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Traveling north, Part IV: Airport food worth flying in for

August 25, 2011 |  6:00 am

  CharcuterieLet's see, we've got some Fra Mani salumi, a little prosciutto from La Quercia plus a couple of other sliced meats. And we also have a plate of five very good artisanal cheeses? And a couple of crystal flutes with good Prosecco? ... And we're sitting in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport?

Surdyk's Flights is a branch of a popular area liquor store and gourmet market that is located in Terminal 1 at the airport, right where you'd expect to find a Wolfgang Puck Express or Cinnabon. Granted, this is some different kind of airport terminal ... next door is a Tumi bag store and across the way is a Hugo Boss mini-market.

Still, sitting at Surdyk's counter, watching the cooks work, it takes almost a physical effort to remind yourself that you're waiting to catch a flight. That and the TSA-ordered cords chaining the chef's knives to the countertop.

But there they go, neatly wrapping squares of parchment paper around meaty chunks of Loch Duarte fresh salmon and herb butter to make a papillote that wouldn't be out of place at any bistro in Southern California.

If you're facing a really hairy flight, they even offer flights of three wines for tasting.

-- Russ Parsons

Photo credit: Russ Parsons