airport restaurants

Fresh airport eateries in Las Vegas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Seattle and Charlotte airports

More reasons to go the airport hungry.

Pret a Manager landing at U.S. Airports

Several U.S. airports will soon have branches of U.K.-based grab-n-go coffee and sandwich chain Pret a Manger. The cahin is known for its freshly prepared foods and organic coffee.

There are currently “Pret” shops in Chicago and a few other east coast cities, but at the end of May, a Pret opened in Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport in the Terminal 3, E Gates.

In June, a Pret will open at Los Angeles International Airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal. In July a Pret will pop up at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

New places to eat at Detroit Metro Airport

There are some new restaurants in Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport’s (DTW) North Terminal. 

The restaurants include: 

Cantoro Italian Market Trattoria, a local, family owned and operated Italian market crossed with a modern corner store; 

Air Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett’s airport restaurant with a local twist;

Detroit Street Café featuring Zingerman’s Coffee;

And Atwater Brewery, a Detroit favorite, that debuted downtown in 1997 with the mission to bring German brew-styles to the area.

DTW says these restaurants are the first of a phased dining redevelopment project to open. Cantoro Italian Market Trattoria opened on April 18 and is located pre-security in baggage claim. Atwater Brewery opened on June 1 and Air Margaritaville & Detroit Street Café featuring Zingerman’s Coffee opened on June 5.

Skillet sizzles at SEA-TAC Airport

Whether or not your flight is taking off from the North Satellite at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, you might want to make your way out there to have a meal at Skillet.

Born in a food-truck and a favorite in several Seattle neighborhoods, Skillet has brought many of its menu favorites to SEA airport. The entrees include brunch favorites such as Fried Chicken & Waffle, homemade Doughnut Holes and the gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly Chilaquiles.

I guess I’ll have to forgive them for closing the Skillet in my neighborhood…

O’Hare Airport cook-off crowns 2019 winner

On Tuesday morning Terminal 2 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport began to smell.

But in a good way.

The source of the smell: aromas from the fifth annual Channel Your Inner Chef  culinary competition hosted by airport restaurateur HMSHost and the Chicago Department of Aviation. 

During the 30-minute in-terminal cook-off four finalists from across the country created an original recipe using any of the ingredients available to them from a shared pantry revealed at the start of the event.

At least one of the ingredients had to be something picked that day from O’Hare’s hydroponic Urban Garden.

The contest took place in front of an audience of invited guests and travelers on their way to or from their flights.

Each contestant had a cooking station to work at that included a knife tied to the table, a reminder that the event was taking place on the secure side of the terminal.

I was in the audience for this year’s competition and was pleased to see winners from past years (all women) paired up as mentors to this year’s contestant chefs and on stage to help out during the first few minutes of the contest.

Then each finalist went to work on their own, whipping up dishes that included a pasta, a unique take on shrimp and grits and a Brie Schnitzel.

A panel of local judges evaluated the contestants on their recipe, presentation, showmanship and, of course, the taste of their dish and crowned Greeley, Colorado resident DeAndre Smith as the winner.

His winning dish: a pan-seared chicken breast with a brown sugar glaze accompanied by pickled rainbow carrots with Fresno peppers, fresh lemongrass, ginger and rice wine vinegar, along with a yam purée with cumin and almonds and flash fried kale.

“I thought about what my dish would be before I came to the contest and was just hoping the ingredients I needed would be here,” Smith told me, “I had to make a few adjustments, but it worked out.”

Smith’s prize is roundtrip airfare for two, as well as a VIP experience for two to the James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago.

Even better: Smith’s dish will soon be featured on the menu of an HMSHost-operated restaurant at O’Hare.

PHX Sky Harbor Airport celebrates new concourse

The newly named John S. McCain III Terminal 3 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) now has a new South Concourse and post-security lobby area with 15 gates and all new shops, restaurants and amenities.

The area offers passengers lots of light and great view of Phoenix’s desert landscape as well as power at most every seat, a new state-of-the-art Delta Sky Club, a children’s play area (the PHX Play-Viation Park), a nursing room and an animal relief area.

Public art installations feature a colorful terrazzo floor by Arizona artist Teresa Villegas as well as Donald Lipski’s “Aviators” which are giant sunglasses on the wall of the arrivals atrium.

Retail includes national brands, such as Johnston & Murphy and Sugarfina, as well as locally-linked venues such as Best of the Valley and Travel Outfitters. Mosaic includes artwork by Phoenix and Arizona-based artists, and Indigenous pays tribute to Southwest Native American tribes and offers jewelry and crafts.

Dining options include Shake Shack and Panera Bread as well as chef Mark Tarbell’s Tavern, James Beard award winner Christopher Gross’ Christopher’s and other local favorites that include The Parlor (pizza and pasta), SanTan Brewing Company and Mustache Pretzels, which serves mustache-shaped pretzels (and dips), including the Nutstache, with salted caramel and topped with crushed peanuts, walnuts, almonds and filberts.

Terminal 3 serves Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, and Sun Country and is being updated in phases.

There’s one more phase to completed: the renovation of the North Concourse, which will add all new shops, restaurants and customer amenities. That phase is slated to be completed in 2020.

Philadelphia International Airport celebrates shiny new Terminal B.

Philadelphia International Airport held a celebration this week for its shiny new Terminal B.

With American Airlines and the hospitality group OTG, PHL invested $30 million to makeover Terminal B with new restaurants, shops, and more than 2,000 power and USB ports built into redesigned seating.

Much of that seating comes with OTG’s familiar tablets, which not only let passengers order foods and goods from nearby venues to be delivered to them at their seats, but gives them access to Wi-Fi, flight tracking and games.

New to Terminal B are: the French‐inspired bakery Boule Café, Mediterranean mezze concept Baba Bar, Italian eatery CIBO Bistro & Wine Bar, beer & brat restaurant Germantown Biergarten, steak & chop house Independence Prime, fresh sushi at Noobar, Philly comfort food at the LOVE Grille and Neapolitan Pizza at Mezzogiorno.

In addition to the improvements by OTG to the gate areas, the airport did a “Touch Every Surface” program that includes new ceiling tiles, new heating and air conditioning, new ceramic tiles and refinished terrazzo floors.

Nice!

Hockey at airports? In restaurants and bars, yes.

Courtesy Provincial Archives of Alberta, via Flickr Commons.

If you’re a hockey fan, you’re no doubt paying attention to what’s happening with the NHL season playoffs and looking for TVs in airport where you can watch the games and be with your people.

Turns out, there  are plenty of hockey-themed restaurants and bars in airports.

Here are just a few, operated by HMSHost

Avenue des Canadiens at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport’s Domestic Terminal by Gate 01 celebrates the Montreal Canadiens.

Minnesota Wild in Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport’s Concourse H is Minnesota Wild-themed.

Sharks Cage Sports Bar & Grill in San Jose International Airport’s Terminal B by Gate B18 is all about the San Jose Sharks.

Stanley’s Blackhawks Kitchen & Tap in Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 2 by Gate E5 celebrates the Chicago Blackhawks.

Anaheim Ducks Breakaway Bar & Grill in John Wayne Airport’s Terminal C is where Anaheim Ducks fans will feel welcome.

And  Vancouver Canucks Bar & Grill in Vancouver International Airport’s US Terminal by Gate E81 is all about Vancouver’s NHL team, the Canucks.