Travel Thursday: Indianapolis and Atlanta

Travel Thursday: Indianapolis and Atlanta

I’ve been traveling a lot in the last two weeks – two trips, essentially back to back to Indianapolis and to Atlanta.  Both were for work and both involved flying in, hopping into a taxi, going to a hotel and staying in the hotel for two full days, heading back to the airport and going home.  So, sadly, this post is primarily about airport food and room service menus, as well as what you can see from various windows.

I’ve been traveling for work for the last thirteen years.  Some years involved one or two flights and some years have involved four or five trips – it’s depended on the job and organization.   The one thing I noticed this last round of trips is that airports seem to have really upped their game when it comes to food.  So in my Travel Thursday round up this go around, I’m starting with the Minneapolis airport, which is where I had a three hour layover on my way to Indianapolis.

negroni lobster-blt

I started off by wandering around the terminal in Minneapolis, scoping out my options.  I was impressed to see a deli that sold fresh fruit – farmer stand style.  I had three hours though, so opted for a sit down option and eventually ended up at Mimosa – a bar and restaurant that let patrons order and pay from a tablet on the table.  I opted to start with a Negroni, which was incredibly heavy on the gin, but really tasty in a bitters and aromatic kind of way.  The sandwich pictured above was a variation of a BLT with lobster – really, really tasty with thick cut bacon and a farm fresh tasting tomato.  This was my first time flying into Minneapolis, and I was really impressed.

My end destination was Indianapolis.  I had a pretty good view from my hotel room.

indianapolis

I also had a chance to actually leave the hotel to get dinner the second night I was here.  (The first night, I had a room service salmon Caesar salad – tasty, but not very photogenic).   A colleague of mine and I went to Nada, a restaurant that bills itself as “Modern Mexican.”  We indulged in really good guacamole to start and I ordered sangria – which I was warned by the waitress was very booze-forward.  It definitely had curacao and brandy in it, but it was no more boozy than most of the sangrias I make at home.  It also very much complimented the trio of tacos I had for dinner.

booze-forward-sangria traco-trio-nada-indianapolis

There’s the boozy sangria.  Next pic are the tacos – from upper left and going clockwise: a fried avocado with pepita pesto taco, a Baja fish taco, and a pork belly taco with a fried egg.  The pork belly taco with the fried egg was my favorite – the egg was just enough runny yolk to mix with the salty pork belly to make it the perfect brunch food (it was great for dinner, too).  If you happen to be in downtown Indianapolis, I highly recommend this restaurant.

Then it was back to the airport and back to Portland.  I spent several hours in the Indianapolis airport so had time to go to Wolfgang Puck’s Express and try out the chicken salad sandwich, which was the perfect autumn combination of chicken, apple, and grapes on wholegrain bread.

wolfgang-puck-chicken-salad-sandwich

My flight was in the evening, so I was able to catch a bit of the sunset on my phone from 20,000 feet or so as we were taking off.

airplane-sunset

I had a few days at home, just enough time to stretch out the kinks in my back from my flights, and then left for Atlanta.

My room view wasn’t quite as exciting in Atlanta as it was in Indianapolis.

atlanta

Room service was better than the view.

green-tomato-blt crab-cakes

The first night (the picture on the left) was a BLT with fried green tomatoes, bacon, lettuce and tomato jam.  It wasn’t a very photogenic sandwich, but it was so tasty.  Even better, it came with sweet potato and parsnip fries.  The second night (picture on the right), I had crab cakes served over a poblano aioli, with a jicama and mango coleslaw and potato wedges.  Black sheep definitely approved of that meal.  I’d also bought a small bottle of King Estate Pinot Gris on my way out of the Portland Airport, which was a little bit of home with my dinner each night.

pinot-gris-and-black-sheep

My time in Atlanta was, unfortunately, consumed with work.  I really wish I’d had time to see something of the city and hope to go back someday for fun.

I’ve had connecting flights before in Atlanta, but before this trip, I never realized how big the airport is (5,000 incoming and outgoing flights a day should be a clue).  I had a few hours before my flight home, so walked the distance of all six concourses rather than taking the train that connects to each.  I don’t recommend doing this in heels, but on the other hand, I needed the exercise after those room service meals!  The great thing about doing this walk was I encountered this in between two of the concourses – airport art!

atlanta-airport

This was sculptural art on the ceiling between the concourses – I assume it represents the rainforest, as there was water projected on the floor in places and the sound of tropical birds and insects throughout.  It was well worth the walk to discover this.

My flight was scheduled out of the international concourse, which has a great selection of restaurants.  I settled on eating at the Pecan Bistro and finally got shrimp and grits – one of my absolute favorite Southern foods.

shrimp-and-grits

It was a good two weeks of food and travel, but I was incredibly glad to be back home and be back to cooking and blogging.

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