Legal Sea Foods (Boston Logan Airport)

Well, the 2012 round of travels continues, this time with a trip to Iceland (for pleasure, it’s been on our to-do list for years). But before I could start reviewing Icelandic food joints, we had to actually get to Iceland. Which means a plane flight. Which means airports. Which often means airport food.

As I’ve commented before, airport food is generally a dismal experience. Airport dining options are generally limited, overpriced, poor quality, and, bizarrely, often seemingly unaware of the fact that they are located in an airport and their customers have planes to catch (Yes, Todd English’s Bonfire at Logan, I’m still pissed at you…). But we again found ourselves with a red-eye flight across the Atlantic, and our bus schedule leaving us some time to kill in Terminal E before our flight. Not having quite enough time to take the Silver Line over to South Station, we had to find some dinner at the airport. While I’ve had some decent meals at the restaurant located right outside security in Terminal E, I decided that this time we’d mix it up, and walk over to Terminal C (as an aside, it’s an interesting walk, since you go through the remnants of Terminal D, which has been subsumed by Terminals C and E) to check out the Logan Airport edition of the Legal Sea Foods chain (this is their “Legal Sea Foods” location in Terminal C, they also have a “Legal C Bar” in Terminal B, and “Legal Test Kitchen” in Terminal A).

I’ve always had a bit of a hit-and-miss experience with Legal Sea Foods… I consistently get good quality food and service at their MIT location when I’m down there for business, but several other locations (like the Crystal City, VA location) seem to be able to consistently disappoint me. But thinking it over, even my most disappointing experiences at Legal are better than your average airport dining experience, so I figured it was worth a try. They were able to quickly seat us (albeit in a booth where my bench was on the verge of structural failure), and had a nice awareness that they were indeed in an airport (“What time is your flight? And what gate? I want to make sure we get you out of here with time to spare.”) so that was a nice touch. Looking over the menu, we decided that we’d split an order of mussels, while I got a wedge salad and some spicy fish and chips, while Carol opted for the Portuguese Fish Stew.

While my wedge salad wasn’t terribly impressive, the mussels were a good start to the meal. They came out as an ample pile of mussels (around 1.5 lbs, and only one in the batch wasn’t open), served up in a rich and flavorful garlic and wine broth that nicely penetrated into the interior of the mussels. Perfectly cooked, these were nice little tender morsels of seafood, and seeing the number of good mussels we got for $11 I’d have to say that this was a reasonable appetizer for an airport

Carol did quite well with her Portuguese Fish Stew as well. The dish was an ample portion of fish served in a saffron tomato broth with a good selection of mussels, clams, toast, and Portuguese chouriço sausage. The broth was rich and flavorful, the clams and mussels nicely cooked, and the fish tender. The chouriço gave it a nice pepper kick as well. This would be a rather pleasant Portuguese Fish Stew under most circumstances, and for an airport, some great dining.

I wasn’t quite as impressed with my Spicy Fish and Chips, but it was pleasant enough. I’ll be honest, I greatly prefer haddock to cod when it comes to fish and chips, and this wasn’t an exception, but they did do a rather good job with it. Served up as several random larger chunks of cod, the fish was nicely breaded with a subtly spicy breadiing, and cooked perfectly: the fish was flaky and not at all overcooked, and the breading adhered nicely to the fish. The fries were just your normal restaurant fries, but were nicely crisped. Nothing stellar here, but nothing shabby, either.

Overall, I was pleased enough with Legal, they did a decent job of food preparation at a reasonable price considering the location, and were quite good at both attentive service and making sure we got served quickly enough to get to our destination. As far as airport cuisine goes, I’m putting this place near the top of my list, since I wouldn’t hesitate to give them another try next time I need a dinner at Logan.

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