This week, as many of you set out on your travel to
see family and friends for the Christmas holiday, the odds are good that you’ll
pass through one of the following five airports—the five largest in the
country, according to the FAA. Though we wish you speedy security lines and no
delays, if you find yourself in a jam, there’s plenty to keep you well-fed.
These are our picks for exemplary performance in the overcrowded-airport
Atlanta International Airport): When in Atlanta, do as the locals do—head to
Paschal’s for classic Southern cuisine and take the edge off an overnight in
the airport with shrimp and grits, or later in the day, enjoy their legendary
chicken-fried steak, fried catfish, and a heaping side of macaroni and cheese.
They’ve operated their concession there since 1980, and while it may not have
the history of the original (a major meeting place for leaders of the civil
rights movement) it’s absolutely worth a visit.
ORD (Chicago O’Hare International Airport): There’s not a whole lot of exciting cuisine here,
despite the burgeoning food scene in the city, but if you feel like grabbing
something different than the same old salad at Wolfgang Puck, Berghoff Café, a
small outpost of Chicago’s oldest restaurant, is a taste of the city’s German
heritage—plus beer and brats are certainly fortifying for the road ahead.
LAX (Los Angeles International Airport): A Hollywood institution since 1939, the original
Pink’s Hot Dogs still stands on the corner of LaBrea and Melrose, but lucky for
hungry travelers, an outpost opened at LAX in the summer of 2010. Declaring
themselves the creator of the world’s best chili dog, with a chili recipe
developed by co-founder Betty Pink, they’ve used the same producer to create
their signature dogs since the beginning, and with typical West Coast style, experimentation is key—load yours up with toppings of all varieties and enjoy
the sweet (okay, salty and spicy) taste of tradition.
DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport): Getting stuck in Texas is a great excuse for
trying some local barbecue, and Cousin’s is the local giant. While the airport
locations can be spotty in terms of service, their Commissary serves all their
retail locations with the best of their specialties, and they’ve even expanded
overseas—they represent the taste of Texas at EuroDisney’s theme parks. Try
smoky Texan standards like sausage and ribs with a heap of sides, or get a
chopped brisket sandwich wrapped up to take on the plane.
DEN (Denver International Airport): In the land of microbreweries, there’s no better
place to stop for a drink than the New Belgium Hub, an airport outpost of the
New Belgium Brewing Company. They’re most famous for their Fat Tire brand of
Ale, but you’ll find six different beers on tap as well as six by the bottle,
plus bar food to get you through.
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