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Why No Comfort Food In Premium Classes?  
User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2984 posts, RR: 13
Posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 13508 times:
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I know I should be more healthy with my diet, but sometimes when I fly in business or even First I just wish once I there was something hearty and familiar rather than an airline always trying to serve gourmet fancy food. What happened to lasagna? What about beef stew or chili? Mac and Cheese? Chicken pot pie?

10 years ago UA used to serve bangers and mash from LHR and since it was just sausage and mashed potatos it was amazing! The single best dish I've ever had was beef and cheese Mannicotti on Continental.

But today, it's all fine dining that falls short of achieving it's goal. I mean who likes 3 day old duck on American? Sometimes I get my best laugh on my beloved United when I read the menu.

I'm not thinking of turning business Class into a diner, but one option that would go great with a mindless fun movie would be awesome. I would even think most of the dishes I mentioned above would even travel well. Survive the process that you food goes through before it lands on your tray table!

Food quality is so often discussed on A.net. Why do ALL airlines feel so compelled to make each dish a masterpiece of fine food, when I bet simple favorites would be huge hits?

Has it been tried and failed?


The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
61 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15833 posts, RR: 27
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 13483 times:

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
What happened to lasagna? What about beef stew or chili? Mac and Cheese? Chicken pot pie?

Not upmarket enough?

But overall I'm inclined to agree with you, some more mainstream options might be appreciated. And you do see some nice restaurants selling gourmet versions of "everyday" foods like mac and cheese or pizza so I would imagine airlines can do the same.

I recall a documentary on Air Force One where one of the stewards mentioned that when returning from long international trips they like to serve American food like hamburgers, etc. I would imagine that businessmen returning from Asia or Europe might appreciate something similar.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2984 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 13314 times:
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Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):

Actually on United p.s. they sometimes offer a hamburger with a big deli pickle. I had to try it. It was naturally well done and a bit tough but nothing ketchup couldn't fix.

20 years ago on UA I was on the transcon red eye from SFO to JFK in First and they had a whole roast beef! And the FA asked me how I wanted it ...so I said rare. Well it came a bit too rare and she said "let me put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. It was perfect, with gravy and roasted potatoes.

VARIG used to serve lobster thermador, so once upon a time the cooked in the galley!



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8658 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 13237 times:

Maybe because there's nothing comfortable about comfort food. The world is a diverse place and what you consider comfort food, the passenger next to you may have a different opinion. When trying to please many tastes It's best to stick to basic classic food. For example, I would starve if my options were any of your suggestions of "comfort food".

User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5934 posts, RR: 40
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 13201 times:

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
What happened to lasagna? What about beef stew or chili? Mac and Cheese? Chicken pot pie?

had one of my best lasagnas around 15 years ago on AV flight FRA-BOG served as second meal in business... all this after a 7 course lunch including caviar some hours before   it was just great!

Not so sure if chili would be a great option... remember you cant open windows on an airplane 
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
But overall I'm inclined to agree with you, some more mainstream options might be appreciated. And you do see some nice restaurants selling gourmet versions of "everyday" foods like mac and cheese or pizza so I would imagine airlines can do the same.

isnt AA on westbound transatlantic flights kind of the Pizza king serving them from Eco upto first...



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlinemaxamuus From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 13156 times:

Quoting Avianca (Reply 4):
Not so sure if chili would be a great option... remember you cant open windows on an airplane

Yeah, not sure i would want to be on a long haul flight when they served chili onboard.   


User currently offlinesmi0006 From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 1555 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 13030 times:

QF Serve beef pot pies in business as a mid-flight snack along with a few nice focaccias. And in first they do an amazing steak sandwich in First (at least on LA flights) it is intended as a mid-flight snack but they often load 100% as people often request it as a main.

I think comfort food as a main is not my cuppa, but for a mid-flight snack on a ULH between meals it is a good idea.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21865 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 12983 times:

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
What happened to lasagna? What about beef stew or chili? Mac and Cheese? Chicken pot pie?

I can only speak for myself, but I don't consider any of those to be comfort food, and if I saw them on the menu I'd give them a pass (except for perhaps the mac and cheese, depending on how it was done).

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2297 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 12924 times:

AA serves cheeseburgers in domestic first at lunch, and they're quite popular. AA also serves vegetable lasagna, and yes, the ubiquitous UNOs pizza is served on westbound TATL flights, second service. They serve beef empanadas in some markets, and offer beef quesadillas in others. And the ice cream -- the ultimate comfort food IMO.


The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2129 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 12877 times:

SQ from time to time has some Singaporean / Malay comfort food, like fish soup, chicken rice, etc.

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: SQ SYD-SIN-DEL-SIN-SYD | VA SYD-DPS-SYD
User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 12810 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
But overall I'm inclined to agree with you, some more mainstream options might be appreciated. And you do see some nice restaurants selling gourmet versions of "everyday" foods like mac and cheese or pizza so I would imagine airlines can do the same.

Agree!

Mac and cheese is good, no matter how much it costs. I'll be content with some Kraft. Or I'll be pleased with a $30 Lobster Mac and cheese.. which, believe me, is quite good. Perhaps it really would be a better idea for US carriers to switch over to more simple comfort foods but make it gourmet comfort food.

I imagine it's harder and costlier to make some fancy French dish taste good or "okay" at 35,000 feet in the air.



Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlineHELyes From Thailand, joined Oct 2010, 1002 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 12802 times:

Quoting airbazar (Reply 3):
Maybe because there's nothing comfortable about comfort food. The world is a diverse place and what you consider comfort food, the passenger next to you may have a different opinion. When trying to please many tastes It's best to stick to basic classic food. For example, I would starve if my options were any of your suggestions of "comfort food".

  

Exactly, the world is a diverse place. I'm a westerner but my perfect comfort food menu would look very different: fish, pasta, Japanese food, dark chocolate...


User currently offlinemozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2238 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 12678 times:

Because "comfort food" is a euphemism from people lacking gastronomic culture, consumed primarily in countries that have a relatively higher proportion of obese people and whose language doesn't even have a term for "bon appetit"   In other parts of the world what some call "comfort food" is called "junk food", for a reason.

And it's a pity. The Anglo-Saxon countries, probably the epicenter of bad eating habits, have absolutely superb produces: the quality of US or Australian beef is superior to most, any supermarket in the US has great fresh fruit and vegetables, Australian wines are world class, and the Brits at least were open enough to let foreigners open up restaurants to make London the most interesting eating place in Europe.

Having said that I agree with you that most, albeit not all, airlines fail miserably at bringing their more "sophisticated" dishes up to the quality level they aspire to. It it can be done, some Asian airlines prove it.

Personally I am glad there isn't more of it.


User currently offlineiainbhx From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 12488 times:

Lufthansa offers comfort food in long-haul premium classes with "Lufthansa Classics" which counteracts the sometimes rather florid dishes dreamed up by it's "Star Chefs". It also offers special menus from time to time, I had an Oktoberfest menu from MUC-HKG at the end of September and there was a special selection of Bayerisch snacks in the lounges at MUC.

BA and SQ also seem to get it right with a mix of food, whilst most premium class menus I've seen and tasted from US carriers have, frankly, been rather dull.



iainbhx
User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 12415 times:

Money.

That's like asking why you get afternoon tea at the Ritz but not at the Holiday Inn.

Get what you pay for in this life.



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineanstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5316 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 12217 times:

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
What happened to lasagna? What about beef stew or chili? Mac and Cheese? Chicken pot pie?

I've been on BA and Virgin and received Mac and cheese and also bangers and mash in economy.

I've also had Lasagnge and beef chilli in premium economy on virgin too. so they do serve stuff like that.


User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21582 posts, RR: 59
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 11898 times:

Quoting mozart (Reply 12):

Bullhockey.

Plain and simple.

Luxembourg has comfort food. It's simply different.

The OPs point is that offering "gourmet" food prepared badly is the norm these days, and many comfort foods are easier to execute in an airline kitchen.

But I think airlines offer it as sides, not mains. Ratatouille and spetzle are European comfort foods and were offered as sides on UA F to LHR on Thursday.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 11752 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 16):
The OPs point is that offering "gourmet" food prepared badly is the norm these days, and many comfort foods are easier to execute in an airline kitchen.

I don't know why airlines still insist on serving hot food.

Cold fare travels much better and is far more appetizing.

Give me a nice big bowl of chicken ceasar, a slab of Chocolate New York Cheesecake and a fresh cup of coffee to finish with any day of the week !!

The atmosphere/environment on an aircraft is so unconducive to fine dining I've never understood the emphasis on it with modern flying.

As for booze..nothing makes you feel more like sh*t than drinking too much on a long-haul flight.

Dom Perignon....don't think so...cup of tea thanks !!

It should be all about hard product in premium with simple yet quality catering.

And in economy neither !

Rock 'ard seats and crap food so next time they shell out the big bucks !!

(just kidding)

[Edited 2012-03-04 03:05:17]


Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offline757ops From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 11478 times:

ET has some good business class good, they offer lasagne sometimes or Mutton stew or Chicken Pasta, it's a welcome break from the so called 'gourmet' offerings of most and it is always a hit with clean dishes all round!

User currently offlineabrown532 From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Feb 2008, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 11043 times:

The best in-flight food I have ever had was on British Airways JFK-LHR. It was Steak Chunks in a thick gravy with creamy mashed potatoes, and that was only in Premium Economy!

User currently offlineStarGuy From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 343 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10595 times:

I've just traveled in First on BA and one of their 'Classic' options was Sausage and mashed potato and according to the crew, every passenger appart from me chose it. So people who travel in premium classes do like comfort food. Airlines have to get the balance right though and I think BA does it very well in my experience.

User currently offlineworkwings From United States of America, joined May 2010, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10451 times:

Quoting airbazar (Reply 3):
For example, I would starve if my options were any of your suggestions of "comfort food".

As would I. On CO in Business First, as well as domestic first, they have ice cream sundaes. And cookies as a snack. I for one would appreciate something lighter and/or more subtle. A small fruit plate or small flan or interesting tastes of cheese...AF, LH, OS, LX all do better in this regard. Eating heavy, carb-rich food may be good at keeping pax sated and quiet but it does nothing for our health or for recovery from jet lag.


User currently offlineMarkam From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 445 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10426 times:

Well, SQ has a special menu for kids who travel on premium classes that include many comfort food staples. They mention it is intended for passengers 2-11, but I would imagine that if one asks nicely enough they would be more than happy to serve it to an adult: https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/flying-with-us/yummy/

Personally, if I felt "comforty" I would go with the lobster thermidor, rib-eye steak, chicken rice or gyudon from Book the Cook, but conceededly, I am not American, so my idea of comfort food is most likely different: https://www.singaporeair.com/jsp/cms/en_UK/flying_with_us/businesssingapore.jsp

In any case, I understand the OP's point, sometimes one doesn't really feel like eating healthy stuff!      


User currently offlineULMFlyer From Brazil, joined Sep 2006, 475 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10395 times:

Quoting workwings (Reply 21):
On CO in Business First, as well as domestic first, they have ice cream sundaes.

Also, there's always a "pasta bowl" among the entrée options.



Let's go Pens!
User currently offlineusdcaguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1010 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 10040 times:

It seems to me that many of the comfort foods are hard to work with in First and Business, including:

- Hamburgers - they're supposed to be warm/hot in the middle and grilled with at least fresh tomato slices, onion, lettuce sitting on top. All of this ideally goes inside good, warm bread. Assembling all of this in a tiny galley would at best be challenging. Hard to get the hot/cool/warm thing down enough to make it taste good.

- Mac and Cheese - the dryness of the air in the cabin is going to make that stuff taste pasty. You would need to use some strong cheeses to ensure it retained flavor, and at that point I wonder if it would still taste like mac and cheese.

- Hot Dogs - too messy for a plane if you really want to do one right with all the Chicago fixins and boring and tasteless if you don't

- Pizza - I've been served garbage on a plane that's called pizza so many times (AA used to serve Uno's a long time ago in First Class), and it has never had much flavor. It comes across way too doughy at FL3500 due to the dry air.

Some that could work and you could dress up to make them seem fancy enough for F/J:

- Lasagna - the tomato sauce keeps this one wet and flavorful. Garlic bread with that would go well.

- Ribs - you can throw these things in the oven and reheat them very easily while they sit in a self-contained dish.

- Moussaka - the grease and cheese mixture in this is deadly, but the dish works exactly like lasagna

- Lamb Souvlaki - fairly easy to reheat, perfect on a bed of orzo with a size of tzatziki

- Chicken Shawarma - heat the chicken in its own dish, then serve with a Fattoush salad, tabouli, warmed pita (easy to heat in those metal bags) and hummus


25 davescj : DL internationally always offers a pasta option (which is usually decent). DL domestically at lunch offer a cold pasta entree salad and a chicken ceas
26 ElGrandeB777CA : Comfort Food?...How about just Comfort!
27 VC10er : Gee, I find your comments a tad snobby! Yes, "comfort food" was a term invented to put yummy, often fattening food in a category which acknowledges t
28 Post contains images fbgdavidson : I'm not entirely surprised, I'd rather have a more "downmarket" dish done well than an "upmarket" one done poorly. I've taken a punt on BA's steaks i
29 Post contains images HomaDreaming : I think if Us carriers still served food in Y, they would serve lasagna and Hamburgers and as many folks know much better than I do here, CO did serve
30 WROORD : I think people in general have diffrent expectations in premium classes and most would be offended if someone would try to offer them a hot dog. Havin
31 alnicocunife : Never being one to turn down any kind of food, not a picky eater, always willing to try something new, never knowing when I will have food again (cras
32 Roseflyer : One of the problems with some of the foods mentioned is that they are hard to reheat evenly. Everything needs to be heated in a convection oven. Many
33 Post contains links N62NA : There was a similar topic on here a few weeks ago about "Celebrity Chef" menus on the airlines. Here's what I wrote there (and I think it applies here
34 Post contains images luxair : Have you ever been to the US? On my many occasions I've been there, I can assure you that the food is a way better than in most restaurants in Luxemb
35 TIA : Say whatever you want to say about US eating habits, but food choices in the major US cities are far superior to any other country. You simply cannot
36 Braniff747SP : This is what I want to eat on a plane! I've seem some trip reports here on A.net, flying Homa- the food was similar to what you describe.
37 Post contains images kgaiflyer : Last time I flew AC YYC-YYZ, half the plane was having 'personal pan pizza' with either a Molson or a Heineken. After lunch and before dinner, it hit
38 BMI727 : That seems to be one thing about American food, if there is such a thing. Seems to me that Italians eat Italian food, Chinese eat Chinese food (the r
39 Post contains images Avianca : that would be even mor killing than Chilly.... I know that SouthAfrican served years ago or still from germany some traditional stuff like mashed pot
40 FlyASAGuy2005 : On DL they were offering a pretty good pizza in F during lunch service and a couple months ago lasagna was on the menu for dinner although I think it
41 texdravid : Alaska serves cheeseburgers on some sectors....pretty good. I don't need some lame attempt at fine food. What bugs me about airlines in the US is the
42 atcsundevil : I had jumbalaya from IAH-LAX on sCO about two months ago. I couldn't pass that up! That's the definition of comfort food.
43 ghifty : ONT-SEA? An old couple sitting next to me ordered a burger (low in supply) and were grumbling "oh, I don't expect it to be good..." It came, and they
44 totesen : ¡BRAVO! i totally agree. i dont want to eat junk food in first, i expect a first class service, with first class food, not a home made or fast food
45 lxmd11 : Spot on my friend, the best meal i have ever had on an airplane was pork fried rice on singapore airlines. They give you a menu naming which chef made
46 B4REAL : I've not had DL's pizza in F, but they also have a pizza in Y for the snack on Europe -> North America routes which is pretty good. Better than th
47 Airport : IMO, the buy-on-board you get on AS in Y is in-flight meals done absolutely right. For a very reasonable price you get hearty, filling food that taste
48 SEA : I'd love some comfort food in F. Generally when I'm headed somewhere, I don't mind starting off with a "higher" class meal, but after a week or so of
49 VC10er : Never in a million years did I think this topic would gain such steam! My last UA trip in F from Brussels had a spinach pasta in a gorgonzola and parm
50 ckfred : Back in the 1990s, American used to have a personal pan pizza from Pizzeria Uno in Chicago. It was usually served in First on either snack flights or
51 aviateur : The following is from my book... "...Highfalutin affectations are at best artificial, and at worst downright embarrassing. In the premium cabins you'v
52 wdleiser : best meal hands down were the Happy Meals United served to minors
53 ikramerica : After experiencing LH J class recently, I would gladly have welcomed a comfort food option. My wife and I had to choose the least objectionable option
54 iainbhx : That's what the Lufthansa Classics option is for. This months is veal and dumplings and it's pretty good. Some of the starters can get pretty odd tho
55 klkla : Just last Monday DL served Lasagna as a choice MIA-LAX. It was so hot that the flight attendants didn't feel comfortable serving it right away and wa
56 ikramerica : True, the Classics is that, and I guess being German, they assume that everyone will find veal to be a fine comfort option, but much of the world has
57 GSPSPOT : Oh, MAN! Had that in F on a CVG-SEA flight a few years ago. YUM! Anything braised.... I'm in!!
58 iainbhx : The "cruel" veal is pretty much gone now, milk veal and veal crates have been history since 2007 in the EU (but not Switzerland and I had veal on LX
59 ikramerica : Good to know about the Veal changes in the EU. Sadly most of the veal dishes I ate on my trip were in switzerland, including their delicious version
60 PPVRA : You're in a tight place for many hours, do you really want to have your stomach bursting with lasagna?
61 NC1844V : Great question. I've only flown in a Premium Class a few times, but the times I've flown I have enjoyed the "attempt" at making gourmet fancy food. Se
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