Last week Fabiana and I got a chance to tour the new San Diego International Airport. Not only did we see the sleek new green building elements, but we also got to sample many of the new food offerings! Our newest member Fabiana has a lot to say about it so I’ll get out of the way and just drop my random commentary (denoted by D) throughout the post.
Who would think that waiting for a plane could be so much fun? And delicious!
The new expanded Terminal at the San Diego International Airport gives a whole new approach on how to feed their guests. The food plaza is filled with a mix of all flavors that San Diego has to offer, going from BBQ to Thai, passing by Pasta, Mexican food and street cuisine.
But that was not the beginning of our day. We heard about the whole project behind this amazing construction and all that is been done to improve the customer service. Also we were introduced to the new art pieces blended at the airport atmosphere. All the pleasures of travelling being upgraded by color and beauty.
While learning all that, we made our first food stop, at Phil’s BBQ. At the brand new location, besides meeting Phil, I had the chance to try the barbecue everybody always told me about. I heard so many good things that I couldn’t wait to see it for myself. After tasting it I can say that it was beyond my expectation. The onion rings and the baby back ribs were phenomenal. And Phil? Well, he’s a rock star!
D: The baby back ribs were almost a mirror image to that you can get off Sports Arena or in Santee. Very tasty!
Moving on, we went to Urban Crave, specializing in street cuisine. This new concept,really popular lately, bring to the table all the street deliciousness known and loved by everyone. With a contemporary and fine dining touch, the restaurant offered chicken tacos, hot dog sliders and Bloody Mary drinks. This drink, known as the hangover cure, is made with tomato juice, vodka, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and some variations of garnish such as celery, pickles and bacon. According to the server at Urban Crave, their Bloody Mary is special because it has a secret ingredient that makes it delicious. Gotta agree with her on that one. It was awesome!
Continuing our tour, we went to Qdoba to taste some Mexican food. From the sampling menu, I had their customized rice and black beans bowl with lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese. As a side, chips with quarto quesos dip and salsa verde.
D: It was similar to Chipotle if you’ve never had Qdoba before.
Right next to Qdoba, we found Seaside Stack Shack serving beef sliders with French fries. To drink, regular and pomegranate lemonade. A good option for fast and good food. The funny part here was when I tried the sauce that they gave for the burger. Why? If you are thinking spicy, you are right. I didn’t almost had a heart attack but I can say that the lemonade saved my life.
D: I had no issues with spice, so if you normally like spicy things don’t be scurred!
At Saffron, we tried their Spring Roll and Mango Rice. Mango Sticky Rice? Yes. This really famous Thai dessert is made with sticky rice (Thai sweet rice), coconut sauce and mangos. I’m not the biggest coconut fan, but it was so sweet and tasty that I couldn’t stop eating (and I HAD to! There was still a lot to try!).
D: Wish they had their chicken satay for everyone to sample! I think they would have had some sure fire return business there.
Our next stop was Tommy V’s Pizzeria where all the pizza options for us to sample almost froze my brain. My eyes look straight to the mushroom topping and it was love at first sight. I also had their gnocchi with pesto cream and cheese. I have to say that gnocchi is comfort food to me. It reminds me when I was a little girl and stood next to my grandmother watching her throw those little potato ball on boiling water and wait for them to float. It was like magic! So nice to feel that again, and with such a tasty pesto sauce.
Ok, I have to say that at this point I was totally NOT hungry anymore. But when my eyes saw what Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar had to offer, I just couldn’t resist: shrimp cocktail and apple cider. The bubbly drink was smooth, sweet and refreshing. Basically it was the perfect combination with the shrimp. I also loved their menu! So colorful and with so many options that makes me wanna try their food everyday.
Last but not least, we stopped at Red Mango to get a refreshing taste on their frozen yogurts. My choice was mango and I can say it was the perfect end for a delicious hot day.
D: I had raspberry as you can see from the picture below. Portion was good for me at this point.
So that concludes the food portion by Fabiana. I would normally say “if you are in the neighborhood, go try them” but that doesn’t really work for the airport now does it? I guess a more fitting a statement is next time you have to catch a flight there are so many more options to dine at, most local to San Diego too. Aside from food I also wanted to share a few cool features of the airport that I haven’t seen in many other airports yet. They have a water bottle fill station, a “pet relief” room, and charging stations…at every chair in the new terminal (that I saw).
We got to also walk outside to take a look at the exterior of the new dining area.
There you have it. Who said being at the airport had to be that bad?