Hello from Atlanta…

May 15, 2012

And you know what Atlanta means — Murphy’s!

I went last night. And yes, they had the pork shank on the menu. And yes, it was marvelous. And yes, I was planning on going back tomorrow night, but for the fact that I have a business commitment that’s come up suddenly that will have me crawling out of bed at 3 to leave the hotel at 4 to get on an airplane leaving ATL at 6:05 tomorrow morning, a change that was effected yesterday afternoon.

Starbucks will be my friend.

Elsewhere in the travel world, I flew to Atlanta through Houston, in one of those paradigms of airline geography. And I have a good thing to say about Houston Hobby Airport (other than the fact it is not named for George Bush, which is a plus, albeit it is named for George H.W. and not Junior, and on the whole, GHW is MUCH less objectionable than his son. But I digress.

I had a four-freaking-hour layover in Houston, which encompassed dinnertime. And I discovered, less than 50 yards from my gate, Pappadeaux restaurant, which had Real Food as opposed to general airport plastic garbage. And they give you a real fork; no knife, but a real metal fork. I’m moderately disturbed at the mentality that says a metal table knife is a potential dangerous weapon, but a fork is not; obviously they’ve never been stabbed by someone going for the last piece of fried chicken on the platter. But I digress again.

Pappadeaux has the standard roll-call of Cajun dishes — etouffee, gumbo, red beans and rice, oysters, shrimp, assorted other fishy things. And steak, although I am not one to push my luck ordering steak in a seafood restaurant, let alone one in an airport. My chief quibble would be that most of the fishy things are fried. Unless it’s catfish, I don’t really care for fried fish, and certainly not for fried oysters or shrimp. So I opted for the shrimp cocktail.

They had two. One was the “traditional” shrimp cocktail, with horseradishy cocktail sauce. The other was more along the lines of a ceviche, although the shrimps were cooked; they were in an ice-cream sundae glass with a chunky cross between salsa and cocktail sauce, lots of raw onion, and a healthy portion of diced avocado, and they were GOOD, I am here to tell you. Quite excellent. And just the right size meal for traveling.

It made up for the burgeoning frustration I am developing for dealing with Little Rock Airport, or the Clinton Airport, or as the less couth among us refer to it, the HillBilly Airport.

LIT is a nice little airport. It’s of manageable size, a dozen gates. Parking is convenient, albeit pricy. But damn, their TSA sucks! They renovated the waiting line area to accommodate more people, and it seems that in order to justify the renovation expenses, they have slowed security to the point the waiting line area stays full.

I flew out at 3 p.m. on a Sunday. It took me a smooth 40 minutes to get through security. It takes me 20 at Atlanta, 15 to 20 at Chicago or Philadelphia, and in one notable early morning flight, I made it through security at McCarran in Vegas in 6 minutes. And there’s a LOT more people going through there than through LIT, I am here to tell you.

They had two ID checkers, who are serious about their jobs; I’ve read magazine articles in less time than they spent scrutinizing my boarding pass and ID. Then there are the baggage scanners, where I swear people are trying to read the labels on my underwear. (It’s Bali, you idiots. I’d’a told you if you asked.) And while there are two of each of those stops, there was on Sunday only ONE body scanner in operation.

It’s not like you should be surprised at how many people there are. You KNOW how many people are flying out at a given time on a given day. Staff accordingly, you dummies!

Rant concluded.

Anyway. I have some pics and such of the stuff I cooked last weekend, but it is nearing the end of the afternoon break at this conference and I need to go sit in on this last panel. You and y’mama ‘n ’em say a quick prayer that I don’t miss a connection and get back in time for my business meeting, the other part of which is due to arrive at LIT 30 minutes after I get there.

 

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2 Responses to “Hello from Atlanta…”

  1. livesmyrna Says:

    Murphy’s is awesome. There is so much good food in Atlanta!

  2. kayatthekeyboard Says:

    I found it entirely by accident, two or three years ago. It’s a must-go-there every time I’m in Atlanta!


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