Good thread, WJ!
NYC - I don't know if Katz's is my "every time" first stop right off the plane, but it has definitely been my first stop off the plane. I fly into LGA in a few weeks, and my flight gets in right around noon. I suspect that given the time and the proximity, you could probably bet heavily that my first stop will be for a burger at Peter Luger
in Great Neck. Depending on routing, Katz's can often be my last stop before departure, too. For instance, if I am flying out of EWR and have to drive through the city to get there, Katz's could absolutely be what's eaten on the plane!
AUS - In years past, I have certainly gotten off the plane, hopped in the rental car and made a beeline for Lockhart. I can say that both Kreutz's and Smitty's have been my first food stop off the plane. However, with the recent explosion of really good barbecue in Austin proper, I don't feel the need to drive 30-40 minutes to get my 'cue fix. I fly into Austin this past Sunday, and my first stop was at La Barbecue
, a trailer run by one of the Mueller family on First. If I can get barbecue that looks like this:
...and, in my opinion, tasted at least as good as it looks - why would I drive so far out of my way? I have also made both Round Rock Donuts and Southside Market my first (and/or last) stops off the plane.
BWI - I think G&M Restaurant
is a no-brainer for Baltimore. Not only is it close to the airport, but it is also one of the best crab cakes in all of Baltimore.
DFW - Though Celebration Restaurant
is far more convenient to Love Field, this is often my first stop when I arrive in Dallas.
IAH - I fly in and out of Houston a lot. When I do, I almost always make Jimmy G's Seafood
my first stop. The location is convenient if you are heading from the airport towards the Galleria area (where I sometimes stay). They do excellent Cajun-style seafood, popular in the Houston area. For those of you that are oyster eaters, this is your place in H-Town.
MCI - I know that I have picked up my checked bag and rental car and hauled it to Stroud's
to be the last customer of the night upon arrival in Kansas City.
LAX - From the airport, with a good arm, you could hit Randy's Donuts
in Inglewood. Iconic signage, open late hours, decent sugar-filled treats....works for me!
MLW - Kopp's
. No explanation needed.
ORD - The last few times I have flown in Chicago, I didn't rent a car. When I do, my usual first stop is Paradise Pup
, again, mostly because of the proximity to O'Hare.
PHL - In most cases, my first stop is John's Roast Pork
, assuming I am arriving at an hour when this is appropriate. Of the major steak places, this is the one with the shortest hours, I think.
PIT - Given the choice, my first and last meal in and out of town would be a fish sandwich from Wholley's Market
in the Strip. Sometimes, I have to suffer through a burger at Tessaro's
PDX - It usually seems to work out that I arrive into Portland later in the evenings. The light-rail from the airport is super convenient to downtown, so it is quite common for me to get to my hotel and then hit the late-night menu at Huber's.
Given that they also serve my all-time favorite meal (the traditional Thanksgiving-style turkey dinner) on their regular menu, you could catch me there during the day, too!
RDU - This one is more for the nostalgia purposes of when I actually lived there, but I tend to go straight to Elmo's Diner
in either Durham or Carrboro.
STL - My first stop in St Louis is usually O'Connell's
for their fantastic roast beef sandwich. My last stop is at Ted Drewe's
for a concrete.
SEA - I hate to keep repeating a theme, but due to its proximity to the airport, 13 Coins
has been my first or last stop in Seattle many times.
(I excluded cities into which I don't normally fly - like Florida cities, SAV, CHS, etc.)