The typical airport meal is frantically grabbed from a cooler on the way to a connecting flight or begrudgingly eaten to pass hours waiting out a delay. Which raises the question, does anyone actually like eating at the airport? When I asked my boyfriend what came to mind when he thought of “airport food” he responded: bags of nuts and bottled water. This is sad.
Take a moment to ponder. What comes to your mind when you think of airport food? Is it chef-driven menus and hormone-free meats? How about handcrafted cocktails and locally sourced produce? Scratch-made pizza and local beer? Not so much, huh? This is precisely why 1897 Market at Charlotte Douglas Airport is a game changer.
1897 Market is the newest concept launched by HMSHost, the world’s largest provider of food and beverage service for travelers. 1897 Market (named for the year HMSHost was founded) is a one-stop urban gourmet shop, with full-service dining room, raw bar, exhibition kitchen, grab-and-go, and retail marketplace wrapped into one.
Located in the Charlotte Douglas Airport Main Atrium, near Concourses A and B, this is HMSHost’s flagship store. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down dinner, cocktails or last-minute souvenir, the Market is the answer to all of your gastronomic traveling needs.
In the dining room: Chef Chris Windus and Chef Nathan Howey are the brains behind the menu, which is small but sufficient and features seasonal produce and local cuisine. For starters, there’s the Dirty Mac and Cheese (with beer cheese fondue, pulled pork, caramelized onions, and toasted breadcrumbs) and the Spicy Shrimp on sourdough toast (with avocado, pickled onion, tomato and arugula). This is the sort of stuff I want to eat RIGHT NOW, regardless of whether I’m at the airport.
Salads, burgers, and sandwiches comprise a good portion of the offerings, plus sirloin steak, mahi mahi, and shrimp and grits. The raw bar is an exciting addition to the airport and includes North Carolina Middle Neck clams plus both east coast (salty) and west coast (creamy and sweet) oysters.
The large bar area wraps around the raw bar and open kitchen and offers scratch-made cocktails, wine, and local beers. (Check out the list of local purveyors below.)
In a hurry? Check out the grab-and-go section for pre-made sandwiches, salads, and gourmet snack packs (nuts, chocolate, pimento cheese… the list goes on) plus mix-and-match 4-pack beers, with lots of local options.
P.S. you can take the beer four packs to-go!
There’s also a fast-casual area, where you can order salads, sandwiches, and woodstone pizzas at the counter. I’m super intrigued by the torpedo pizza. It’s a half-size pie, wrapped longways, sort of like a lighter, longer, portable calzone. This means you can eat pizza whilst walking to your gate. What more could you want?
For early flyers: there’s a full breakfast menu in the dining room, with omelets, stone-ground grits, and buttermilk pancakes. The fast-casual area also offers an oatmeal bar, yogurt bar, freshmade cast iron frittatas, and pastries. Even kronuts.