Going out to eat just anywhere can be a serious challenge for vegans unless they are content with yet another salad and unadorned baked potato. However, traveling where your choices are limited by whatever is in the airport ~ now you’ve got a real challenge! Today I don’t have a recipe ~ just some places in a couple of airports to find real live vegan food.
In September, I took a flight out to California. I had no trouble, because I packed a meal for myself and ate well. On the flight back, though, all I managed to wrangle for myself easily was a good-sized bag of trail mix that I made for myself. Now, this can keep you from starving, but it can be very boring and make you long for something different. (Especially if you don’t put chocolate chips in it! What is trail mix without chocolate chips? lol)
Oh, I forgot to mention…I had to be dropped off at LAX at 6:30 in the morning so that my son could make it back for his rotation at the hospital (he’s in medical school.) My flight didn’t leave until about noon. I did eat a very, very early breakfast ~ we’re talking 4:30 a.m. here! ~ but that only gets you so far. By the time the bargain company I was flying opened their desk at 9:15 or later, I was just about ready to go find food already!
I ran the gauntlet of the TSA and headed for the pricey food vendors. Not only was I trolling to see what they had for vegans, but I needed to avoid wheat, too, if I at all could. I passed by pizzas and stale-looking fruit cups. I was afraid this just wasn’t going to be pretty. I was momentarily arrested by a See’s Candy kiosk where I almost succumbed to the lure!!
Finally I came across a lovely little corner where there was a family-run business ~ Camacho’s Cafe ~ complete with seating. (From what I read on their signs, they have at least one other location in LA that is doing very nicely.) A quick perusal of the menu made me very, very happy! I ordered a veggie fajita (that came with either wheat or corn tortillas) and some incredible guacamole on a bed of shredded lettuce. They had a beautiful set-up with fresh salsas to choose from, too. I couldn’t believe how much they’d packed into this little corner! And the food was amazing. I was so happy to have found healthy, vegan food at Terminal 1 at LAX!
Next stop was Atlanta airport. (Man, that place is HUGE!!) I was thankful I had enough time to mosey around and find food there, too, because it had been 8 hours since my fajita with only trail mix on which to subsist! (My airline only gives out wheat products for snacks, and tiny ones at that, so I was happy to have my stash.) Apparently, some of the concourses in Atlanta have more food options than others. Also, the later it gets, the fewer things are open! I was so hungry for something starchy ~ hang the calories. After a few less-than-what-I-was-looking-for options, I finally found what hit the spot. A place called Charley’s Steakery. Doesn’t that sound like the best place for a vegan to find food?? 😀 They had lovely fruit bowls for decent prices that had fresh pineapple, honeydew melon, strawberries, blueberries, etc., and to give me my starch fix, steak fries! (Yeah, probably not the greatest option for a health-minded person, but I was exhausted, hungry, and beyond caring at that point. It was food. It wasn’t wheat or animal-based, and it didn’t come from Mickey D’s. I was eating it.)
All in all, I highly recommend planning ahead so that you aren’t going to starve if your airport doesn’t have the options that mine did. (By the time I got home to Dayton, every single restaurant was locked up tight!) But don’t count out unusual places to find good food! Happy flying.
Sometime in the next post or so, I am going to feature a wonderful local event called the Vegetarian Tasting Extravaganza. It was just marvelous and filled with vegan food this year! If I can contact some of the cooks, I’m going to see if I can feature some of their recipes, too.