Oh, Atlanta. I waxed poetic (or with all that frustration could you call it waned poetic?) about O'Hare in Chicago a few weeks ago, and I feel the same amount of hatred for you. I'm not often flying through O'Hare, but I am almost always flying through Hartsfield-Jackson. In my many flights through Atlanta I've pretty much always had delayed flights. And delayed flights like you wouldn't believe - ranging from potential storms (understandable) to pilots sleeping through their alarm (not so much), to planes that don't have enough room for all the passengers (how even?). Maybe once in my flights through this airport have I actually been on flights to and from my destination that arrive and depart on time.
The worst part for me though is that there really aren't a lot of great food options. Some of the terminals have good choices, but most just have a Chick-Fil-A, an Atlanta Bread (not as exciting as Panera and also gluten), and mayyybe a Five Guys. So if you're stuck there for four or five hours you have only sickening fatty options - or, if you're a Celiac, pretty much no safe options.
But wait! A light at the end of the tunnel! Pray you know about your delays in advance, or you have a long layover, so you can head over to Terminal E and try out One Flew South. This place runs on the expensive end, but it's a real restaurant with real food that makes you feel like you treated yourself to a nice meal out instead of reminding you of the fact that you're trapped in an airport for god-only-knows-how-long.
On one of the precious flights I knew in advance had a long layover, I meandered over to this hot spot and snagged a real table in a room with real walls (!) and ordered a glass of white, a chicken soup, and a Bagel roll. As you can see, everything was beautifully served, and multiple servers checked in on me without making me feel rushed, ensuring I had everything I needed with enough time to make my flight.
Whether you feel sick or just need a little pick-me-up in between bumpy flights, the Chicken Noodle soup is a win. This was a big warm bowl of happy, with soft pulled chicken, tender soba noodles, and plenty of cabbage, scallions and carrots in a slightly salty but incredibly flavorful broth. This really is food that makes you forget you're in an airport, and just the kind of comfort you need in a full day of travel. The sushi was served on some spicy mayonnaise, which is the actual bomb dot com and one of my favorite parts about sushi. I'm a sushi novice I get it, leave me alone! These rolls had smoked salmon, and greek yogurt instead of cream cheese, which was a surprisingly welcome change, adding a bit of tang where you usually just expect some bland cream taste. Rounded out with some cucumber and dipped in a bit of soy sauce I was in food heaven.
After filling myself with real food and enjoying a full hour and a half of comfortable reading with a glass of wine, I managed to get to my terminal feeling like a real person. A real person who did not care how long her flight was going to be delayed. Nope. Nope, that will never happen regardless of how good that food is.
Have you been to One Flew South? Any other gluten free spots in ATL terminals I need to check out?