Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Airport Cuisine

Wright and I set a new record this weekend. All four of the flights that we took (New York to DC, DC to Nashville, Nashville to Charlotte, and Charlotte to New York) arrived EARLY. Can you believe it? Early. It was fantastic. Thank you, USAir, for making our Memorial Day vacation just that much better.

To go along with these early landings were two particularly long layovers (we decided to go for the cheaper, and therefore more awkward, flights). We had a three hour layover at Reagan on Friday night, and a 1.5 hour layover in Charlotte last night. Knowing this would require some serious meal-planning, I asked my resident airport expert (Dad) what his thoughts were when he dropped us off at the lovely White Plains airport Friday afternoon.

"First things first," he said, "there is only one small snack stand at the sole gate at White Plains, and it is a little known fact that they serve beer. I'll buy." Sure enough, as we wandered up to the peculiarly tiny snack stand, selling oreos and not even magazine, Dad's plan proved true. They had a keg behind the counter. After a cold Bud Light to offset to crowded gate, we were off and continued to put our food planning in Dad's hands.

Dad gave us two choices for Reagan, which were either the small, crowded sports bar in the terminal, or, with our three hours, we could venture out of security to the Legal Seafood in the main entrance hall of the airport. Since we arrived ten minutes early, making it a three hour and ten minute layover, and it was Friday night at 7pm, we decided to brave it and leave security.

It was definitely worth it. We ended up having a delicious (real!) meal at Legal Seafood, and totally stuffed ourselves. It was actually a pretty nice restaurant, and since it was outside of security, everyone was remarkably relaxed and kind. We went wild with the menu, ordering the crab cake (melt in your mouth!), a selection of raw oysters (for Wright), a delicious avocado, corn, etc salad with grilled shrimp, and the mussels. Everything was absolutely wonderful, and we kept forgetting that we were in an airport! It was a perfect Friday night date, and we made it perfectly on time back through security and to our gate.

Our meal on the return flight was not quite as glamorous, but we had an hour and a half to kill in the dreaded E terminal of the Charlotte airport (every time!), so I called up Dad again, and he immediately sent us to the Fox Sports bar, which was quite close to our gate. We had a couple of Carolina Blonde beers (go local!) and shared the chicken tenders. Hardly anything healthy, but after a nonstop weekend of fun and in the midst of a long night of traveling, anything fried is exactly what I crave. Particularly when dipped in a mix of honey mustard and ketchup.

Now, these airport food extravaganzas were only the bookends to a fantastic trip. Nashville was a lot of fun, and most importantly, it was great to see Billy and Winston and Wright's parents. Moral of this blog, though, is to call my Dad if you are ever in an airport and hungry. Apparently he's been there.

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