Tag Archives: cuisine

Pick 5: Top Eats at America’s Airports

Skip luggage shipping and use our services instead, leaving you free to enjoy Tortas Frontera at Chicago O'hare International Airport.

Tortas Frontera at Chicago O’hare International Airport. Image courtesy Westfield (www.chicagoT5.com).

Arriving at the airport early or staying for a long layover can be a good thing, especially if you are at one of a growing number of airports offering delicious dining options. From fresh seafood to Texas-style barbecue, we pick five airport restaurants so good you won’t mind if your flight is delayed. No need for luggage shipping. We’ll handle your bags, leaving you hands-free to grab a great meal.

1. Tortas Frontera | Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Rick Bayless is a master of the Chicago dining scene. So people were excited when he opened casual, quick-serve restaurants at Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s Terminals 1, 3 and 5, and rightfully so. From the Pepito (beer-braised beef short ribs, pickled jalapenos, Chihuahua cheese, black beans, cilantro crema, and arugula)

Skip luggage shipping and use our services instead, leaving you free to enjoy Tortas Frontera at Chicago O'hare International Airport.

Rave reviews for Tortas Frontera on Yelp.

to the Cochinita Pibil (pulled pork, black beans, pickled red onions, and roasted habanero salsa), their Mexican-style tortas are baked fresh on a griddle. Save room for the Guacamole Bar, which you can order “fully dressed” with bacon, pepitas, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers and Cotija cheese. All ingredients are locally sourced from farms and businesses throughout the Chicagoland area.

Skip luggage shipping and use our services instead, leaving you free to enjoy Salt Lick Barbecue BBQ at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The Salt Lick, Austin. Photo courtesy Flickr user Jessica Spengler.

2. The Salt Lick | Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
The Salt Lick has two freestanding locations in Austin and they are both incredibly popular. The smaller airport outpost has a less extensive, but equally delicious, menu. What’s your preference? Beef brisket? Sausage? Pork ribs? The Salt Lick does them all amazingly well, and serves them up alongside coleslaw, baked beans, potato salad, and more. Take  your meal to go and be the envy of every other person on your flight. Tip: try the peach cobbler!

Skip luggage shipping and use our services instead, leaving you free to enjoy Salt Lick Barbecue BBQ at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Yelpers love The Salt Lick!

 

 

 

 

Skip luggage shipping and use our services instead, leaving you free to enjoy Anthony's Fish-Bar at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Anthony’s Fish-Bar at SEA-TAC is a great spot for plane-spotting. Image courtesy Flickr user Cynthia.

3. Anthony’s Fish-Bar | Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Anthony’s is known for its fresh Northwest seafood. This locally owned company traces its history to 1969 when the first restaurant opened in Bellevue, Washington. Their food is sourced from fisheries committed to sustainable practices. And their location at Sea-Tac, while not on the water like most of their restaurants, provides panoramic views of Concourse C, so there’s always something interesting to see. Guests rave about the crab mac and cheese and the clam chowder.

Skip luggage shipping and use our services instead, leaving you free to enjoy Anthony's Fish-Bar at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

One Yelper’s rave review of Anthony’s at SEA-TAC.

Skip luggage shipping and use our services instead, leaving you free to enjoy Cafe Intermezzo at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Cafe Intermezzo is a popular layover stop at ATL.

Skip luggage shipping and use our services instead, leaving you free to enjoy Cafe Intermezzo at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Cafe Intermezzo at ATL is always a popular stop for travelers. Image courtesy Flickr user thetalentedfool.

4. Café Intermezzo | Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Café Intermezzo has been delighting Atlantans since 1979. The European-style coffeehouse looks like a page out of nineteenth-century Vienna and is a great stop for weary travelers at ATL’s Concourse B. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even late-night offerings. From an extensive coffee, wine and cocktail list to numerous pastry options, Café Intermezzo is a great spot to unwind between flights. Their Strawberry Spinach with Goat Cheese Medallions Salad is very popular – strawberries, mango, red onions, and candied walnuts tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette, then topped with fried goat cheese medallions.

Skip luggage shipping and use our services instead, leaving you free to enjoy  Deep Blue Sushi at JFK International Airport's Terminal 5.

Deep Blue Sushi at JFK International’s Terminal 5. Image courtesy Flickr user Jesse Curreri.

5. Deep Blue Sushi | JFK International Airport
JFK’s hip Terminal 5 has no shortage of dining options; our pick is Deep Blue Sushi, helmed by acclaimed chef Michael Schulson. The menu features sushi, tempura, yakitori and entrees like Shiso Lamb Chop with braised daikon. Visitors praise the tempura lobster roll, dragon roll, and sashimi tacos. The cool atmosphere is fitting for T5, designed by Eero Saarinen in 1962 for TWA and reopened after extensive renovations in 2008 as JetBlue Airways’ New York hub.

Skip luggage shipping and use our services instead, leaving you free to enjoy  Deep Blue Sushi at JFK International Airport's Terminal 5.

Sushi offerings at Deep Blue Sushi at JFK. Image courtesy Flickr user Jessica Mullen.

Skip luggage shipping and use our services instead, leaving you free to enjoy  Deep Blue Sushi at JFK International Airport's Terminal 5.

Deep Blue Sushi reviews on Yelp.

Which airport restaurants did we miss? Let us know your favorite dining spot!

Pick 5 | Food Worth Traveling For: Ice Cream Edition

Make your trip to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio easier by skipping the hassle of shipping luggage - use our Bags VIP luggage delivery service and find these ice cream gems the moment you land.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams sundae.

In light of Spring starting this week, we’re already dreaming of higher temperatures, sunny skies, and blooming tulips and daffodils. It may still cold outside throughout most of the country, but that won’t stop us from thinking about that quintessential warm weather food: ice cream. And not just any ice cream. We pick five spots across the country where the frozen treat is elevated to an art form. Make arriving at your destination even easier by skipping the hassle of shipping luggage – use our Bags VIP luggage delivery service and find these ice cream gems the moment you land.

1. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams | Columbus, Ohio
Make your trip to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio easier by skipping the hassle of shipping luggage - use our Bags VIP luggage delivery service and find these ice cream gems the moment you land.With 11 locations in Ohio, 3 in Nashville, 1 in Chicago and 1 in Atlanta, the popularity of Jeni’s Ice Creams is reaching new heights, and it’s easy to see why. Flavors like Brambleberry Crisp, made with a sweet-tart jam of blackberries and black currants; Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet, finished with wine bottled in northern Ohio; and The Milkiest Chocolate in the World (we won’t argue!) are made from grass-grazed Ohio cream and local produce, and have earned Jeni’s legions of fans. Can’t make it to a Scoop Shop? They ship! >> Find out more about Jeni’s

Make your trip to Van Leeuwen's in Brooklyn easier by skipping the hassle of shipping luggage - use our Bags VIP luggage delivery service and find these ice cream gems the moment you land.

Van Leeuwen’s sunny ice cream truck. Image courtesy Flickr user Makerbot.

2. Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream | New York City, New York
What began as a traveling food truck business is now six food trucks and three stores. Their 18-percent-butterfat vanilla is made with organic beans aged in vodka. Flavors are made using only fresh hormone and antibiotic free milk and cream, cane sugar and egg yolks. Even their disposable goods are made from 100% renewable resources. Good news – they they are expanding to Los Angeles where you’ll be able to enjoy their food truck goodness year-round! >> Find more about Leeuwen

Make your trip to Bi-Rite Creamery Market in San Francisco easier by skipping the hassle of shipping luggage - use our Bags VIP luggage delivery service and find these ice cream gems the moment you land.

Bi-Rite Creamery goodness. Image courtesy Flickr user Stefan Krasowski.

3. Bi-Rite Creamery | San Francisco, California
The Bi-Rite Creamery is part of the historic Bi-Rite Market that first opened in San Francisco’s Mission District in 1940. The Creamery opened its doors about a decade ago, and were the first ice cream shop in the city to use organic milk and cream from the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi. Flavors rarely have more than five ingredients and are selected when in season from local farms. Balsamic Strawberry might be one of their most popular flavors, but they won’t serve it when berries aren’t at their peak! As it says on their website, “We strive to create unique and delicious flavors with local, handmade and organic ingredients in a responsible and sustainable way.” >> Find out more about Bi-Rite Creamery

Make your trip to Bassetts Ice Cream in Philadelphia easier by skipping the hassle of shipping luggage - use our Bags VIP luggage delivery service and find these ice cream gems the moment you land.

Bassetts Ice Cream in Reading Terminal Market. Image courtesy Flickr user bigbirdz.

4. Bassetts Ice Cream Company | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Established in 1861, Bassetts claims to be the oldest ice cream company in America. They have been at their current location in the historic Reading Terminal Market since 1893. Churned with quality ingredients (and love), the 16 1/2-percent butter fat butterscotch vanilla is worth every calorie. President Obama stopped there a few years ago – his pick was mint chocolate chip. >> Find out more about Bassetts

Make your trip to Four Seas Ice Cream in Cape Cod easier by skipping the hassle of shipping luggage - use our Bags VIP luggage delivery service and find these ice cream gems the moment you land.

Four Seas Ice Cream has been welcoming vacationers since 1934. Image courtesy Flickr user Peter Yenney.

5. Four Seas Ice Cream | Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Picture an old-fashioned ice cream shop that you visit on your way back from the beach, when you have salt in your hair and sand caked on in between your toes. That’s Four Seas, a Cape Cod must-stop for beach-goers since 1934. It’s located in a quaint cottage that was once a blacksmith shop. The owner provides scholarship for his young staffers, who are selected based on recommendations form the local school board. They serve 32 flavors, some of them unique, such as Frozen Pudding and Cantaloupe, along with the basics. In fact, Four Seas invented chocolate chip ice cream, and we are all the better for it. >> Find out more about Four Seas

What’s your favorite ice cream shop? Is it one in your home town where you take visiting friends? Or one out of town that you can’t bear to skip? Share with us below!

Pick 5 | Food Worth Traveling For: Burgers Edition

What do we grill on the most American of holidays? Burgers. They are the quintessential American food, often consumed in fast food fashion. But a really great hamburger should be savored, preferably with a side of fries or onion rings. We’ve picked five that are worth traveling to…and worth slowing down for. And if you’re planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage – use our Bags VIP luggage delivery service and head to a great restaurant the moment you land.

If you're planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage - use Bags VIP luggage delivery and head to a great restaurant the moment you land.

Holeman & Finch. Image courtesy T. Seng via Flickr.

1. Holeman & Finch Public House | Atlanta, GA
This Buckhead public house prepares 24 double patty cheeseburgers each day, and quickly serves them at 10:00 each evening to those who have reserved theirs during normal table service. A bullhorn announces, “It’s burger time!” and frenzy ensues. The patties are a mixture of grass-fed chuck and brisket and topped with American cheese, pickles, onions, and homemade ketchup served on a house-baked bun. Your best bet to nab one is to come to Holeman & Finch’s Sunday brunch, where the prized burgers are served in abundance. >> Visit their website

If you're planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage - use Bags VIP luggage delivery and head to a great restaurant the moment you land.

The Spotted Pig. Image courtesy Rasmus Knutsson via Flickr.

2. The Spotted Pig | New York City, NY
Locally sourced, seasonal British & Italian dishes are on the menu at this West Village gastropub. The Michelin-starred restaurant, owned by Jay-Z and Bono, among others, is manned by celebrity chef April Bloomfield. The star of the menu is the chargrilled burger with Roquefort cheese and shoestring fries. >> Visit their website

If you're planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage - use Bags VIP luggage delivery and head to a great restaurant the moment you land.

Father’s Office. Image courtesy LWYang via Flickr.

3. The Father’s Office | Los Angeles, CA
The Office Burger’s shape is different from a traditional hamburger – longer and flatter – and it’s served on a sub sandwich-type roll, with caramelized onions, bacon, arugula, an applewood-bacon compote, and both Gruyère and Maytag Blue cheeses. Ketchup lovers beware, however; the condiment is not welcome at The Father’s office. >> Visit their website

If you're planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage - use Bags VIP luggage delivery and head to a great restaurant the moment you land.

Perini Ranch Steakhouse. Image courtesy Dave77459 via Flickr.

4. Perini Ranch Steakhouse | Buffalo Gap, TX
Ten miles from Abilene, the Perini Ranch Steakhouse is located on Tom Perini’s family ranch. For more than thirty years, it has served as home to what many consider the best chuck wagon-style food in America. The steakhouse half-pound burger is topped with Cheddar or provolone cheese, grilled mushrooms, green chiles, and onions. >> Visit their website

If you're planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage - use Bags VIP luggage delivery and head to a great restaurant the moment you land.

Ray’s to the Third. Image courtesy christaki via Flickr.

5. Ray’s to the Third | Alexandria, VA
Ray’s to the Third in Rosslyn serves steak cuts aged in-house, hand-trimmed, ground fresh all day, and loosely hand-formed. Clever, upscale toppings include seared foie gras, roasted bone marrow, and grilled onions and mushrooms sautéed in sherry and Cognac. Their Hell-Burgers (as they are known) are so famous that a pin-board near the front door asking, “Where in the world did you come from to get your Hell-Burger?” is crowded with pins from all over the world. >> Visit their website

What burger would you add to this list? Share your favorites below!

Pick 5 | Regional Pizza Favorites

Lou Malnati's, Chicago. Image courtesy goodiesfirst via Flickr.

Lou Malnati’s, Chicago. Image courtesy goodiesfirst via Flickr.

Most everyone knows about the New York-Chicago pizza rivalry that has waged for decades. But did you know that there are other regional pizza styles that are lesser known but equally delicious? We pick five that will get your mouth watering for doughy, cheesy goodness.

Chicago
Chicago’s iconic pizza was invented at Pizzeria Uno during the Second World War. The crust is deep but thin and resembles a pie more than a traditional flat pizza. Deep dish is assembled upside down, with cheese at the bottom, toppings in the middle and sauce with whole chunks of tomato on top.

Try It: Some say Pizzeria Uno’s founder invented deep dish; others give credit to Uno employee Rudy Malnati, whose son Lou founded Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria in 1971. Still family owned and operated, Lou Malnati’s has 36 locations and can be shipped nationwide.

Pepe's in New Haven. Image courtesy goodiesfirst via Flickr.

Pepe’s in New Haven. Image courtesy goodiesfirst via Flickr.

New Haven
New Haven, Connecticut is home to apizza, Neapolitan-style pizza with a bit of a twist. If you order a “plain” pizza, it comes with oregano and tomato sauce with a sprinkling of grated pecorino Romano cheese. There’s no cheese – unless you ask for it. The crust is unusually thin, charred on the outside and chewy on the inside, and is baked in a coal-fired oven.

Try it: Founded by Italian immigrants almost a century ago, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (Pepe’s for short), is a New Haven institution. Their clam pie has no mozzarella, but does feature plenty of garlic, olive oil, oregano and freshly shucked, briny littleneck clams. It’s so good it was named the #1 pizza in America by The Daily Meal.

Image courtesy Papa’s Tomato Pies via Facebook.

Image courtesy Papa’s Tomato Pies via Facebook.

Trenton
In New Jersey’s capital, a pizza is not a pizza – it’s a tomato pie. These pies have a thin crust and are topped with mozzarella placed before the sauce. For many Italian-American immigrants, the first American pizzas were known as tomato pies and the name is still prevalent today, especially in the Northeast.

Try it: Papa’s Tomato Pies has been family owned and operated since 1912 and claims to be the oldest pizza restaurant in the country.

Brooklyn's Lucali. Image courtesy Ramsay de Give via Zagat.

Brooklyn’s Lucali. Image courtesy Ramsay de Give via Zagat.

New York
Like so many other stories, New York’s pizza history began with an immigrant who taught himself to be a baker and opened a pizza restaurant in Little Italy in 1905. New York’s large, wide, thin, and foldable slices are the most quintessential pizza style.

Try it: Located in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens, Lucali has a neighborhood feel. As reviewed in TimeOut New York, “the artisanal intent at the candlelit pizzeria is visible in the flour-dashed marble counter where the dough is punched and stretched, and in the brick oven from which it later emerges crisp and blistered.” Lucali is BYOB and the line can be long, but the pizza is said to be well worth the wait.

Buddy's Restaurant Pizzeria in Detroit. Image courtesy Buddy's Facebook page.

Buddy’s Restaurant Pizzeria in Detroit. Image courtesy Buddy’s Facebook page.

Detroit
Detroit-style pizza’s square shape is similar to the Sicilian variety, with a thick deep-dish crisp crust and marinara served on top of the toppings. It is often twice-baked in a well-oiled square pan that gives the bottom and edges of the crust a crunchy, seemingly fried texture.

Try it: Originally opened as a bar of sorts in 1936, Buddy’s Restaurant Pizzeria started serving square-shaped pizza a decade later and claims to have been the first of its kind in Detroit. The Detroiter is made with all-natural Wisconsin Brick cheese, pepperoni, tomato, basil sauce, and topped with shaved Parmesan cheese and Buddy’s Sicilian spice blend.

What’s your favorite style of pizza? Which pizzeria serves it best?

Pick 5 | Hot Dogs Across America

Superdawg

Chicago’s Superdawg. Photo courtesy Flickr user LongitudeLatitude.

America is big. Its flavors are diverse. Why, even the quintessential American treat, the hot dog, is affected by geography. Regions are defined by their cuisine, as evidenced by their choice of hot dog toppings. Covered in chili? Detroit is for you! Adorned with onions? Head to New York! Here’s a look at what sets these hot dog destinations apart:

Chicago
Chicago-style hot dogs date back to the Great Depression and whether you prefer Vienna Beef or Red Hot Chicago franks, the toppings don’t change. Hot dogs are topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt on a poppy seed bun.

Try it: Superdawg | Chicago, IL
Superdawg’s iconic neon hot dogs, Maurie and Flaurie (named after the original owners, whose family runs it to this day), have stood atop the restaurant since it first opened in 1948. Order a Superdawg or Whoopskidawg (Polish sausage) and have it delivered to your window carhop-style.

Lafayette Coney Island coney dogs. Photo courtesy Flickr user Michael Sheehan.

Lafayette Coney Island coney dogs. Photo courtesy Flickr user Michael Sheehan.

Detroit
Coney Islands are restaurants that specialize in serving Coney Island hot dogs. These beef hot dogs, which originated in Michigan, not New York, are topped with all-meat, no-beans chili, diced onion and yellow mustard. But don’t confuse them with chili dogs – the onion and mustard sets these Detroit dogs apart.

Try it: American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island | Detroit, MI
American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island are located right next door to each other and have been competing for customers for almost a century! Most are loyal to one or the other; both are delicious.

Brandi's World Famous Hot Dogs. Photo courtesy AJC.

Brandi’s World Famous Hot Dogs. Photo courtesy AJC.

Atlanta
Coleslaw is a popular topping for hot dogs throughout the state of Georgia. Whether you prefer just the slaw or a hot dog combination of chili topped with slaw, it’s a unique flavor not readily found in other parts of the country.

Try it: Brandi’s World Famous Hot Dogs | Marietta, GA
Though it underwent a name change a decade ago, this hot dog spot has been satisfying locals for over 30 years. Brandi’s slaw dog is topped with their signature chili, mustard, onions and, of course, coleslaw.

Katz's Delicatessen. Image courtesy Flickr user Shinya Suzuki.

Katz’s Delicatessen. Image courtesy Flickr user Shinya Suzuki.

New York
New Yorkers love hot dogs and there are countless places to get them. There are also many ways to serve them up; one of the most popular is with mustard, sauerkraut and stewed onions (sweet onions in a tomato-based sauce).

Try it: Katz’s Delicatessen | New York, NY
Katz’s was founded in 1888 in New York’s Lower East Side. They specialize in pastrami, corned beef and natural casing all-beef hot dogs covered in chili or sauerkraut. The deli has been featured in countless movies, including When Harry Met Sally, when a Katz’s patron told her waiter, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Sonoran hot dog. Image courtesy Flickr user Kate Hopkins.

Sonoran hot dog. Image courtesy Flickr user Kate Hopkins.

Arizona
Sonoran-style hot dogs found in Tucson and Phoenix actually originated in the State of Sonora in northwest Mexico. Hot dogs are wrapped in bacon and cooked on a comal, a cast iron griddle often used to prepare tortillas. They are topped with any combination of beans, onions (both fresh AND grilled), tomatoes, mayonnaise, salsa and mustard, and are usually served in a bolillo, a Mexican-style baguette baked in a stone oven.

Try it: BK Carne Asada | Tucson, AZ
BK Carne Asada has been serving up Sonoran-style hot dogs for twenty years. BK beat out neighboring El Güero Canelo for best Sonoran hot dog on Travel Channel’s Food Wars. While the majority of the menu items are cooked inside the restaurant in an actual kitchen, hot dogs are prepared at an outdoor food cart on their patio, a nod to the restaurant’s former incarnation as a humble taco stand.

Whatever your preference, one thing most of us agree on, is that ketchup does not belong on a hot dog. What are your favorite destinations and restaurants for hot dogs? What did we miss?

ketchup!A former Chicagoan, Jenny secretly, shamefully eats her hot dogs with just one condiment: ketchup.