Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Perfect Airplane Meal

Now that we're all forced to pack a lunch before taking flight, let me propose the perfect meal.. which, if I could purchase it at the airport, would be my go-to meal. But first, some basic guiding principles:

  • Airplane <> Gourmet dining. We're not looking to blow our diets on an airplane meal.The plane is still a negative experience, so we'd generally like to "treat ourselves."
  • The bag of food must be easily transported through the entire boarding-overhead compartment – pardon me I'm in seat-A – experience. This means it should be packed in such a way that doesn't require an extra arm, won't be ruined if it flips on its side or turns upside-down, and does not leak.
  • The food will be eaten, typically, more than an hour after it is purchased. It should hold up for that long. Prime example of something that does NOT: cheesy enchiladas.

With this in mind, here's the meal I would buy EVERY TIME, if it were available:


Garden Salad – with multiple types of veggies. Mix it up. Hold the onion. Packed tight into one of those flying saucer containers – NOT a Styrofoam takeout box. Ensure the lettuce isn't rotten – and it that means I only get romaine, I'm fine with that.

Topped with Grilled Chicken. Need not be warm chicken. Must not be fried chicken. Wendy's at Logan airport only does fried chicken before 11:00 or something. WHY?

Packet of croutons. I don't usually eat them, but picking them out of the salad because they've gone soggy is annoying.

Packet of dressing. Pre-dressed salads are usually over-dressed. And they leak. And one big source of happiness is being arbitrarily impulsive in your dressing choice.

Bottle of soda   - or better, unsweetened iced tea. No fountain drinks.

Bonus Halloween-sized candy of some sort. I just want 15 M&Ms.


Extra points for variations on the theme – Mexican/Taco salad with Salsa, Chopped salad, Asian Salad. But they must all adhere to the rules.


If I can get all of that, easily picked up from a chilled case, for around $10, and quickly check out with my credit card – I'm golden.  I know it must come as a shock, but nowhere at the Houston airport was this option available to me today. And, at Logan, the salads were all… looking rotten.  

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