Decent Grub in an Airport?

I got stuck in George Bush International Airport in Houston a month or so ago. Generally my rule is AVOID any sit-down restaurants in airports because they have a dumbed down menu, crappy service, pre-cooked food, and crazy prices.

But we were hungry and had time to kill so we decided to take the chance and check out the local options.

Needless to say, my expectations were low…VERY low. I travel alot and have gotten very familiar with the dining options in many airports. It is very rare that you find truly good grub in an Airport. Jet Blue’s terminal in JFK actually has some good selections.  Boston’s airport has a Legal Seafood, and Newark has a Gallagher’s that is good. These are pricey, but the food is solid. After that though, I really struggle to think of any memorable sit-down dining experiec from any of the airports I have flown though.

One tasty salad...I would never have thought I could get such a dish from an airport restaurant. Big pieces of lobster and shrimp, quality mango, and fresh greens. I did add my own salad dressing and some seasonings that I always ravel with to save myself from the bland food I frequently encounter; but overall this was surprisingly good meal. Good food, good service. I was happy.
Oh and notice the plastic knife? Even in the fanciest of airport restaurants, the TSA still has jurisdiction.

But Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in Houston Internatioaal is a true find. In fact we have already returned once since the first time. This regional chain is properly represented by this airport location. The food was great, the menu extensive, the service fast, and the price… was still not cheap (but what can you expect).

I got a lobster, shrimp  and mango salad that was amazing. And it was a real portion of lobster. There were big chunks of the shellfish, not some little joke of a portion so many other places serve just so they can charge you the crazy “market price” for the “fresh” lobster. Everything the table ordered was good and there really was no complaints.

The over all expeirence was fast, tasty, and creative. I never thougt I would get a salad like this at an Airport restaurant. So keep your eyes open, because there are some gems hidden amongst all the crap that is normally sold out at airports.


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Categories: Freaking Healthy, Recommendations, Unexpected Randomness

Author:Mr. Fed Up

A guy looking for good grub. and YES....I have a website...and I am not going to bore you with one of those personal journal type of blogs. I promise. Check it out;


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16 Comments on “Decent Grub in an Airport?”

  1. April 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    I’m a Houston native but haven’t lived there in almost ten years. I love flying in and out and through Intercontinental because I know that Pappadeaux is there to keep me well-fed! Also, if you’re looking for a delicious, soft, not-to-sweet but still delightfully sinful donut, try Shipley’s!

    • April 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      Sounds good. I will keep my eyes open for it next time. Thanks!

  2. April 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    Thanks for the heads up! I travel a lot for work and I am always looking for something decent in airports (a girl can only dream). This is complicated as I am committed to fitness and healthy eating. I will try Pappadeaux next time I am in Houston.

    • April 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      I am pretty freaking healthy, so finding good grub that is good for you, is always a problem when on the road. But there are some good options out there. Pappadeaux really was a nice surprise. Check out the freaking healthy articles on the site for some other health ideas…

  3. April 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Vino Volo Wine Bar (in San Antonio and elsewhere) provides a nice little spot to whittle down wait time….

    • April 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

      I have heard of that place…but the menu seems too limited. But I will have to check it out again on the next trip through Texas.

  4. April 4, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    My experience of being pleasantly surprised by airport food was in Newark. They had a great wine tasting place!

    • April 4, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

      They also have a GREAT salad place: Green Leaf (in terminal C, I believe). The Gallagher’s in Newark International is real good too, but way more expensive than I normally pay for airport food (I only eat there if someone else is picking up the check). I will keep my eyes open for the wine spot

  5. April 7, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Thanks for the great comment on Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in Houston and our Gallagher’s in Newark Terminal C, they are indeed good. At Westfield Concessioin Management we work hard to change the image and reality of the Airport dinning and shopping experience. Next time you are traveling through Newark or Houston check out our websites so you can plan your visit. There are a bunch of great places to relax while here during your layover, and yes VINO VOLO is great too

    • April 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      Hi Phil, Wow, it shows that you guys know how to run a tight ship! Thats awesome that the places I have found tasty during my time in terminals are run by the same management. Please KEEP IT UP and don’t let your service go downhill. Right now you guys serve up some amazing grub and I THANK YOU for it.
      Oh, and if you want to throw a few coupons my way, I won’t mind…ha.

      Oh…and PLEASE continue to spread the quality food to other air ports. It is BADLY needed, especially internationally. Look at the major international hubs like Hong Kong airport, Tokyo, and even Frankfurt (although Frankfurt does have some good options PRE-security).

      • April 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

        Hey Frankfurt’s food is pretty awesome! I may be a little biased since that’s home for me but think their food is way better than most state side airports. 🙂

      • April 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

        Seriously, Frankfurt has some good stuff BEFORE security. I love the Marche salads. And the Star Alliance business lounge is probably one of the BEST I have been in. They have plenty of fresh fruit and other good stuff.

        I do agree that Frankfurt does have some good food compared to many USA airports.

  6. April 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    Best experience was in Chicago (where I live and have more time to spend at O’Hare and Midway). Worst? Colorado. I ate nachos that made me want to swear off nachos for life. Fecking blah.

    • April 15, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      Haha, Denver has some decent food in the airport terminals (NOTHING any good pre-security)…BUT YOU have to look VERY hard. There is decent sit-down restaurant and a few other options to check out.


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