Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) Guide

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Chocolate: The Cure For Airport Stress

Jul 14, 2015

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


Win My Stomach, Win My Heart: A Valentine’s Travel Guide, Vol 3

Feb 9, 2015

The clock is ticking, and if you still haven’t planned a delicious Valentine’s Day food adventure for your significant other, I have one more tantalizing suggestion for you, and it’s not too late. Head to the Lone Star state and be still your beating heart with BBQ in Austin, Texas!

 Option #3: Austin. I feel quite confident recommending a Valentine’s Day foodventure in Austin. After all, this is my new hometown and I have spent much of the last six months exploring every meat establishment on your behalf. I’ve also gained 15 pounds, so you’re welcome! Austin has it all: stunning hill country vistas, authentic BBQ, and live bands to satisfy any musical taste. Your romantic journey can begin before you even leave Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) at the legendary Salt Lick BBQ. Be sure to sample the mouth-watering Pork Ribs, but don’t go crazy! The plan is to sweep your lover off their feet by visiting as many BBQ joints as possible, and you don’t want to get too full right off the bat.

photo copy

Sexy, sexy Salt Lick

Your next stop should be Franklin Barbecue, where you might have to stand in line for hours but trust me, it’s worth it. The tastiest Brisket and the moistest Turkey you’ve ever had in your life await you. Plus you can do some serious hand holding to pass the time while you wait.

But my personal favorite BBQ joint in Austin is The County Line. With cowboy décor lining the walls and plates overflowing with all varieties of meats, The County Line is a BBQ dream. Order up a combo plate of Brisket, Sausage, and Pulled Pork and share them a la “Lady and the Tramp”. With side options like Mashed Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, and Fried Okra rounding off the meal, you’ll be bursting (with love!) when you waddle out of this restaurant.

photo copy 2

Austin is more than just sweet, delicious meat. Take a stroll through the grounds of the Texas State Capitol and admire the way the sunlight reflects off of the golden dome. Afterwards, have a cocktail at the bar of the Driskill Hotel, which has been in operation since 1886 and looks like the set of a John Wayne movie. They make a mean Bloody Mary!

As the sun starts to set over the hills of Texas, grab some Mexican Vanilla ice cream from local favorite Amy’s Ice Creams and climb to the top of Mount Bonnell. You can take in the stunning panorama of downtown Austin and the Colorado River as you kiss your Valentine, who might still taste faintly of BBQ sauce.

Wherever you may travel this Valentine’s Day, I hope it’s full of flavor and absolutely delicious. Wishing you true love and tasty travels!

Pro Tip: If you loved Amy’s Ice Creams, you’re in luck! They have a shop located at Gate 12 at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Order up a dish and toast to a very sweet Valentine’s Day!

Image Credits: Lara Pasternak


Home Sweet Airport

Jan 14, 2015

When does a journey truly begin? Does it start when you’re sitting at your computer, buying plane tickets and researching hotels and restaurants in faraway cities? Or is it when you’re trying to decide how many outfits you can cram into your suitcase and still have room for five pairs of shoes? For me, any journey, whether business or pleasure, begins when the automatic doors of my home base airport open and whisk me into a world of excitement, anticipation, and yes, sometimes frustration.

Like bookends on a shelf, your home airport is both the launch pad of your next great adventure and the first glimpse of return when that journey has ended. Whether you travel occasionally or you’re George Clooney in “Up In The Air”, the experience of a home base airport can be a constant and a comfort. You know that after you snake through the security line, there are familiar restaurants, bars, and gift shops awaiting you. You know just where the comfortable padded seats are, the ones with charging stations and prime views of the planes taxiing and taking off on the tarmac. You’ve located the clean bathrooms, and you know the best place to buy your preferred plane snack (trail mix with M&Ms, of course). If your flight happens to become delayed, you might grumble but now you have time for a burger and a beer at the bar of your favorite restaurant. And when you see the twinkling lights of your airport’s runway from the plane window on your return journey, you know you’re finally home.

For the past ten years, Laguardia has been my home airport. I was a New York City schoolteacher, so air travel to me meant winter breaks to visit my mother in Florida and epic European summer adventures. I lived only ten minutes from the airport, so I really considered it a beacon of home. I had my pre-flight routine: Post security in Terminal D, I’d load up from the surprisingly tasty Food Court Salad Bar and Buffet if I was attempting to be healthy, or order a decadent Custom Burger by Pat La Frieda with a fried egg on a potato roll if I was not. After my meal, I’d buy a sweet snack and some gum for the plane. Well stocked, I’d settle in at my gate, updating my Facebook announcing the start of my travels.

But life has a way of surprising you, because now my new home airport is Austin-Bergstrom International smack dab in the middle of Texas. Six months ago I followed my heart and the love of my life to Austin. I’m now a journalist and my business travels take me near and far. Adjusting to Texas was one thing, but I find myself also taking in my new home airport. There’s no Pat La Frieda but there is Salt Lick BBQ, which a girl can certainly get used to. There’s also live music “keeping Austin weird”, local favorite Thundercloud Subs, and gift shops selling up bottles of hot sauce and dry rubs. I’ve even found the comfy seats from which I can enjoy my trail mix with M&Ms, which I now buy in the largest size because hey, everything’s bigger in Texas.

The world is changing and air travel is no longer a luxury but the norm. As such, airports have upped their game to become exciting venues filled with top-notch restaurants, quirky bars, and specialty shops with local food and beverage gifts. In many ways, airports are ambassadors for the regions they represent, offering their own flavors to those who are passing through. Come along with me on this journey as I explore the food and fun of not only my new home airport but all home airports around the world. Wishing you tasty travels!

Here I am in all my glory, patiently awaiting my flight.  Where’s my trail mix?

Here I am in all my glory, patiently awaiting my flight. Where’s my trail mix?

Image credit: Top Image -Joe Mabel [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Bottom Image: Lara Pasternak

 


Chocolate: The Cure For Airport Stress

Jul 14, 2015

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


Win My Stomach, Win My Heart: A Valentine’s Travel Guide, Vol 3

Feb 9, 2015

The clock is ticking, and if you still haven’t planned a delicious Valentine’s Day food adventure for your significant other, I have one more tantalizing suggestion for you, and it’s not too late. Head to the Lone Star state and be still your beating heart with BBQ in Austin, Texas!

 Option #3: Austin. I feel quite confident recommending a Valentine’s Day foodventure in Austin. After all, this is my new hometown and I have spent much of the last six months exploring every meat establishment on your behalf. I’ve also gained 15 pounds, so you’re welcome! Austin has it all: stunning hill country vistas, authentic BBQ, and live bands to satisfy any musical taste. Your romantic journey can begin before you even leave Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) at the legendary Salt Lick BBQ. Be sure to sample the mouth-watering Pork Ribs, but don’t go crazy! The plan is to sweep your lover off their feet by visiting as many BBQ joints as possible, and you don’t want to get too full right off the bat.

photo copy

Sexy, sexy Salt Lick

Your next stop should be Franklin Barbecue, where you might have to stand in line for hours but trust me, it’s worth it. The tastiest Brisket and the moistest Turkey you’ve ever had in your life await you. Plus you can do some serious hand holding to pass the time while you wait.

But my personal favorite BBQ joint in Austin is The County Line. With cowboy décor lining the walls and plates overflowing with all varieties of meats, The County Line is a BBQ dream. Order up a combo plate of Brisket, Sausage, and Pulled Pork and share them a la “Lady and the Tramp”. With side options like Mashed Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, and Fried Okra rounding off the meal, you’ll be bursting (with love!) when you waddle out of this restaurant.

photo copy 2

Austin is more than just sweet, delicious meat. Take a stroll through the grounds of the Texas State Capitol and admire the way the sunlight reflects off of the golden dome. Afterwards, have a cocktail at the bar of the Driskill Hotel, which has been in operation since 1886 and looks like the set of a John Wayne movie. They make a mean Bloody Mary!

As the sun starts to set over the hills of Texas, grab some Mexican Vanilla ice cream from local favorite Amy’s Ice Creams and climb to the top of Mount Bonnell. You can take in the stunning panorama of downtown Austin and the Colorado River as you kiss your Valentine, who might still taste faintly of BBQ sauce.

Wherever you may travel this Valentine’s Day, I hope it’s full of flavor and absolutely delicious. Wishing you true love and tasty travels!

Pro Tip: If you loved Amy’s Ice Creams, you’re in luck! They have a shop located at Gate 12 at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Order up a dish and toast to a very sweet Valentine’s Day!

Image Credits: Lara Pasternak


Home Sweet Airport

Jan 14, 2015

When does a journey truly begin? Does it start when you’re sitting at your computer, buying plane tickets and researching hotels and restaurants in faraway cities? Or is it when you’re trying to decide how many outfits you can cram into your suitcase and still have room for five pairs of shoes? For me, any journey, whether business or pleasure, begins when the automatic doors of my home base airport open and whisk me into a world of excitement, anticipation, and yes, sometimes frustration.

Like bookends on a shelf, your home airport is both the launch pad of your next great adventure and the first glimpse of return when that journey has ended. Whether you travel occasionally or you’re George Clooney in “Up In The Air”, the experience of a home base airport can be a constant and a comfort. You know that after you snake through the security line, there are familiar restaurants, bars, and gift shops awaiting you. You know just where the comfortable padded seats are, the ones with charging stations and prime views of the planes taxiing and taking off on the tarmac. You’ve located the clean bathrooms, and you know the best place to buy your preferred plane snack (trail mix with M&Ms, of course). If your flight happens to become delayed, you might grumble but now you have time for a burger and a beer at the bar of your favorite restaurant. And when you see the twinkling lights of your airport’s runway from the plane window on your return journey, you know you’re finally home.

For the past ten years, Laguardia has been my home airport. I was a New York City schoolteacher, so air travel to me meant winter breaks to visit my mother in Florida and epic European summer adventures. I lived only ten minutes from the airport, so I really considered it a beacon of home. I had my pre-flight routine: Post security in Terminal D, I’d load up from the surprisingly tasty Food Court Salad Bar and Buffet if I was attempting to be healthy, or order a decadent Custom Burger by Pat La Frieda with a fried egg on a potato roll if I was not. After my meal, I’d buy a sweet snack and some gum for the plane. Well stocked, I’d settle in at my gate, updating my Facebook announcing the start of my travels.

But life has a way of surprising you, because now my new home airport is Austin-Bergstrom International smack dab in the middle of Texas. Six months ago I followed my heart and the love of my life to Austin. I’m now a journalist and my business travels take me near and far. Adjusting to Texas was one thing, but I find myself also taking in my new home airport. There’s no Pat La Frieda but there is Salt Lick BBQ, which a girl can certainly get used to. There’s also live music “keeping Austin weird”, local favorite Thundercloud Subs, and gift shops selling up bottles of hot sauce and dry rubs. I’ve even found the comfy seats from which I can enjoy my trail mix with M&Ms, which I now buy in the largest size because hey, everything’s bigger in Texas.

The world is changing and air travel is no longer a luxury but the norm. As such, airports have upped their game to become exciting venues filled with top-notch restaurants, quirky bars, and specialty shops with local food and beverage gifts. In many ways, airports are ambassadors for the regions they represent, offering their own flavors to those who are passing through. Come along with me on this journey as I explore the food and fun of not only my new home airport but all home airports around the world. Wishing you tasty travels!

Here I am in all my glory, patiently awaiting my flight.  Where’s my trail mix?

Here I am in all my glory, patiently awaiting my flight. Where’s my trail mix?

Image credit: Top Image -Joe Mabel [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Bottom Image: Lara Pasternak

 


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