Saturday, November 14, 2009

New York City: Coming & Going

Sorry for the tardiness that has informed my New York City food recap! I got sick and then needed some time away from the daily posting schedule I had established for myself here at A Life of Food. I am going to commit to "posting frequently" but not, perhaps, daily. Got it? OK, let's talk NYC chow...

I'm going to post several different articles about my dining experiences in NYC, but the first will encompass the first meal that I experienced as part of the vacation, as well as the last. That's right, the paragon of cuisine: airline meals!

Actually, my traveling companion Preston and I were in luck because I'd secured first class transcontinental tickets on Delta. Now, don't get me wrong -- I know that Delta's first class dining provision ain't no Pan Am-wheel-up-the-carving-table kind of service. But it's some of the best in domestic travel, and showed as much on this journey.

Breakfast to NYC (pictured above) consisted of a surprisingly delicious, fluffy cheese and mushroom omelet, roasted potatoes and hot links. All pretty darn good, and the serving size was generous in this era of airline "meals" consisting of a slice of dessicated salami and a thumbnail-size chunk of Laughing Cow.

The fruit on the side was also good, and notable for not being overloaded with the dread of the only foods I find truly abhorrent. Alas, the croissant was a dreadful, over-large affair, like several slices of Wonder Bread shaped to resemble what should have been an airy French pastry.

The trip back also held its rewards, featuring a dinner service.

The salad was quite large; the lettuce and bits and bobs all crisp and fresh. The small serving of grapes were all plump and juicy as opposed to withering and chewy-skinned. The wheat roll accompanying the meal was also fresh and substantial, perfect for mopping up the remains of the entrée: roast beef, mashed potatoes and steamed squash.

I have to say that the roast was delicious, nothing less than fork tender and full of flavor. The squash were also surprisingly well-cooked, holding some firmness as opposed to being a watery glop. The potatoes, while not bad, were the weakest link, having that flakes-from-a-box staleness about them, as well as a bit too much salt.

All in all, I'd have to say dining at 37,000 feet was delightful. For a foodie, airline meals will never likely achieve Hall of Fame status for taste and presentation, but I appreciate Delta's obvious efforts to source fresh ingredients and present simple dishes that taste quite good. It just goes to show that no matter where you are on the earth -- or far above it -- you don't have to leave your life of food behind!

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