Airport Dining Is About to Hit a New Altitude



Photo by: baona ©baona

baona, baona

Greetings, weary travelers. Here’s something to nourish your famished souls: Airport dining is undergoing a major transformation, upping its culinary game in a big way.

So reports Eater, pointing to the work of OTG Management, a New York company that oversees 200 restaurants and retail establishments in 10 U.S. airports, including United Airlines’ hub at Newark Liberty International Airport, in New Jersey, which is undergoing a $120 million overhaul. The company is also planning to boost the food and beverage offerings in the United terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and in the American Airlines area of Philadelphia International Airport, and says it will add “up to seven” new terminals to its roster in 2017, Eater notes.

“Tomorrow’s airport for today’s passenger,” the company’s website promises, adding, “for us, the journey is the destination.”

So what will the airport of tomorrow bring? Here are a few things to expect, according to Eater:

Input from Famous Chefs: “When OTG goes into a new airport market, it works to put together a group of chefs that best represents that city’s culinary scene,” Eater reports, ticking off names like triple-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse and chefs Alex Stupak, Mario Carbone, Alex Guarnaschelli and Dale Talde, whose culinary creations travelers can enjoy at Newark Airport, and Andrew Zimmern, whose offerings are available at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Flavors That Appeal to a Variety of Tastes: That “means sometimes spices in foods have to be adjusted accordingly,” Eater notes.

Market-Fresh Ingredients: Fresh foods and produce will be delivered to terminals daily. “We have the smallest refrigerators in the industry because we bring in fresh food every day,” OTG’s vice president of experience, Eric Brinker, told Eater about Newark’s Terminal C.

Creative Solutions: Space considerations may mean that chefs can’t do everything as they normally would — for instance, Talde won’t have room for a ventilation system for a 250,000-BTU grill at his Newark Airport noodle and dumpling restaurant, Little Purse — but that doesn’t mean they can’t do things differently and well.

A Commitment to Quality: “I want people to say, ‘This is delicious. The service is great and the drinks are fantastic,'” Talde, whose Caps Beer Garden, is already open in Newark’s Terminal C, told Eater. “That’s what all travelers want.”

So true — and an idea we can all get on board with.

Photo courtesy of iStock

Next Up

The Newest Healthy Groceries to Hit Shelves in 2019

Look for these products coming to a store near you.

The Newest Non-Dairy Milks to Hit the Market

A registered dietitian examines the nutritional benefits of the latest plant-based milk options.

Mystery Diners Moves to a New Time

Food Network's Mystery Diners moves to a new time.

Have You Subscribed to Our Brand-New Dining Newsletter?

Our brand-new Where to Eat newsletter is your one-stop shop for restaurant recommendations and dining tips.

Saving One Diner at a Time: Ty Pennington and Amanda Freitag Revive Old Diners in a New Series

Ty Pennington and Amanda Freitag join forces to revive American diners that have seen better days on the new Food Network series American Diner Revival.

All-New Food Truck Rookies Hit the Road for The Great Food Truck Race, Season 5

Find out all about the new season of The Great Food Truck Race on Food Network, including the city stops and the food truck teams.

The Great Food Truck Race Hits the Road for Season 4 with New Teams, Trucks and Cities

Season 4 of The Great Food Truck Race premieres on August 18 at 9pm/8c. Meet the food truck teams from the new season and find out where the competition will take them.

Hannah Hart Hits the Road for a Tasty Cross-Country Trip in New Food Network Series I Hart Food

Hannah Hart's six-episode series hits regional food spots across America beginning Monday, Aug. 14 at 10|9c on Food Network.

Expect the All-American Experience at Amanda Freitag's Empire Diner in New York City

Amanda Freitag, host of American Diner Revival, chats about her own diner, Empire Diner, in New York City, and how she brought it back to life with a new design and modern menu.

Nutrition News: Dining Out Risks, When to Eat, and How Healthy is Your Snack Bar?

Eating out may elevate blood pressure, night meals boost blood sugar, and an apple (and some green tea) a day really can keep the doctor away.