First Class Virgins
I happened to be one of the fortunate few who survived the Labor Day weekend unscathed from flight delays and lost luggage, unlike a lot of my friends, so I thought I’d spend the time reporting back some of the culinary experiences I had at 36,000ft. When flying coast to coast, my preferred choice of airline is Virgin America. Not only do they provide an excellent flying experience, but they’re also able to give me a taste of home, thanks Sir Richard. And, since Travel + Leisure recently named VA home of the best airline food, I had to check this out in more detail.
We all know that airline food is over priced and totally sub-par, so I wasn’t prepared to spend a lot of cash on poor quality airline food. Yes, my expectations were high going into this as you can tell. With that in mind I upgraded myself so I wouldn’t feel cheated when ordering the food — it also enabled me to skip the security lines and get drunk in the air on the free champagne- what else was I to do on a 6hr flight from IAD to LAX?
The good, the bad, and the soggy, after the jump.
I had absolutely no idea what a “Muffaletta” was at the time, but I’ve later learned it is a type of Sicilian bread. Either way it looked pretty on their fancy ordering screen so I went for it. Unfortunately, not a very good start for VA here. If they are trying to offer a sandwich focused on the bread they did a poor job. The bottom half of the bread was so soggy, I couldn’t even pick the thing up. I was also disappointed with the over-abundance of black olives; if there is going to be such a prominent ingredient in the dish at least tell me about it. Sorry VA, you disappointed me on this one.
Thai Vegetable Salad
Next was the Thai Vegetable Salad. I figured I needed something a little fresher after the Muffaletta fiasco. I have to say that I was impressed. First off, the dressing was on the side, which allowed me to dress at will – I would have liked a little more but that is a small gripe. The lettuce was crisp, the peppers were firm and there was just the right amount of cashews. This was delicious and certainly a salad I’d recommend to anyone flying far enough where they might need a light snack along the way.
Turkey Florentine Hand Roll
For my third and final meal (hey, it was a long flight!) I ordered the sandwich pictured above. Turkey, feta, peppers and spinach wrapped in a tortilla wrap. The tortilla was a little firm for my liking, perhaps a little fresher would have been nice but this was forgotten about half way into eating. The feta really had a bounce to it, which brought out the true tastiness of the other ingredients. This was the only dish I ate all of.
The three entree items I tried were the only ones available on my flight. If there were more I would have sacrificed my waistline in bringing these to you, but sadly no. I have to point out that T+L’s press release seems a little overhyped, as I do not recall Belgian endives in my turkey roll or mint on my salad. But overall it was a pleasing experience, and I am just waiting for other airlines to follow suit with the quality and service that VA offers.
Oh, one final non-food note. If any flight attendant from VA is reading this – if someone asks for their TV to be be reset don’t give a dirty look and stomp off. We’re not paying for a 6-hr flight without entertainment.