Monday, January 19, 2009

Airport Dining - Chicago O'Hare

I hate it when I decide not to make a big deal out of something, then end up kicking myself later because I realize I should have. Such was my experience after a stop-over coming back from Vancouver (see previous post). I stopped at a cute Italian restaurant in O'Hare Airport's Terminal B -- a sit-down restaurant that looked inviting -- for a bite of dinner.

The Tuscany Cafe has wait staff in white aprons, large bottles of olive oil on each table, paper "table cloths" that are changed after each diner, and a one-page menu that is varied but not overwhelming; just the thing for a weary traveler. I opted for the Marghertia Pizza and a glass of sangiovese.

While it's not fair to judge a restaurant by one dish or one experience, I must say that was the saddest excuse for a pizza marghertia I've ever had. As it seemed more like a basic cheese pizza with one -- yes, ONE -- basil leaf on top, more as a decoration than part of the pizza, I called the waitperson over to double-check.

She had no clue about a proper pizza margherita; she simply showed me the menu which said, "Tomato sauce, cheese, and basil." As you may know, a proper pizza margherita has chiffonade of basil across the entire pizza so you get some in every bite. This was not anywhere close.

On top of that, it's as though it has been allowed to sit before being served. The cheese was not bubbly as it should have been if it was right out of the oven; it was warm enough, but not piping hot.

Rather than send it back and ask for something else or ask for the manager, I ate it and went my way. I should have stood my ground, but I was tired and not looking forward to a confrontation. Next time, I'll be as assertive with the staff as I am in saying to you: next time you're in Terminal B of O'Hare, eat somewhere else.


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