Airport Food

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Be careful what you wish for: sometimes your wishes are answered.

That’s how I felt on Sunday at the new JetBlue terminal at Kennedy Airport. I had two hours to kill: I was on a different flight from Craig, so mine arrived earlier, and I was waiting for him to split a cab back to Brooklyn. And I was starving. And here I was in a brand spanking-new terminal with several shiny, polished restaurants eager to serve me.

These restaurants, with names like 5ive Steak, Aeronuova, Deep Blue Sushi, La Vie, and Piquillo, were quite attractive with appealing menus and nice looking staff members. But they were almost totally empty (see picture above). And even though I had those two hours to kill and a huge appetite, I just couldn’t bring myself to sit down at an airport restaurant to eat a fancy meal.

Why was that?

I have to admit: it’s because I was in an airport. When I’m in an airport, I don’t want to spend my money on fine food; I just want something adequate to fill me up before my next travel move. Which is why I was happy to see Dunkin’ Donuts in the far corner. On no level can I ever argue that Dunkin’ Donuts has good food, or even, sometimes, edible food, but a Dunkin’ Donuts bagel, however hideous, is just the kind of thing I want to eat when I’m in an airport. It matches the surroundings: sterile and functional, nothing more, nothing less.

Dunkin’ Donuts was actually out of bagels that day, so I had a slice of mediocre pizza: but here’s where I’ll give the new JetBlue terminal credit. In the area with the pizza and the Dunkin’ Donuts was a totally fine looking salad bar with really decent options which, if I were stuck at the airport for more than a few hours, I’d be really grateful for. And, I suppose, if I were really, really, delayed and I had nothing to do, I’d be glad I could go to a restaurant and have a sit-down meal. It’s only in that situation that such a meal would make sense to me.

But what about you? What do you look for in airport food? Are you like me, eager to cram something down your throat with little fanfare? Or do you crave a sit-down dining experience before you fly? Have any of you eaten at the new JetBlue terminal at JFK? How was it? Was it worth it? This frequent flyer wants to know.

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