MSP Food

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

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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