MSP

Food Trucks Roll Into Airports and Show No Signs of Slowing Down

Food Trucks Roll Into Airports and Show No Signs of Slowing Down

Food trucks

Food trucks are certainly nothing new. We have loved them the past couple centuries as they took over our streets in the form of food carts, Weiner Mobiles, ice cream trucks, and fine dining on wheels. Our dedication to food trucks was solidified in 2014 with the creation of the National Food Truck Association. Now we have upped the ante as food trucks have started rolling into some of our favorite airports.

This is perfect for travelers who want to experience local food during a layover but don’t have enough time to leave the airport. Similar to airports that feature local artists, each airport’s food truck scene emulates the culinary and cultural essence of its city.

John F. Kennedy International Airport

JFK‘s Terminal 4 is the home to the Five Borough Food Hall – a food truck amalgam featuring varying cuisines. It’s a condensed resemblance to the food selection and diversity of NYC. Options include tacos, gyros, noodles, bagels, and a full-service bar.

Portland International Airport

The food carts located in the Clocktower Plaza in PDX offer Mexican, pizza, and Korea-Mexican fusion dishes. Poblano Peppers and Al Forno Ferruzza are both family owned and operated, while Korean Twist uses family recipes throughout its meu.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

As of April, AUS‘s new South Terminal has been in business. While it is small and remote from the airport’s main terminal, the South Terminal has plenty to offer travelers. The outdoor patio is where you can sit and watch the planes take off. It’s also where you will find the Stacked Sliders food truck.

Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport

Food Truck Alley opened up in Concourse E of MSP this summer. The participating restaurants – Red Cow, Salty Tart and, Holy Land – are Twin City favorites. Food Truck Alley also provides rustic seating and ambiance that will make you forget you’re in an airport.

Let us know @flyinstyleapp if you have come across food truck at other airports!

Top 5 Airports in the USA to Layover In

Top 5 Airports in the USA to Layover In

Top 5 Airports to Layover In the USA

Stuck at the airport between flights for a few hours? Bored? Tired? Don’t worry because these airports are there for you whether you have a short or extremely long layover. Be sure to plan your next trip through these airports to enjoy their amenities!

 

1. San Francisco International Airport- SFO

San Francisco International Airport at dusk

This Golden Gate-City airport has plenty to offer when you have a long layover and need to kill time at the airport. If you want to learn more about this lovely city, the Aviation Museum and SFO Museum are interactive and great ways to learn more about the culture of California. Don’t worry about spending too much money on Internet because this airport also has free Wi-Fi and a free Yoga room to stretch out your legs after a long day of traveling.

 

Insider Tip: Those who have longer layovers can take the BART into the heart of San Francisco in just 11 minutes.

 

2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport- DFW

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The heart of Texas is a great destination for any layover. Many of the lounges are ranked among the best in the world and all passengers can enjoy the free Wi-Fi. If you are more active, make sure to try walking on the airport trail or check out one of the yoga rooms. The food in Dallas is worth trying, especially at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen so don’t forget to fill your stomach before boarding your next flight.

 

Insider Tip: If you need to catch up on your sleep, check out a Minute Suite to get your very own room within the airport.

 

3. Chicago O’Hare International Airport- ORD

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Despite being one of the busiest airports in the world, Chicago O’Hare has plenty of amenities for passengers of all ages. The Chicago Public Art Program decorates each terminal with artwork from local artists. Be sure to see the famous “The Sky’s The Limit” – an ever-changing neon light illuminator between Concourses B and C. Remember to try Tortas Frontera created by celebrity chef Rick Bayless or enjoy an authentic Chicago style deep-dish pizza at a variety of restaurants.

 

Insider Tip: If you have a few hours, head across to the Hilton O’Hare Hotel and go to the newly renovated gym or for a refreshing swim.

 

4. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport- MSP

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Minnesota’s largest city airport will not disappoint whether you have a long or short layover. There are various attractions within the airport, which are necessary due to the frequent delays that Minneapolis Airport has. Don’t miss the 1.5 mile walking path around the perimeter of the airport and be sure to check out one of the three XPresSpa locations if you need a soothing massage before your next flight.

 

Insider Tip: The world famous Mall of America is just a 12-minute ride on the LRT. Be sure to take your kids for the thrill of the theme park within the mall.

 

5. John F. Kennedy International Airport- JFK

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Located only a few minutes outside the heart of New York City, John F. Kennedy International Airport has plenty to do both inside and out. The expansive cuisine ranges from Italian food at Aeronuova to crab empanadas at Piquillo; both of which can satisfy your taste buds before your upcoming flight. Additionally, be sure to visit the dozens of shopping malls within the airport to find gifts for your loved ones and yourself.

 

Insider Tip: If you have a long layover, take the AirTrain to Manhattan to experience the vibrancy of New York City.

Vegan Baked Goods at French Meadow Bakery

Vegan Baked Goods at French Meadow Bakery

Meat Lovers and Vegans alike enjoy French Meadow Bakery. Besides an array of decadent baked goods (cheddar chive biscuits, cinnamon rolls, scones!), they have a breakfast menu that includes quesadillas, burrittos, and egg sandwiches. Salads and sandwiches are available on-the-go if you are in a hurry.

Pro Tip: They serve a hearty Vegan Chili as well as Vegan Wraps and Salads chock full of tofu, veggies, and yummy dressings.

Image credit: www.yelp.com; Dione D.

Chocolate: The Cure For Airport Stress

Chocolate: The Cure For Airport Stress

Travel delays got you feeling down at the airport? Indulge in some tasty chocolate! The delicious snack will not only satisfy your sweet tooth cravings but also releases feel-good endorphins. Stress be gone!

Pro Tip: If there’s a Duty Free store in your airport, check for travel retail confectionary exclusives. You can score some great deals on delicious chocolates! We love Godiva.

Image credit: By André Karwath aka Aka (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

From A to X…that’s ATL to LAX; the Airports Business Travelers Know All Too Well

From A to X…that’s ATL to LAX; the Airports Business Travelers Know All Too Well

My flight is touching down for landing. It has been a smooth flight; thankfully I was able to catch some Z’s since I have been sick as of late and run down. I don’t have much time when I land at MSP; I have a two and a half hour drive to lovely La Crosse, Wisconsin-my final destination. The good news is that when I return to Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (MSP) tomorrow, I will have an hour or so to relax and visit some of my favorite places in the airport. Think: Minnesota Wild Sports Bar for some amazing Bavarian Pretzel Sticks.  Or Brookstone-who doesn’t love the latest gadget and a free massage by chair?Drink in airport that offers international airport wifi in Dallas Fort Worth

While the fact that I have favorite places at airports is more of a statement about my work/life balance these days, it is imperative to know these places to keep me sane on the road (and tarmac). Any business traveler can tell you that they have a list of their favorite airports, a list of airports that they frequent (which hopefully match the previously mentioned list) and a list of airports they aim to avoid if at all possible. When you fly a lotyou spend an inordinate amount of time in the terminal, waiting. And although staying glued to the mobile phone is and/or laptop is always an option, sometimes I want need to disconnect. If you are like me, this parlays itself into keeping a running tab on where to go during your layover for eating, drinking and shopping. That’s why one of the ten commandments of the business traveler is: Know Thy Airport.

Here is a roster of airports that I transit through most frequently (you will probably start seeing tips from me about these airports, so stay tuned!):

I bet many other frequent business travelers in the United States have a similar list.  It isn’t any surprise that most of these are major airline hubs, consequentlyI am usually connecting through them to my final destination to visit my customers. I know them well given the time I spend in them. The good news is that this frequency creates time for me to be the consumer I always strive to be-trying new foods, seeking out new items to surprise my family with as an offering for my time away.

What is it inside of us that makes us want to know these places so well? There is a story that I always tell that lends itself to the comfortability of business travel. I once had a hiatus from traveling due to company budget cuts. As any business traveler knows, nearing the end of the fiscal year you probably won’t see many airports, as companies aim to improve the bottom line. After this break from the travel lifestyle, on my first trip back throughSt. Louis airport (STL) . I sent my brother a text message, Starbucks in hand, telling him how oddly comfortable I felt sitting at the airport and that I couldn’t decide if that was a good thing or just plain sad.

A man waiting at Atlanta International Airport.

Waiting at the Airport

All joking aside, there is some validity to that feeling – the same reason I stay at Marriott properties almost exclusively when I travel for business – I want to be comfortable somewhere that feels familiar and that I know well, if I can’t be home with my wife and kids.  I remember I used to hear frequent traveling friends referring to airports by code and thinking, “Wow, that is so confusing… can’t they just call it San Fransisco instead of SFO?” Nowadays, I find myself talking of my travels and sounding like I am helping my kids learn the alphabet. I just hope that I don’t teach them the wrong order when I actually do help them with their homework:

Addison: “Daddy, what comes after A?”

Daddy: “T-L honey…”

Like I said, it is human nature to want to be comfortable. Whether it is flying to the same airports and knowing the terminals well, or it is trying your darndest to fly with your favorite airline. OK, so maybe it is the sense of comfortability and the acquisition of frequent flier miles. Hey, a guy has to pay the family back for all of that time away with fun vacations. Am I right? Spring break at MCO(Orlando), here we come!!! Oh wait… we’re driving. No problem, I will use my airline miles for the hotel!

The Flying Salesman

Red-Eye  vs. Crack-of-Dawn Business Travel – What to Do?

Red-Eye vs. Crack-of-Dawn Business Travel – What to Do?

BEEP BEEP BEEP!!! My alarm was going off at 3:30 AM-a business travel nightmare. But wait, I am home…why was my alarm going off at 3:30 AM? alarm clockHad my wife (who goes to bed prior to me and subsequently has rendered herself in charge of the alarm clock) not set it correctly? Had the clock somehow malfunctioned? Is God mad at me for some of my transgressions I may (or may not) have made in my younger days?

Unfortunately, no. I made this choice to get up at this unholy hour. Why you ask? Because I had a business meeting in the Baltimore area today and the alternative was to fly out the night before and miss seeing my wife and kids last evening. True, while I have a headache now, last night we played a marathon game of hide and seek (my daughter won, because she always wins) and I got to experience another one of my favorite parts of the day, sitting on the couch and watching TV with my wife. Sure, she watches HGTV and some show about women who are married to the same guy but it never matters to me as long as she is there and the house is quiet.

When to fly for business travel is a decision many husbands, wives, parents and the like struggle with all of the time. Do I get up at the crack of dawn and catch the early flight, or do I take the last flight out and be there and ready for my meeting tomorrow morning?

airport-84240_640The answer isn’t the same for everyone. Really it comes down to what you view as important in your life and how you deal with those important things. Is being prepared and bright eyed important to you? Do you not like to be rushed in the morning? Do you want to be able to fly home the next evening and not be totally drained? Then you should probably take the late flight the night prior to your meeting. However if time with your family is paramount, or perhaps you are more of a morning person, or maybe you even just want to enjoy that cup of Starbucks on the company dime in the morning — then the early bird flight is the one for you.

That isn’t to say that you are a bad parent because you take the late flight out. Maybe you take that flight because your kids are in bed and doing so allows you to be home in time to take your daughter to her Girl Scout meeting. And it’s not to say you don’t care enough about your customers to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning. Perhaps you are a morning person and getting up at 3 isn’t an issue.

Regardless of your business travel preferences and the reasoning behind, it helps to have some tips to save time, energy and money along the way.

For the early flight:

  • Make sure you are 100% packed and prepared the night before
  • Check the inbound version of your flight the night before to ensure there have been no delays that will cause you headache tomorrow morning
  • Iron your clothes and place them out the night prior. Trust me, no one likes to be picking out their clothes at 3:30 in the morning.
  • Know your home airport and the location of the many Starbucks stores around the terminals. Might as well let your company buy you a cup of coffee for getting up this early!

For the late flight the night before:

  • Just like the Starbucks tip, know where and when you are going to eat before arriving at the airport. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to bed famished at my hotel because I didn’t plan to eat during my travel day.
  • Do the same for your return flight home
  • Wear comfortable clothes on the plane. Business travel doesn’t have to mean business professional attire 24-7. Hey, you’re not seeing your customer tonight, may as well be comfy right?
  • Keep an eye on the flight time. Don’t get to the airport only to be cancelled and have to run and go back home.

 

My next meeting is in Minneapolis at 9:00 AM. I’ll be flying the night before. I am NOT a morning person…

Sweet Valentine’s Day Treats for Your Valentine Sweet

Sweet Valentine’s Day Treats for Your Valentine Sweet

How sweet it is to be loved by you! This is your pilot speaking.

Valentine’s Day is this weekend and for those of us on the tarmac, time might be limited to find that special someone a little treat. I’ve compiled a list of places in major airports around the U.S. where you can find something special if time is tight. I have a bit of a sweet tooth and have first hand experience at most of these places. If I missed a favorite spot of yours I apologies. The list below is meant to also showcase something only found at that airport. There are two exceptions in The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Dylan’s Candy Bar which have franchises around the country. Rocky Mountain is your classic confectionery with treats for ever taste. Dylan’s offers a large selection of favorite brand name candies that you can 4314-Truffles36_79881_01v1Wmix and match as well as pre made gift boxes. A special note on Dylan’s: If you ever find yourself just east of Central Park in New York City you will find the flagship store that offers 4 stories of candy heaven. And if you happen to be flying internationally, don’t forget you can always find delicious limited edition Godiva Belgian chocolates at Duty Free Stores everywhere. Enjoy and safe travels as always!

The Aviator

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Hockey Makes You Hungry at New Minnesota Wild Themed Restaurant at MSP

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Confession: I love a good themed restaurant. Planet Hollywood. Hard Rock. Rainforest Café. I eat them up, literally. Sure, there’s a certain cheese factor apparent, but there’s also usually cheese fries on the menu along with a healthy serving of pop culture. And now travelers to Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) will have a chance to dine at the Minnesota Wild-themed restaurant at Terminal 2-Humphrey.

The good people of the Midwest love their hockey, and Minnesota is no exception. The new Minnesota Wild restaurant is chock full of memorabilia in the form of signed jerseys, helmets, arcade-style bubble hockey games, and hockey playing on the TVs throughout the establishment. Perhaps the most impressive feature is the bar fascia, constricted from the recycled hockey sticks from local players and fans who took part in an area “drive for hockey sticks” recycling program. I can’t think of a better way to feel a connection to Minnesota than having a beer at the bar right above a stick that could have been used in a local peewee league. Talk about an authentic experience!

But man cannot live on theme restaurant décor alone- what of the food? The menu is both hearty, with offerings of Roast Beef Slider, Bavarian Pretzel Sticks, and Old World Meatloaf, and refined, a la Maine Lobster Grilled Cheese, Mushroom Flatbread and Pan Roasted Salmon. The handmade bar also offers handmade cocktails.

The Minnesota Wild restaurant appeals to die-hard fans and curious travelers alike. You don’t have to appreciate hockey to appreciate that true Minnesotans love their hockey; so eating at this theme establishment is a great way to “do as the locals do.” The lively décor and tasty food will satisfy both families and solo travelers. Wishing you a hat trick and tasty travels!

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to admire the bar while you’re having a nice cold one! It’s made from 1,400 hockey sticks collected from local Minnesotans!

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Image credits: www.wild.nhl.com

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