The Deliciousness that is Europe—
As I was waiting for my flight to London a few weeks back, I decided to have lunch in SeaTac’s S Terminal. Right from the start I though “bad idea….terminal food”. The most visually arresting lunch was a burger that was advertised on the restaurant’s shiny display. The $8 burger (no fries or drink, just the burger mind you) that I received was NOTHING like the picture that had convinced me to buy this “thing” for my lunch. The meat patty was clearly only microwaved and hanging halfway out of the bun. The bread was soggy and the meal was barely lukewarm. Always worrisome when meat arrives in that condition.
Fast forward 10 hours and I settle into Heathrow’s Terminal 2.
Waiting for my flight to Cork, Ireland, I strolled through the surprising array of shops. (Please forgive the image quality of the iphone photos. I did not bring my Sony A-5100 on this trip, seeing that I had to deal with unpleasant family business, shooting quality photography was not exactly on my mind. And as stated in a previous post, the iphone 5 takes abysmal photos in low light conditions).
I came upon the terminal Cafe. No upscale restaurant, just a quick in-and-out food place.
I was presented with freshly made sandwiches, a dizzying selection of flavors and topping combinations. Croissants with ham and cheese…never mind the pastries, pastries, pastries. It was a feast for the eyes and a tough decision. After much deliberation, and considering it was 7am, I settled for the croissant and a Macchiato, and retired happily to a seat across the Cafe. Happy Marcus.
After arriving in West Cork, I stayed at Casey’s of Baltimore. Even though I had reservations, the concierge gave me a choice of rooms and a special rate because it happened to be the off season and I was going to stay for a while.
The room was welcoming and the view unbeatable, it became my base of operations while I was in West Cork. Hey, when dealing with unpleasantry all day long, might as well come back to an enjoyable view and a soft pillow.
I had many great meals at Casey’s, and many well poured pints. Particularly memorable was the charcuterie, presented on Irish slate. And yes, I drink my Guinness with a shot of blackcurrant. You can mock all you like.
After my business was concluded I returned to Heathrow, Terminal 5, waiting for my plane back to America. I considered walking out the door marked “Exit”, but alas, my loving wife and kids still need me.
After clearing the security check I had 4 hours to kill before the next flight and I intended to treat myself to a little bit of Gordon.
Years ago, on our trip back from visiting my parents, we also had a layover at Terminal 5. I remembered that we stopped into Gordon Ramsay’s “Plane Food” Restaurant for a rushed lunch with little kids. We only had 20 minutes to order and eat. At that time the Maitre d’ orchestrated our lunch, assuring us along the way that we would make it in and out in the allotted time. It was a good memory.
This time around I had several hours and no little kids. It was time to take it all in. Fully enjoy what this restaurant has to offer… every last bit of it. I tried to keep an open mind though…who knows, maybe I remembered wrong, maybe the whole Ramsay thing was just hype.
After considering my options, I ordered the following 3 course meal.
Crispy chicken wings with tamarind sauce
Chicken & cashew curry with saffron rice
Pineapple carpaccio, passion fruit, lime & coconut sorbet
The word “delicious” does not even begin to describe it. The quality of the food, the seasoning, presentation….all spot on. Gordon did not disappoint. A truly delightful 2 hours. Yes, yes I took my time. In case you are wondering, there would have been vegetarian options, if that sort of thing floats your boat.
And then, then it was time to head back to America. Sigh…145 days and counting. I will be back.