concourse cuisine :: seattle

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03.07.2011 by Andrea

Monday. Monday. Not the easiest day of the week to face. What better way to kick off a semi-sunny day then to discuss food?

Recently, my roommate and I were wandering the aisles of Trader Joes, and she inquired as to what I typically eat. I have long told her that I don’t cook at all, and with the advent of us living together the fruition of that statement is dawning. I moved in a with a slender Converse box full of of my food goods. Half of that box contained nail polish. The other portion of the box contained Trader Joe’s dijon mustard, their green salsa verde, and Laughing Cow Cheese. That’s the grand extent of it all. When we go to Costco I buy the family size Easy Mac, and other than that I keep a vast amount of frozen entrees in the fridge. I didn’t think much about how odd it might be to see a person eating ziti at 8 am until she asked what I eat for breakfast.

My job keeps me dashing in and out of various airports. Much to many travelers surprise airport dining has become quite refined. My “home” airport, SeaTac has so many options to choose from it is almost overwhelming.

The next few weeks I am going to be crisscrossing the country, with that being said let me introduce my newest dining adventures: Concourse Cuisine. Special thanks to my friend N who birthed the name of this category while we were shoe shopping this past weekend.

Back to the origin of this post. Why don’t I buy breakfast foods to eat? Mainly because I have a secret. Qdoba, at the airport is open 24 hours. They have a breakfast menu that makes you think you’re hungry even if you’re not. The wafting smell of a breakfast burrito greets you as a you go through security. I was buying the breakfast egg and potato burrito “naked,” as in without the tortilla, when I got let in on the deal of the century! This trumps the Whopper Jr. deal in the North satellite concourse.

Qdoba offers a side of eggs. That’s it. Ask for a side of eggs, and for .76 [that includes] tax you can dress up a side of eggs anyway you like it. I have a routine, the workers even know it now. Side of eggs, scoop of pico de gallo, splash of salsa verde, and sometimes a sprinkling of cheese. Need more? Ask for a side of potatoes or double up on the eggs.

It gets better, trying to stick to healthy portions but still have a craving for Mexican food? After 10 am they switch to their full menu. What this means for you is that you can order a small kids quesadilla, ask them to hold the chips, and then ask for a side of blacks beans. For under $4.00, I think, you’ll walk away with a hint of salsa on your breathe, and the satisfaction of mixing craving with healthy restraint.

On the run, and not sure you are able to juggle the eggs? Maybe looking for something a bit more hearty to tide you over? Option 2. Anthony’s. Scoot right past the sit down restaurant portion and hit the Fish Bar. Ask about their breakfast burrito, and you will get your choice of meat. I opted for bacon because Qdoba doesn’t have a bacon option, plus you get a sizeable portion of breakfast potatoes. They will grill up your burrito fresh to order, and include a couple side of their salsa. Price point? Again, more bang for your buck, under $4. Also, if you’re craving one more chance at Northwest Seafood go for their fish tacos. You can’t beat them and the person sitting next to you will surely give you the stink eye for bringing such a delectable entree onboard.

Another great pick to go if you happen to be roaming the C concourse is Wolfgang Puck. He offers a breakfast pizza, which I love. I first realized I had a special affinity for him when I tasted his Chicken Tortilla soup [he adds goats cheese], in the Las Vegas airport. When did airport food get so fancy?

Have a few hours in between flights? Wine tasting is available both in and outside of security. I haven’t had a chance to dabble in that but from the looks of Vino Volo, next to Borders, you can create a little oasis.

And of course, if you’re a coffee lover, which I don’t have a palate for, and/or have a craving for something sweet do swing by Dilettante, for the best melt in your mouth treats this side of the Mississippi.

Don’t have time to swing by a counter to pick up something to tide you over? Have no fear, I am almost always the girl galloping through the airport, hoping that I make my flight. I always seem to have think I budgeted MORE than enough time to get through security and what not. Airlines have made it extremely easy to order food onboard with their ala carte choices. I often find myself on Alaska Airlines, the Seattle anchored airline that does a bulk of their service from SeaTac. They have reinvented the wheel with their Northern Bites meal options and provided tasty treats that vary depending on time of day and length of flight. Gone are the days glamorous meal service. However, I do give them props for venturing out of the comfort zone of hard ciabatta sandwiches, and measly chips. I sampled a sandwich a coupe of months ago that featured Baconnaise, chicken, and basil. They also have a cheese and fruit platter that showcases Beechers, local cheese artisans, and usually a couple other local varieties. This last week I sampled there new Mediterranean Tapas snack pack which should appeal to the gluten free, and vegetarian sector, as well as those of us craving something salty and sweet. For a domestic carrier not too bad.

Airport eating used to be something easily derided for being ho-hum, uninventive, and your typical greasy spoons. Surprise, they’ve come a long way baby. Let me know your favorite eatery in your local airport. I have a few more up my sleeve. Until next time, travel safe & happy eating.

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