It’s hardly original to criticize airline and airport food, but why not add to the voluminous literature on the subject?
Well, airline food has pretty much disappeared so that rules out that area. Except for international flights – but it’s been so long since they actually remembered to load a vegetarian meal for me that I can’t really judge the quality as much as I can the total absence. (And can I thank the stewardesses, sorry flight attendants, who just shrug with disinterest when you tell them you ordered a vegetarian meal. OK then, I guess I’ll just go hungry for the next 9 hours, thanks for your concern).
So I noticed a trend this bright new year. Let’s start at Manchester airport, terminal 1 where I spent four hours longer than I planned to last week. I don’t think it’s a exaggeration to say that I’d rather have scavenged the garbage bins out back than eat any of the food on offer there. I did purchase a brie and cranberry sandwich eventually, but through some miracle all the possible taste and texture had been stripped from both ingredients leaving only the fat, the calories and the unpleasant feeling of having spent six pounds / $10 for nothing.
Next we visit terminal three at Heathrow Airport – the UK’s gateway to the rest of the world. The proud gateway that says (unless you fly into terminal five): “we stopped cleaning or doing maintenance ten years ago. Feel free to walk hundreds of yards to your gates that are located somewhere in Surrey. The main purpose of this airport is to sell you duty-free goods that are more expensive than your local shops.”
Let’s list the options for vegetarian or healthy food that are available in terminal three:
Veggie burger at TGIF – the worst veggie burger in the world served on a stale white bun. I guarantee the cardboard box the burger came in had more flavour and better texture than that sorry excuse for a sandwich. But at least it was only 9 pounds / $14, so that’s ok.
Er, that’s it.
And so to Indianapolis’ brand new airport where I’m sitting right now. What a big, bright shiny airport this is. And what a lot of chicken there is on the menus of all the various “restaurants”.
Let’s look at the Wolfgang Puck’s Express food choices:
- Chinese Chicken Salad
- Barbecued chicken salad
- Chicken caesar salad
- Pesto chicken salad sandwich
- Turkey avocado club sandwich
- Chicken aiolo sandwich
- Ham and swiss sandwich
- Puck Burger
This is not an edited list – this is all the sandwich and salad choices. Now they do have a four cheese pizza, but I think that might be otherwise named “the gut buster”.
So the one vegetarian food choice on all of the B concourse is a four cheese pizza.
I rest my case and ordered another Bass to go with my clif bar. Thanks, Clif, and fuck you very much to airport food concessionaires throughout the world.