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The stress of traveling at this time of year almost makes me want to skip the turkey and pumpkin pie and stay home. I’ve come to accept that traffic, delays and flight cancellations are inevitable. And I'm only going from New York to New Jersey – but that means I’ll be waiting in the dreary Penn Station or worse, the Port Authority Bus Terminal – two places in dire need of makeovers.
I’ve always been envious of the New York and Connecticut commuters who get to take advantage of the many food options at Grand Central Station. But last week, while waiting for a friend to get into town, I discovered Metro Marche, a gem of a restaurant tucked inside the Port Authority. We had planned to go to my favorite new burger and beer spot, Resto, but it was late, raining and we were starving so decided to stay put and this year-old, French-style bistro thoroughly impressed us both. I ordered an excellent burger topped with caramelized onions, gruyere served on a brioche roll that was accompanied by lightly salted hand cut fries. While it wasn’t Resto-quality, it was pretty close. And the ambitious beer list included some of my favorites: Saint Sylvester Trois Monts, Castelain Biere de Garde and Delirium Tremens. Was I embarrassed to admit to friends that I spent my Friday night hanging out at the Port Authority? A bit. Would I do it again? If I’m stuck waiting for my bus, without a doubt yes.
I’m lucky I don’t have far to go this holiday, but for people heading to the airport, here are some thoughts on the best food spots to take advantage of if you get stuck waiting:
*New York Magazine restaurant critic Adam Platt recently took a tour of New York’s airport restaurants. Read his verdict here.
*Five new eateries, including one from Todd English, opened last week in the busiest terminal of Boston’s Logan Airport.
*Jim Gullo, CBS’s How-to-Travel-Guru, raves about the food at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina.
*Chowhound visitors had some pointed thoughts on which airport in the U.S. has the best food.
*Need a last minute holiday gift for a food-snob friend? Food blogger Regina Schrambling went foraging for the best airport food to take home and came up with some great finds.