

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CDG.

How in the world is an airport in Paris a food desert?  Well, ok, not the entire airport, but the entirety of hall K, which appears to cover all intercontinental flights.  We transited CDG today and found hall K to be dismal.  A Starbucks.  A Prêt-a-Manger.  A fancy truffles-and-seafood bar (where I would have been were it not for the three anklebiters.)  And a Yo Sushi!, one of those conveyer-belt sushi places.

A three-hour layover feels insufficient with three kids under five, so long lines (see: above mentioned Starbucks and Prêt-a-Manger) were rejected.  Hence a very fast lunch at Yo Sushi!, where the boys had katsu chicken and the baby decided he loved kiwi.

How in the world CDG can't have one decent sit-down airport-quality restaurant, where I can get a mediocre burger and a pint of megabrew is beyond me.

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ATL - had a long-ish layover in Atlanta and tried Varasano's Pizzeria and One Flew South.  One Flew South is kinda pricy but the food is indeed very good for airport food.  Fresh ingredients and well prepared.  Having said that, I did like Varasano's better.  Good thin crust pizza and good salumi board, not cheap but priced at a level commensurate to the quality/quantity of food.

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IAD - Dulles Airport, Virginia - Concourse B (Post-Security)

On Mar 20, 2018, we began a long trip at Dulles, leaving mid-day, and arriving early enough to have plenty of time for some decent food and drink.

We started out at the always-reliable Vino Volo (near Gate 63, which is pretty far towards one end), with DIShGo having a tasting sampler of Spring Whites ($13 for 3), half-pours of 2014 Mud House Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, NZ), 2014 Verduzzo Pinot Grigio (Masi, Veneto, IT), and the once-proud 2014 Stag's Leap Viognier (Napa, CA), and me starting off light with a Port City Downright Pilsner (Alexandria, VA), knowing that towards the other end of this extremely late (11:30 PM) flight, there would be a layover in Munich, DE with enough time to get some real beer.

IMG_3887.JPG

Our server had some training in being a sommelier, because she was just fantastic - leaps-and-bounds above any American airport wine server I've ever encountered - I wish I remembered her name, but she was a young woman, perhaps around thirty, and was working the night of Mar 20, 2018. Knowing we were in an airport, we played it safe with the food, ordering something that couldn't run afoul of the airport's awful heating facilities, and ordering a Charcuterie Board ($21), with hefty portions of procured meats, cheeses, dried fruits and nuts - this really wasn't a bad value considering where we were, and I recommend it for hungry travelers. I'm determined to find the first name of our wonderful server, so I'll edit this post when I do.

IMG_3888.JPG

Having some more time to pass before our flight left, we stopped in the Turkish Airlines Lounge, a Priority Pass participant, where we could have eaten and drunk for free the entire time. There was a nice little Turkish-based food buffet (which I took advantage of), and our kindly bartender, Maria (incidentally, from Peru - we called her Santa Maria she was so nice), made us each a couple double gin-and-tonics to prepare us for our overnight, trans-Atlantic flight. Just to be sure, we asked if everything was free - "I'll make sure it is," she said, coyly - we left her a nice tip - and with her permission, took this little souvenir - what a gem of a person she was:

IMG_3893.JPG

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On 12/3/2017 at 7:10 PM, Kanishka said:

How in the world CDG can't have one decent sit-down airport-quality restaurant, where I can get a mediocre burger and a pint of megabrew is beyond me.

There is actually an excellent Alain Ducasse restaurant in CDG, but you have to have access to the La Première lounge to enjoy it.  Air France occasionally offers great deals on their La Première (first class) connecting through CDG and it is really an experience worth having - even if just for the Jaguar transfers between the plane and the lounge.

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ORD

Traveling home from Chicago last night, I got to the airport and went to Rick Bayless' Tortas Frontera, which I've long heard to be one of the best airport quick-serve restaurants in the country. Having never really been to Chicago before (this trip was spent in the suburbs and in the lovely metropolis of Dixon, IL where we have a factory), I've long yearned to go to a Bayless place given how much I admire what he does and have had great success with his cookbooks. Well, the sandwich shop didn't disappoint. It was a tough decision between the cochinita pibil and choirqueso tortas, but I went with the latter, though added the pickled onions from the former. On the sandwich were chorizo (the supplier is noted in an article posted a few years ago in this thread), jack cheese, avocado, poblano rajas and the aforementioned pickled onions. It was served with a side of salsa verde, which tasted like the jarred Frontera brand sold in grocery stores, and I saw a large box marked as such from the delivery they were unloading. The sandwich didn't need the salsa anyway, as it was plenty moist and all the ingredients did a nice job blending together with the onions giving it a nice bit of acidity to contrast the rich fillings. Great bread as well. I washed it down with a lime aqua fresca which was essentially a limeade and on the very tart side, which I appreciate. I still need to get to Chicago and try about a million restaurants (including a proper Bayless joint), but if I'm in O'Hare I don't see not stopping here.

 

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23 hours ago, Deac said:

ORD

Traveling home from Chicago last night, I got to the airport and went to Rick Bayless' Tortas Frontera, which I've long heard to be one of the best airport quick-serve restaurants in the country. Having never really been to Chicago before (this trip was spent in the suburbs and in the lovely metropolis of Dixon, IL where we have a factory), I've long yearned to go to a Bayless place given how much I admire what he does and have had great success with his cookbooks. Well, the sandwich shop didn't disappoint. It was a tough decision between the cochinita pibil and choirqueso tortas, but I went with the latter, though added the pickled onions from the former. On the sandwich were chorizo (the supplier is noted in an article posted a few years ago in this thread), jack cheese, avocado, poblano rajas and the aforementioned pickled onions. It was served with a side of salsa verde, which tasted like the jarred Frontera brand sold in grocery stores, and I saw a large box marked as such from the delivery they were unloading. The sandwich didn't need the salsa anyway, as it was plenty moist and all the ingredients did a nice job blending together with the onions giving it a nice bit of acidity to contrast the rich fillings. Great bread as well. I washed it down with a lime aqua fresca which was essentially a limeade and on the very tart side, which I appreciate. I still need to get to Chicago and try about a million restaurants (including a proper Bayless joint), but if I'm in O'Hare I don't see not stopping here.

Seconded this recommendation wholeheartedly! The cochinita pibil, chicken tortilla soup and mango agua fresca (add tequila) were lifesavers for us after a weekend of Beard Awards tomfoolery, made the trip back home all the more merrier (and less nauseating)

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Upcoming trip, have 3-hour layovers at JFK, dinnertime outbound and lunchtime on the return. Any suggestions? To the best of my knowledge we will arrive at terminal 2 and depart from terminal 4 on the way out, and reverse that on the way back.

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