Sunday, January 13, 2008

Burger King, Continental Airlines 1645, The Tavern on Gray

Burger King #8533-C,
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Cleveland, Ohio

Bite: Surprisingly good for an airport BK.

Continental Airlines Flight 1645 from Cleveland, Ohio to Houston, Texas, on Dec. 15, 2007

Bite: The days of crappy airline food are NOT over.

The Tavern on Gray
1340 W. Gray
Houston, TX 77019

Bite: Worst beefy farts of my life, but well, well worth it.

by Beau Cadiyo

I was flying out to see my parents for the holidays, and my plan was to grab a hamburger at the airport. The pickings were slim at Hopkins, so I went with Burger King. The Whopper was grey, and on a flattened bun, but for $2.99 it wasn’t bad – the lettuce was good, the special sauce added a lot and the service was superb. I also appreciated the non-extortionate pricing which is so rare at the airport. Burger King: 3/5.

The plane boarded late, and then we waited almost an hour for people who were on incoming, delayed flights. Then there was de-icing. By the time we got out we were something like two hours late and I was surely going to miss my connecting flight. I was disappointed, but I tried to look on the bright side: I could work on research, due when I returned.

There was no bright side to the food served. I chose a turkey sandwich over ham. It was about the length of my forefinger and the mayonnaise was the most prominent taste in the whole piece. The Ruffles and the Milky Way did nothing for me, and even the apple juice tasted watered down and tawdry. I thought that the time of crappy airline food passed in the 1980s; apparently it’s the Continental Airlines norm. Continental: Godawful/5.

As expected, most of us missed our connecting flights, and Continental refused to give anyone hotel rooms because it was a “weather-related” delay. Luckily Brian, one of my great friends, lives in Houston and I met him at the downtown Hilton. We then went to a bar near his house. It was Texas: lots of wood, crap on the walls, rowdy men, stunning Latinas. We sat down at the bar. I ordered a cheeseburger and fries and we split a pitcher of some local beer.

The burger was amazing. It was the size of my outstretched hand, meaty, fatty and delicious. The cheese melded into the patty and the bun barely fit it all in; the lettuce was finely chopped and slid out a little but, with the sauces, was easily scooped up. The fries were well-cooked and heavily salted. The beer was heavy and tasted like eternal hope.

With sudden time to pause over the perfection, Brian and I talked about our recent relationships – the ones we’d been in and the one I’m in now. Two of the Latinas sidled up to the bar next to us. It was then, very very slightly buzzed, that I realized how much I liked my girlfriend. Later, though, I realized how glad I was that she wasn’t with me on that trip, because for the next 24 hours I had the worst beefy farts of my life. Tavern: 5/5.

Burger King in Avon

Tavern on Gray in Houston


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