As I mentioned in my previous review of Surdyk’s Flights at MSP, there are good and bad airports for layovers, at least if you are looking for good dining options. And unfortunately, SEA seems to be perpetually locked sometime in the mid-1990s when it comes to airport dining. Aside from a number of Starbucks that would be considered implausibly high in most other places (I passed three just walking from my gate back to security, this is Seattle, after all!), aside from Ivar’s Seafood Bar, the options at SEA mostly involve… Sbarro and McDonald’s (the latter being a fairly recent addition). But there’s actually a good, non-obvious option at SEA, at least if you’ve got a layover of at least two hours: Leave the airport! In a mere five minute walk from any gates but the N/S concourses (which have the little tramway connecting them to the rest of the airport), you can not only be back through security, but outside of the airport, and in another 5 minutes of walking, you can be off the airport entirely, and sitting in the warm comfort of 13 Coins.
Where Offbeat Eats has been:
As I mentioned in the previous review, Belgium has several well-known food items. The Belgian waffle (the gaufre de liege). Beer. Mussels (les moules). Chocolate. And frites. Yeah, us Americans may think that we love what we call French Fries, but the Belgians really have a serious thing going for their frites. So when my sister-in-law was taking us on a walking tour of Brussels showing us some of her old haunts, one of the places she took us was Maison Antoine. Maison Antoine is a little stand in the Etterbeek section of Brussels in Place Jourdan, and quite frankly, they are the attraction for the area, with long lines snaking through the park up to the two ordering windows. While Maison Antoine nominally has a rather full menu of items (including such dubious items as “Chicken Sticks” and the “Carrero”, a McRib-like heavily processed pork patty), there’s really only one item on the menu worth considering, and that’s the frites (available in two different sizes). And that’s pretty much what everyone orders: the frites, walking off with cornets of fresh frites and condiments for munching either on the go, or by sitting down and eating them with a beer at one of the local cafes (most of which are perfectly happy with you bringing in frites from outside).