Friday, July 3, 2009

Airport Food

I think I'm a bad flier. Not because I get nervous and freak out on the plane, not because I get drunk before I fly, and not because I obnoxiously insist on chatting up the person sitting next to me. Because I get motion sick from takeoff, the turbulence, and landing. I turn a delicate shade of green every time I fly, and while Kermit might find that charming, I do not.

This condition has led me to seek out airport food that is gentle on my rioting stomach. No easy feat when you also account for the celiac. Fast food is automatically out because 99.9% of it is fried and the rest so greasy that my delicate shade of green would deepen into an even less pleasant shade. That usually leaves some sort of cafe.

My trip from Newark to Atlanta passed without incident. Smooth take off, little turbulence, and an even smoother landing meant I was in good shape when I arrived to wait out a two hour layover from Atlanta to Florence. Time to find some food. My stomach had minimal complaints, so I took a gamble on a place I hadn't tried before. The Sojourn Cafe. Do. Not. Eat. There. Ever. I sat down and ordered a Riesling while I studied the menu for food options. Caribbean chicken salad caught my eye. The description said it was served on a bed of lettuce with bright, juicy tomatoes. Sounds lovely right? In the meantime, the waitress returns to inform me that they are out of Riesling. It's 1PM on a Wednesday, but ok. I opt to try the pinot grigio instead. Some minutes later, the waitress comes back again to tell me that they are also out of pinot grigio and would I like chardonnay. No, I would not. I'll have a Coke. Is Pepsi ok? Absolutely not, I'll settle for Sierra Mist. In the midst of trying to order my drink for the 4th time, my chicken salad arrives delivered by the surliest line cook ever. After interrupting my waitress and me to confirm she was at the correct table, she thumped down a basket containing a bright yellow mass of goo sitting on three tomato slices and wilted lettuce. This did not bode well for taste. I eyed the mass suspiciously and took my first bite. Disaster! Caribbean chicken salad apparently means southern style chicken salad complete with sweet pickles and pimentos, but with the unpleasant addition of pineapple to the mix. On the whole it was cloyingly sweet, soggy, and thoroughly disgusting. I finished it mostly out of hunger, but doing so caused my poor travel-shocked stomach to begin complaining again. Like I said, do not eat there.

Then it was time to board for my flight to Florence. This is always my least favorite leg of the trip. I'm usually stuck at the back of a small aircraft and the flight is always bumpy. This time was no exception, only worse. This time around I was in the last row of seats and the flight was exceptionally turbulent. I spent the better part of it with my eyes closed, trying to follow my yogic breathing techniques, and white-knuckling the armrest. You never saw such a lovely chartreuse before. At least the flight is short. Once I landed, Mom and I headed out in search of real food and this time, I could enjoy it without the promise of another bumpy flight ruining it for me.

1 comment:

  1. to be fair, many restaurants get their booze delivery on thursdays, i guess for the weekend. If there's not that much traffic to the place, it's not uncommong to be out of a white wine that needs to be chilled as opposed to stored in a cabinet. can't think of any excuses for the crappy food though.