As an aviation journalist, I have seen the best and worst of airport food. I also am a big fan of the $100 hamburger, which is just an excuse for general aviation pilots to fly from one destination to another.
Which is why I cheered when I saw this great article — Test crew flies Boeing 747-8 to Pittsburgh for sandwich — from our good friend Ben Mutzabaugh of USA Today’s Today In The Sky blog. This story has two elements I just love — the Boeing 747-8 and great food.
The crew for the 747-8 flew from Seattle to Pittsburgh for some flight testing and took the opportunity to take delivery of sandwiches from Primanti Brothers. Having feasted on its signature sandwich — grilled meat (give me ham), a vinegar-based cole slaw, tomato slices, and a mound of french fries between two hunks of Italian bread — I know why they made this particular stop, and I’m not hating on them.
Last September, I took a digital storytelling course at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. We had to do a 2-minute story on the topic of our choice. We were 5 minutes away from the Albert Whitted Airport, so I decided that’s where my story was. After I shot my video, I went upstairs for lunch. It was one of the best — and most reasonably priced — meals of my life. I had a chicken/sun-dried tomato pasta with fresh bread that I still dream about to this day.
Another great airport restaurant is Enrique’s at the Ponca City, OK, airport. Their chips and salsa are to die for, and you must try the Chicken Huarache. When I went to Learn To Fly Day last year at Frederick (MD) Municipal Airport, I had a great — and cheap — lunch at the Airport Diner. The view of the runway was a bonus!
On the commercial side, I give high marks to Chicago Midway’s food concourse. You get a real feel of Chicago with its great mix of local food institutions, like Gold Coast Dogs, Lalo’s Mexican Restaurant, Pegasus on the Fly and Nuts on Clark.
So what am I missing? What commercial and GA airports offer the best meal options?