Taking Off


5/28/13

Many students attend college out-of-state so they have to fly home every break. That’s a lot of time to be spending at airports!  Those days spent at the airport can be long and not to mention tricky when it comes to food.

When you go to the airport, you run into one of two problems:

One, you don’t have any food to eat for hours.

Two,  because you know that this is a possibility, you eat at every given opportunity.

Neither option is healthy by any means, so I sent myself on a mission: eat “healthy” and good airport food. Can it even be done or are vacuum sealed sandwiches and McDonalds our only options?

The good news is that it is possible and it can even be an enjoyable culinary experience. Who knew?

On the particular day that I went on my mission to find good airport grub, I flew from Milwaukee to Dallas to San Francisco. In Milwaukee, I had lunch at one of the very few options; however, this option was delightful Alterra Coffee which is based out of Milwaukee. There’s a definite Wisconsin flavor in the menu. For example, I had a grilled cheese sandwich with cheddar, pepper jack cheese and chipotle sauce on homemade sourdough bread. It was a delightful combination. The coffee there is also strong and black, perfect for any day, but especially travel days.

In fact, everywhere I went there was a definite regional flavor to the airport which I found really surprising. Dallas was filled with barbeque and meat. San Francisco was filled with organic options and sushi. It’s fun to think that you might be able to have a regional culinary experience if you’re just stuck in the airport. It’s time to stop dreading the long and starving days at the airport and start enjoying the possibilities of uncovering culinary gold.

Here are some of my tips to good travel eating:

1. Stay hydrated. But there’s no need to buy water at the airport. It’s impossible to get cheap water there, so bring your own water bottle! There’s plenty of free water in the airport compliments of the water fountains. Take full advantage of the situation.

2. Bring energy bars. There’s no guarantee that you’ll have time to eat at the airport, especially when you have connecting flights. Sometimes only a minute separates you from one plane to the next. If you don’t have time to eat at the airport, it might be hours before you’re near food again (food that isn’t sketchy and overpriced). Energy bars are vital in these situations. They don’t taste bad, they won’t break in your luggage, and they’re filling.

3. Order the right drink. You may not get free food on the plane, but you do still get a complimentary beverage, so choose wisely. My pick? Ginger ale. If you’re weary about flying, alcohol is not the way to go.  Sure, it might make you a little more excited about flying, but it’s not going to help your motion sickness/weariness at all. Ginger naturally soothes an upset stomach. Choose that over alcohol.

4. Put that prepackaged sandwich down! Are you really going to pay $7 for a squished sandwich with questionable ingredients? It may seem like a “healthy” option, but I will guarantee you that it’s just drenched in mayonnaise to hide any strange flavors that might exist in it. It’s healthier and about the same price to get a fresh sandwich at an airport deli.

5. TSA guidelines aren’t scary. Some people are probably weary of packing food due to TSA guidelines. There are just a few rules, including: All food must be wrapped or in a container (excluding fruits); if you’re traveling with foodie gifts, it’s advised to keep them in your checked luggage; Don’t bring anything too weird like a cake or pizza, that’s just hard to travel with.

Article Here in College & Cook Magazine.

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