THE EATBEAT: Delta Airlines offers first-class serviceShe reached out with tongs holding a warm washcloth for my hands. Then, the first-class cabin attendant came around with a linen-looking cloth to put on top of the tray in front of my seat on Delta Airlines Flight 2153 from Minneapolis to Seattle.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
She reached out with tongs holding a warm washcloth for my hands. Then, the first-class cabin attendant came around with a linen-looking cloth to put on top of the tray in front of my seat on Delta Airlines Flight 2153 from Minneapolis to Seattle.
It was July 4, and I was flying out as a guest for a television program. It was a rare occasion for me to be traveling up front, but amazing things have happened since I went viral in March after my Olive Garden Eatbeat. Usually, I take my place in a middle seat way back on the airplane and eat some fruit and a sandwich I pack at home.
Unaccustomed as I am to traveling first class, I can recommend it for travelers with more bucks than I have.
I sat back on the wide, comfortable seat in the cool cabin. I could smell meat cooking or being heated, and it was good. So, when I was asked whether I would like chicken salad or a Philly steak sandwich, I chose the latter. It was delivered with the melted Swiss cheese dripping out of a long bun with thick layers of tender steak. The wedge of dill pickle with a lettuce leaf on the side was fine with me. I’ve never met a dill pickle I didn’t like!
The salad was not quite crisp but fairly good. Whoever thought of putting mandarin slices in these ready-made salads was on the right track. The olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette dressing that came in a packet was just right. And I especially liked the cute tiny individual salt and pepper shakers. The large cloth napkins were most welcome.
I ate quietly, glancing now and then at the screen in front of me. The woman in the seat beside me was eating pistachio nuts she brought with her as though they were going out of style. Eventually, though, she did eat her airline lunch and told me she was on her way to Hawaii.
Before long, I tried the dessert — a Blondie Square made by Dancing Deer Baking Co. And just to stay on the up and up, it said right on the package that the 2-ounce dessert would cost me 280 calories.
All in all, it was a satisfying meal. On an Olive Garden virus scale, I would rate it 3 breadsticks.
On the return trip from Seattle to Minneapolis, I was waiting with a curious mind to taste the evening meal. The plane was maybe somewhere over Utah when I chose a chicken breast with salad. The greens for the salad were crisp, and there were colorful little tortilla strips to sprinkle on top. I especially liked the little square dish of grapes, strawberry and two pieces of pineapple.
But the cold chicken with the salad was rather hard and a tad dry. But then, it was cold chicken. And I have read that flavors are not as discernible in the sky. I was thinking the meals are about as good as they can get considering they are made ahead of time. There is a nice mix of textures.
And I thought about how often dinnerware in restaurants is square. I wondered if the times of the round serving plate are gone just like the era of the typewriter and clothesline. We then hit a little rough weather, and the cabin shook a bit, but I kept on eating.
I dialed up the trip information on the screen in front of me. We were traveling at 586 miles per hour. There was a 59-mph tail wind, and we were at 37,010 feet. I shivered when I noticed it was 55 below outside the airplane.
In first class, you are invited to have complimentary beer, wine or a mixed drink. In moderation, this adds to the pleasure of the meal.
My next trip on Delta will be in August to Denver. It will be on my own credit card, and I will bring food from home.
I inevitably will sit in a middle seat and in the back of the plane. There, I will be offered a complimentary beverage and snack such as peanuts, pretzels or that very nice biscotti served on Delta flights. I will bypass the lunches that I have seen offered for sale. And I will remember the joy of first-class travel.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (701) 772-1055.