Grab and Go at the Terminal

Airports have become bastions of yummy gastronomy

Granted, we think there are better physical means in which to approach air travel other than “starving,” but if you do find yourself waiting for a connection and unable to remain ambulatory because your blood sugar just took a huge dive, your choices have come universes since the days of protein bars and candy-coated, letter-emblazoned chocolate bits.

Truth is, some airports have become bastions of yummy gastronomy. Trend-setters, even. You might even find yourself hitting the terminal for dinner even when you aren’t booked on a flight, because hotspots like Dylan’s Candy bar, P.F. Changs and Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar are showing up at several major airports.

But don’t think for a minute that chains are the only game on the concourse. We did a bit of travel-related research and found this, with some very interesting info included.

Pretty much anything you can find uptown/downtown/midtown, you can find in the country’s better airports.

For instance, did you know Portland International Airport is now home to KOi Fusion food trucks? Asian fusion with interesting takes on tacos, burritos and, yes, kimchi quesadillas is sold cart-stile before the security checkpoint at PDX. Andy Ricker’s PokPok is also mobile at PDX. Yahoo!
One of our favorite airports is Toronto Pearson International, for any number of reasons – not the least of which now is the addition of Caplansky’s Delicatessen’s opening in Terminal 3. Reuben reuben! And you can get it to go!

Denver International has the premier hot dogger with Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs on B Concourse, and PDX is opening The Country Cat soon.

This next trend has us absolutely jubilant. Boston Logan now has its own Berkshire Farms Market in Terminal B. Therein awaits custom smoothies, freshly baked Iggy’s bread and even some home-brewed fire cider. Seriously The same group that operates Logan’s Farm Market – innovatively named Tastes on the Fly – also runs Napa Farms Market in San Francisco International’s Terminal 2, and LAX recently opened an outpost of downtown’s Original Farmers Market in Terminal 5.

While farm markets keep us healthy and surely help to keep that flight-induced fluid retention down (fresh fruit and veggies are so wonderful…), pop-up restaurants keep us socially adept. The idea is for strangers to share meals, thereby bonding in a fundamental way. The venues are generally not permanent but rather attached to events and/or seasons. Copenhagen Airport, Helsinki and Heathrow have all had them, and the occasions are being announced through Twitter. Interesting.

As a species we’re increasingly unable to spend time apart from our mobile devices. But be of good cheer, because some restaurants are installing iPads at their tables. Not sure you can cruise Facebook, but you can order and pay for your meal and even check your flight. Reagan is one airport that was installing them.

Harking back to those protein bars and candy-coated chocolates, there are some blessed improvements to take-your-own-lunch these days. Heathrow seems to be the leader in ready-packed meals, featuring takeout foodstuffs from sandwiches to caviar.

This next link revisits some of what we’ve covered, but it’s a good idea to bookmark it.

Taking a trip this summer? You may want to fly instead of Griswald style.  The food could be worth it!         


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