Fly and Dine
The Dinner Table
Rt 32 Swanzey NH
Open 6 am to 8 pm daily
A group of 4 planes descended upon the Dinner Table at the Keene, NH Airport (KEEN) on a recent Sunday for breakfast. Our group had not been back to this restaurant since the previous owners closed up shop about 2 years ago. It was called Campy’s at that time. The new owners, Gino Mola and Linda Allard completely renovated the restaurant from a new kitchen complete with state of the art grill fans ( you do not leave smelling like the food that was cooked) all new tables, rugs and even new bathroom facilities.
There is an extensive breakfast menu with home cooking and prices that won’t dent your pocketbook. For instance, two eggs, choice of meat, home fries, and toast is $4.99. They also have a kids menu. For the evening, fare, they featured a 10 oz sirloin with trimmings of veggies etc at $10.99; Chicken Salad at $8.25. The restaurant reopened in September and is one of the few places that serves an evening meal and readily accessible to pilots without having to take a taxi to reach it.
The owners have plans for a large outdoor patio that will provide for great outdoor dining in the warmer months. The owners had hoped to have it ready this year but sadly, it is now planned for completion in the spring.
Service was excellent even though there were no vacant tables. The wait staff tended to business and gave attention to needs of customers. My coffee cup was only empty for a very short time. The food was served hot (a pet peeve when served lukewarm) and was very good.
I certainly recommend you come back to the Keene airport and take a walk up the hill to the Dinner Table for either breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The Dinner Table is located on the east side of the airport behind and up the hill (300 feet) from the FBO hangars. There are security gates that you have to pass through but they show the code for re-admittance to use on the cipher lock.
The Keene airport is easy to get to located in southern New Hampshire. The runways are 6,200 and 4,000 feet respectively with an ILS, RNAV (GPS), and VOR approaches. The ramp is well maintained and there is ample parking. There is no control tower at Keene so you must self announce.
By Alan Witkin
Café at Malloy Air East
My new friend has entered my life. She was born in 1978 and is a Cessna 172 N model based at HWV, Brookhaven Airport. In my last article I wrote about my friend Stephen selling his Cessna 172, which then put me on the hunt for an airplane to rent. The hunt was thankfully short lived. A Captain at my current airline introduced me to Jim who owns a Cessna 172.
Kelly and I took our first flight together in the “new” airplane back in December. We flew to FOK, West Hampton Beach, which is about ten miles east of home base for a bite to eat. There is a fantastic cafe on the airfield, at the base of the tower called Cafe at Malloy Air East. Hours of operation are from 8a.m to 3p.m daily with great food and service. Once you enter the small terminal, it’s a good idea to hang a right to say hello to the folks at Molloy East, and pay the 5-dollar landing fee. Opposite them is the cafe, which you can smell the cooking prior to even entering the dining area.
On a weekend you’ll find all types of people, enjoying a good meal and of course, chatting about airplanes and flying. They offer wonderful breakfast dishes as well as lunch options for those arriving later in the day and the staff is very friendly. When the weather is warmer, it’s fun to sit outside and have a great view of all the action. A variety of aircraft utilize this airport; from experimental aircraft to large cooperate jets, including the 106th rescue wing, Air National Guard.
After indulging in our breakfast, we walked back out onto the ramp while Kelly sat in the airplane to keep warm, I did my preflight. It was a real calm, clear blue sky December afternoon. Warmer then average, as this past winter has been. We taxied out to runway 19 for departure. With run up complete, we departed to the south with a westbound turn, back for Brookhaven. It’s always magnificent taking in the sights of your community. Seeing how the seasons change the appearance of everything. Trees with no leaves, barely any water traffic on the ocean and a little bit less chatter on the radio.
As I contacted Brookhaven Unicom to announce my position, just after listening to the awos, there was another aircraft I heard near my position. Instead of continuing my decent to traffic pattern altitude, I arrested my decent and did a “360” to slow things down. I don’t practice continuing an arrival into a non-towered airport with a possible traffic conflict. It’s a set up for a not so good outcome. After exiting my turn, I had contact with the traffic that I was concerned about and proceeded for the mid field downwind entry, while descending to traffic pattern altitude. Landing was uneventful, with after landing checklist complete, taxied back to parking and shutdown. I miss the old parking spot, this spot is a little tighter but as long as I take it slow it all works out. Hopefully we will take a longer trip soon. Such a short hop keeps me busy, but still enjoyable by both. Until next time!
By Philip Schiffman
240 George Ryder Road
Chatham, MA 02633
Hours- 7am – 2pm closed Monday and Tuesday
It has been a while since my wife and I have visited the restaurant at the Chatham Airport on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. We flew up there on a recent Sunday in December before bad weather set in with four planes to try the fare at “HANGAR B” as it is now called. Tracy and Brian Erskine took over the duties in April 2010. Brian is the very busy chef during breakfast.
Hangar B is located on the second floor of the FBO at the Chatham Airport. There are about 10 tables inside and a deck for outside seating that overlooks the airport activity. KCQX is a 3001-foot runway by 100 feet wide municipal field owned by the town. The airport is non-towered and has two IFR approaches should they be needed. The runway and the tie down areas close to the FBO are in good shape and well marked.
The restaurant makes its own muffins, donuts and jams. There were seven guests plus one large Giant Schnauzer dog in our group and we had a tasting of many of the menu items. We had to leave the dog outside but I am certain that he had a sampling of the odors from the cooking presented to his very sensitive nose. Presentation of the meals was fancy and appealing to the eye and the food was not just dropped on a plate. The menu was extensive making the choice of food difficult. If you are on a diet, you will be tempted to depart that course.
I tried the French toast. Normally, you would expect a few slices of toast soaked in egg and grilled served with syrup. This French toast is listed as “brioche bread pudding, Vermont maple syrup & fresh berries.” The bread pudding appeared to be a four-inch cube topped with some of the largest and freshest berries (strawberry and blackberry) that I have seen. It was delicious. The waitress and co-owner, Brian’s wife, Tracy, kept our coffee cups full and she was very attentive to our table. The restaurant was crowded and when I do these reviews, the staff is not alerted to the fact that an article is being written. Any discussion with the owner(s) is done after the check is paid. So what I get for service is what you get. The service was good!
Other items on the menu are a “pilots breakfast” which consists of a standard 2 eggs any style, home fries & sourdough toast sausage or bacon. You could try the “red flannel hash” which is beets, sweet potato, Yukon gold potatoes, & bacon hash with 2 eggs, sourdough toast, horse radish crème fraise”. I have no idea how that will taste so maybe next time I can report on this interesting combination. They also have gluten free buckwheat pancakes, buttermilk waffles as well as a la carte side orders and a kids menu.
Main breakfast prices range between $10 and $14. If you go to the web site at WWW.hangarbcapecod.com you can see the breakfast selections, including the “French Toast”, items of clothing that they have for sale at Hangar B and the hours of operation. If you fly to Hangar B in Chatham, tell them you saw the review in the Atlantic Flyer.
Kimball Farms Ice Cream and Restaurant
158 Turnpike Road
Jaffrey, NH 03452 (603) 532-5765
Jaffrey Silver Air Ranch (KAFN 603-532-8870) is the gateway to this delightful lunch or dinner stop. Kimball Farms is famous for their large portions of home made ice cream with more flavors than Ben & Gerry’s. To get to Kimball Farms, you set your sights or gps on KAFN and land on the 2982 foot runway. A GPS approach is published if needed. There is an uphill slope to rw 34 and parking is at the top of the hill in the marked spots. Owners, Harvey or Leigh Sawyer will fuel your plane at lower than prevailing fuel prices. Plan on arriving early so you can leave before dark. Night departures are not authorized. Kimball’s is a short walk down the driveway of the airport (it was marked by ice cream cones on the pavement) and over to the restaurant.
The restaurant is seasonal closing around Columbus day and opening in the spring. I counted 43 flavors of ice cream and that didn’t include the sherbets or sorbets.
Now you might wonder about the food when I talk about the ice cream. The food is absolutely wonderful. Take for instance, the Lobster Roll, it is a roll heaped with lobster meat, served with waffle fries and a slice of watermelon. They also serve whole belly clams on a roll in the same. The meals could consist of healthy salads, club sandwiches or full dinners.
You place your order at a window and your number is called when it is ready for you to pick up. The ice cream is ordered at different windows and you take it back to your table. Service is quick and the order takers are very efficient.
Flying into Jaffrey is usually done during good weather and there is ample outside dining on the picnic tables. It seems like everyone in New Hampshire goes to Kimball’s on those evenings or afternoons that I go to Kimballs. The ice cream lines are soooo long and of course so good. If the weather is too hot, too cold or rainy, there are plenty of tables inside with the same great food. Only the hungry flyer will be able to consume a meal and one of the Sundaes that Kimball’s is so famous for.
On the reporting side, I do not tell the restaurant that I am doing an evaluation on their establishment and I do not take a free meal for the report. If the service is bad or the food is bad, I will give that location a second evaluation. If the negative report persists, I will report it.
In the coming weeks, I expect to review for evening meals the Airport Grill at New Bedford and the CAVU restaurant at Kobelt, NY. For breakfast stops, we will be reporting on the Perfect Landing Café at Sky Acres (44N) in Millbrook, NY and Bethany’s at Block Island, RI. (KBID)
Jim's Fly-In Diner
It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a great breakfast or home cooked evening meal, Jim’s Flyin’ Diner located at 3B0 in Sturbridge, MA is a place to stop. The diner is located right on the airport so the walk to the table is short. The diner was built in the 1950’s and moved to Southbridge Airport in 1987.
They are open Tuesday through Sunday. Hours are 6:00 am to 2:00 pm Tuesday and Wednesday. The diner is open Thursday and Friday 6:00 am to 8:00 pm for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday 6:00 am to 2:00 pm with breakfast and lunch on Saturday and only breakfast on Sunday.
For the evening meals, Paul Servant and his sister Louise have a special board that changes every night and includes such items as Fish & Chips, French Canadian Meat Pie, Shepherd’s Pie, Lemon Chicken, Liver and Onions and many others. The French fries are homemade and as special healthy fry, they offer sweet potato fries as an option.
For breakfast our group likes the 2 eggs, home fries, biscuits with gravy. The usual pancakes can be topped with strawberries, blueberries, apples or chocolate chips for those with a sweet tooth as well as a large appetite. There is truly something for every taste either for breakfast or dinner.
You can dine inside or outside on the deck. Calling ahead allows for prompt take out if you have to bring it home to the kids. 508-765-7100.
The airport has a 3501 x 75 runway that is served by an instrument approach if needed.
As with most airport diners, the patrons are friendly and willing to talk airplanes.
BETHANY’S AIRPORT DINER
Bethany’s Airport Diner is located at Block Island, Rhode Island inside the airport terminal on the right side as you face the terminal from the runway side. Bethany’s is open every day from 6am until 3 pm. (Closed only for Thanksgiving and Christmas day) Breakfast is served from 6- noon and lunch is served from noon til 3 pm. Special menus are posted on the blackboard daily.
Our group of four planes from central Connecticut flew there on January 1st (New Year’s Day) and on Jan 30th. Food is served piping hot in large portions. You are sure not to go away hungry. Bethany Campbell, the owner was preparing all the meals herself in the kitchen while a pleasant and capable wait staff took care of the customer needs.
In as much as our visits were in the winter months for this writing, we all ate indoors in the diner. There is an adequate number of tables and counter stools for those wishing to eat inside. During the warmer months, the outside picnic tables provide a great opportunity to sit and watch the schedule airline traffic of New England Airlines and the multitude of personal planes come and go while enjoying the meal.
The menu items are named after aviation related associations, such as: “Jumbo Jet Pancakes”, “Full Throttle Breakfast” which consists of 2 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 sausage links, 2 mini-jet pancakes and 2 hash browns for $10. You sure won’t leave that table hungry. This morning I had the Western Omelet which is made with onions, “shrooms” (and plenty of them) ham and cheese of your choice. This includes toast of your choice also for $8. If you would rather, a plain egg sandwich on a muffin is only $4.
For those of you wanting to partake the luncheon fare, there is the “Pre Flight” of homemade “Chowda” with plenty of clams or homemade chilli. Burgers and sandwiches are on the menu along with “Beach-Crafts” of Tuna Melt, Crab Cake Patty or the Seaplane of fried cod. “Props in a Basket” consist of your standard side orders of fries, or onion rings. Wine and beer are available for the non flying members. They even have a children’s menu for the small fry.
There is a $10 landing fee that is waived at KBID if you are visiting Bethany’s for less than hour or so. Staying longer, or involving a trip into town will incur the landing charge. No fuel is available at KBID so you must arrive with adequate fuel for the return flight. The airport terminal is staffed by an extremely friendly group (many of whom are pilots) and they will direct you to parking. If it is slow, you may be assigned one of the spots directly facing the diner/terminal or during busy months, you may be off a distance on the grass. The airport itself is 2502 x 100 and it has instrument t approaches for those that fly IFR.
15 Airport Road, Gilford, NH 03249
This past summer Rich and I took a vacation in the Lakes area of New Hampshire. The residence we rented had lots of pamphlets suggesting summer fun activities, but only one menu from a restaurant. We decided to check it out. And we were very glad we did.
Kitchen Cravings is on Airport Road adjacent to Laconia Airport. The ambiance is wonderful... a cozy place, full of regulars from the local community.
Breakfast, lunch and dinners, and they are now serving wines and microbrews. Their menu is extensive with biscuits and gravy, souffle style omelets, benedicts, burgers, salads... our vacation was too short to make it through the menu!
The waitstaff is very friendly and attentive to requests.
Their menu states “If you do not see what your taste buds want, please ask. We appreciate your cravings and will do all we can to satisfy them.”
Great fresh food, friendly people, homey atmosphere. We realized why there was not any other menus at the rental house!
FLY and DINE Cockpit Café
Airport Road, Sanford, ME 04073 207-324-7332
By Russ & Judy Bacon
My wife and I have been eating at the Cockpit Café for over three years now. We have found that the food and atmosphere is outstanding. Good servings and good friendly staff.
Rene Bernier, the owner, has been with the Café since the early 80’s, became a partner of the operation for 7+ years and in May of 2003 she bought the business outright.
As a determined believer in the potential of the Café, Rene embraced the rural setting and the active environment at the Sanford Regional Airport (SFM) that offers businesses and travelers a close proximity to a host of commercial and recreational destinations.
The Cockpit Café has enjoyed serving three generations of families with good food and good fun in its casual, relaxed atmosphere. Patrons can enjoy a meal admidst the activities of a busy airport where flying enthusiasts can appreciate the excellent opportunities available in flight education and training right next door at Southern Maine Aviation, LLC.
A dedicated Café staff working together to the benefit of customers brings joy, laughter and a smile to every ones face. Fast service, friendly people, and memorabilia right out of WWII, makes this our favorite place to be for breakfast or lunch.
If you’re a music lover or player the Cockpit Café Acoustic Jam is your outlet for creative musical expression. Come join in and play along to the old and new favorites, sing along or just enjoy the fun. Information and updates are posted at www.guitarsuspensionsolutions.com . Donations are always welcome to support this event.
Thanks for allowing us to bring the Cockpit Café to your readers’ attention.
Airport Grille 41.41 N 70.58 W
As close as you can get to gourmet food at normal prices is the best way to describe your eating experience at the Airport Grille located in the terminal of the New Bedford Regional Airport. From the outside, it sure doesn’t prepare you for the dining experience you get when dining there. I have patronized this restaurant for a long time. They shut down and changed management a few years back but they have reopened with the same great eating delights and better service and a complete renovation to the inside increasing the seating capacity.
First of all, to get there, you head for KEWB, New Bedford, MA. (not to be confused with Bedford, MA which is Hanscom Field, KBED) New Bedford is east of Providence and has two 5,000 foot runways 150 feet wide. There is an ILS and several other instrument approaches serving the field. This is a towered airport and class D airspace.
Entrance to the Airport Grille is through the terminal after parking on the side near the gate. The tower will guide you for temporary parking if you ask. A hostess will seat you by the window so you can watch the airlines (to the islands) make their frequent flights or you can request a more quiet corner or booth. There is a full service bar with HD televisions if you are a sports fan. They had a NY Yankees –Boston Red Sox game on as we passed through. As in most successful airport restaurants, they rely more on local residents rather than the fly in trade. Reservations are accepted and recommended if you are planning a later arrival. We were eating on a Saturday night and by 7:30, the place was packed. We arrived early for a 6 pm seating and did not have any trouble without a reservation.
My wife ordered the Prime Rib and that serving of beef was very generous and cooked with a nice pink throughout as she ordered it. I opted for two appetizers for a main course and had Oysters Rockefeller and Calamari Buffalo style. Both were very good. The evening prices are in the $14-$25 dollar range for the entrees. Remember, this is an upscale bistro type restaurant. They also serve lunch and have a separate luncheon menu. Dress can be casual to dressy and neither is out of place.
We learned that on select Monday evenings, they have live music through December 6. The Grille has a web site http://www.airportgrille.com/ (508-994-7455) The menus are listed, hours of operation, as well as a video tour of the restaurant. We highly recommend the Airport Grille as a dining choice for good food, well trained wait staff and a great place to take your co-pilot for an evening.
LIGHTHOUSE LANDING RESTAURANT
(AT SUSSEX COUNTY AIRPORT) GEORGETOWN, DEL.
Review by Carl Olson
Located in the modern airport terminal building at KGED - Sussex County Airport - in Georgetown, Delaware - The Lighthouse Landing Restaurant has a large, bright dining room featuring eight very roomy booths (each capable of seating six adults) in front of large windows facing the airport ramp. There are tables for seating additional diners at the center of the room. The wide variety of well-prepared food at Lighthouse Landing ensures everyone in your party will find something to enjoy.
Lighthouse Landing is open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week 8 AM to 4 PM. When this review was prepared - they were also open for Dinner on Thursday - Friday and Saturday evenings from 4 to 8 PM.
You can expect to find your breakfast favorites on the menu - including eggs cooked to order, pancakes and a nice variety of omelets. Of course these may be ordered with sides of toast, link sausage, bacon, or hash brown potatoes. This reviewer was pleased to find the hash browns at Lighthouse Landing are actually made from cut up real potatoes - and not the chopped up French Fries some other places pass off as hash browns. A breakfast of nicely scrambled eggs with link sausage, toast, hash browns and Coffee was under $10.00.
Lighthouse Landing features a Brunch on the First Sunday of every month - from 9 AM until Noon -featuring a self-serve buffet of breakfast items.
Lunch’s features include the classic Hamburger of course - but my favorite is the Blackened 8 oz. Hamburger topped with Blue Cheese. At lunch you also have your choice of Soups...and a variety of Salads. Lunch appetizers include Wings, Nachos, Mozzarella Sticks, Fried Potato Skins, and Cheese Fries. Additional lunch choices include a variety of sandwiches - many featuring local seafood.
A specialty of Lighthouse Landing is the Calabash Basket - a Southern inspired luncheon treat made with your choice of Lump Crab Meat, Medium Shrimp, Delmarva Oysters, or Sweet Scallops - nestled in a basket with Fries and Cole Slaw.
When you’re in the mood for nice dinner, this is a great place. Dinner entrees change weekly - depending of the best fish catch and local vegetables available that week. (Each Dinner menu highlights what local fish and vegetables are available that day). But typically the selection may range from Chicken breast sautéed with shrimp, scallops and crab in a mild Creole sauce... a New York Prime Cut Strip steak...Pork Scaloppini...Seafood Casserole....or their Jumbo Crab cake. Most Dinner entrees include two side dishes, which might include locally grown Zucchini and Squash or Calabash Collard greens (depending on season) and of course mashed or baked potato and Lighthouse Landing Cole Slaw are available, too.
Diners are also offered a choice of Soups and Salads and if some in your party are not too hungry - they can choose one of the Appetizers...like Oyster Stew (six oysters sautéed in butter with a touch of Old Bay and heavy cream.)
Since the new 3100 ft Runway 10-28 at Sussex County was completed, Pilots will find ample choices for landing - regardless of the wind direction - since the 5000ft Runway 4 -22 is also available. Sussex County is an uncontrolled field and FBO - Georgetown Air Services - is prompt at answering Pilot requests for directions to ramp parking, if you find the spots directly in front of the terminal building are already occupied.
Lighthouse Landing accepts Cash, Visa, Master Card and Discover only.
Check out their website http://www.lighthouselandinggroup.com
You can phone ahead to confirm serving times - 302-855-9460
Cherry Ridge Airport and Café
30 Bomber Lane, Honesdale, PA 18431
The Cherry Ridge Airport and Café is located at the Cherry Ridge Airport in Pennsylvania (can you believe that), which has the designation N30. This airport is located 24 miles north east of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Airport. This is a non-towered field. Cherry Ridge airport is 2420 x 50 asphalt runway at an elevation of 1344 feet. The Café is located right off the taxiway with a dining room overlooking the runway. The café is on the second floor of the building with a large outside deck that meets the rising hillside. When the weather is nice, outside dining is the place to be.
The airport is also known for having fuel at less than the prevailing prices. A quick check on Air Nav showed that there was only one airport within 50 miles that had cheaper fuel. Fuel is dispensed from a self-serve credit card pump available 24 hours per day.
The airport menu is listed on the above web site with great prices and large portions. Four of us went there on Labor Day weekend for breakfast and we were greeted by a cheerful waitress who kept our coffee cup topped off while providing us with great service. I ordered the “747” which comes with one large pancake the size of a dinner plate, two pieces of bacon, sausage, two eggs any way you like, and home fries for $6.95. Of course, the traditional omelet, with and without meat, and other egg dishes are available. The portions are significant and you won’t go away hungry.
The menu and web site claims that they are open Tuesday through Sunday but they have changed their hours to Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The café serves breakfast and lunch.
By Alan Witkin
SUNSET PUB & GRILL in Lincoln Park, NJ
Lincoln Park, Sunset Pub and Grill is one of the most "lively" eating areas at an airport that I have seen. There is a generous amount of outdoor tables for dining with a small stage for live entertainment on a nightly basis. There is parking for the plane directly in front of the pub. I flew in to meet a friend who arrived from NJ while I flew in from CT. We arrived in the pattern together and after landing parked right in front of the pub. After our on the ground greetings, the entertainer on stage welcomed us over the microphone for flying into the Sunset Pub and Grill.
It was still bright and sunny as well as warm; therefore the wives opted for the air conditioned inside seating for our 6 pm reservation. We ended up in the tower that resembles a silo as seen in the photograph. We enjoyed a panoramic view of the entire airport and all of the activity. Our wait staff was pleasant and very competent.
My wife had checked the menu on line and was ready to order the "LOBSTER MAC & CHEESE" before the waitress took our orders. My wife said it was delicious. Two of us had the half rack of ribs served with corn on the cob and potatoes. The meat on the ribs came off the bone easily and was very tender. Chicken Florentine was the fourth dish for our group and was also very good. The entree prices were in line with any good restaurant ranging from $15-$20. When you fly for 45 minutes each way and estimate your flying costs between $100-$200 per hour, a good meal at a reasonable price is no time to go cheap. The locals, on the ground, are the primary source of customers. Those of us in aircraft merely add to their ambiance and entertainment and create jealousy for them. They would love to fly in, have dinner and fly home.
The restaurant is situated on old farming grounds that used to produce celery and carrots located next to a brook that contained many beavers. As stated above, the building is on the edge of the tarmac and you literally park your plane 100 feet from where you will dine. The airport, conveniently named Lincoln Park (N07) has 2,900 feet of paved runway and is located inside New York’s class B outer ring. You need to be below 3,000 feet coming in or be talking to NY Approach.
The food was served hot, tasted great and the establishment was clean. Clean is important to the women and should be a consideration for all of us. The Sunset Pub is located at 425 Beaverbrook Road, Lincoln Park, NJ 07035. 973-694-8700 http://www.sunsetpubandgrill.com/index.php. They are open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is only on the weekends. Check the web site for their menu, hours, and history of the area. I am sure you will enjoy this restaurant and setting.
La Vita Gustosa in East Haddam, CT
The tasty life is what “La Vita Gustosa” means in Italian at this Ristorante Italiano. This restaurant is located a short walk from the East Haddam (42B) airport. After parking the plane and dropping a $5 landing fee in the honor box, a short walk up the road into the center of town of about ¼ mile will bring you to the classic Italian restaurant. The Goodspeed Opera House is across the street. Many of the patrons of the restaurant dine before going to the opera house. Dining can be formal or casual.
Our group chose to eat on the outside patio during a warm pre-summer night. The restaurant has a full service bar for the non pilots as well as live entertainment on weekends. There are numerous tables inside the establishment but we preferred the outdoors. While we were there singer, comedian Tony Costas entertained us with his sharp wit and good song.
Food, there is plenty of food listed on the menu including a take out menu if you don’t want to wait. All of the entrees were under $19.00 with many in the $9-15 dollar range. The food was served hot and was excellent. This restaurant serves the center of town and is supported only by a small percentage of pilots. Most of the business is from the townspeople and it has survived a long time attesting to the good food. The extensive menu includes a child’s portion with much reduced prices.
The Goodspeed airport has a runway 14/32 and sports a 2120 x 50 foot runway. You want to make sure you have your short field techniques under control and keep your speed on target to be comfortable with the landing. There are no instrument approaches and fuel is unavailable. The restaurant can be contacted at 860-873-8999 and they accept reservations. Their website is http://www.lavitagustosa.com
The Runway Restaurant and Lounge
at Westfield-Barnes Airport in Massachusetts: A Unique Dining Experience
Most of us have flown to many airport restaurants around the country for the “$100 hamburger” or $70 breakfast; (more like $200 and $150 in 2010) After a large number of breakfast and lunch experiences, this writer can say with some authority that The Runway Restaurant and Lounge at Westfield-Barnes airport, BAF, in western Massachusetts is in a whole different league and several cuts above your typical experience—for a number of reasons.
For openers, Class D Barnes has 9,000 x 150 ft. runways 2/20 and 5,000 x 100 ft. 15/22, so you should have no problem getting in and out in most WX. Then you will be impressed by the “red carpet” welcome provided by the people at AirFlyte Inc., the primary FBO. The line person will direct you to a parking spot and literally roll out a red carpet for your return to earth. The world-class terminal is loaded with amenities and full-serve 100LL was $3.99/gal at press time; Jet A $3.92—probably the lowest in the area. You will get a $.10/gal. discount with a $20 meal at The Runway.
Once inside you can’t miss The Runway Restaurant and Lounge, right off the expansive lobby. You are likely to be greeted by owner Paul B’Shara, or one of his friendly staff. In pleasant weather you will be offered a choice of the second level outdoor deck with a view of nearly the entire airport, or the main dining room adjacent to the ramp where many interesting airplanes will likely be parked.
Paul and his family have been in the restaurant business in the Westfield area for more than 50 years, so they know how to please you. All meals are home-cooked to order. Lunch fare runs from $3.50 to $8.95. The extensive complete dinner menu runs $9.95 for pasta with meatballs or sausage to $18.95 for sole or veal Oscar. Breakfast is also at equally reasonable prices, with the view a bonus. During this reporter’s six meals over two years the service has always been friendly and efficient. Buy 10 or more gallons of fuel at AirFlyte and you will get 10% off your Runway meal! The Runway Restaurant and Lounge has a full bar and live entertainment on the patio Thurs.-Sat. Open 11 am-9 pm Tues.-Thurs., 6:30 am-10 pm Fri. & Sat., 6:30 am-9 pm Sun., closed Mon. Go to www.TheRunwayAtBarnes.com or call 413-568-9999 for more information.
The 2010 Westfield International Air Show will be held at Barnes Airport August 21 & 22. The Runway will be serving a big buffet with complimentary beer & wine 11 am – 3 pm on Show days and live music will begin at 4 pm. There will also be reserved seating on The Runway’s second-level deck, with a great view of the Show, for its VIP Party. Contact The Runway to make a reservation. Go to WestfieldAirShow.net for air show information.
By Phil Worley
Lil’ Red Baron
8 Airport Road Newport, NH 03773 www.lilredbaron.com
I belong to a group of pilots that like to travel to new and different airports to sample the culinary wares at local airport restaurants. We used to fly out every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights as well as Saturday and Sunday morning for breakfast. All of the flights were in VFR weather with just a few days where you could have argued for filing IFR.
I didn’t think that there were any airport restaurants within 100 miles of Hartford that I didn’t know about. One day a few weeks ago, I had occasion to pick up a friend that was having work done at Parlin Field (2B3) in Newport, NH. I had never been to this airport. The airport was nicely manicured with an ample runway nestled in the green hills of New Hampshire. On final approach, I flew over a bridge with people fishing from it just off the end of the approach to runway 36. As I did so, they raised their hands waving in a welcoming manner. How quaint.
Upon walking around the airport, I noticed a small red building with a sign “Lil Red Baron” and it was a restaurant. This was a Sunday morning and it wasn’t open but I made note of the hours with a vow to return when it was open. The hours, Mon: Closed, Tues-Thurs 4:30-8:30 pm; Friday and Saturday 11:30-9:00 pm, Sunday 11:30-8:00 pm.
My wife and I flew into Parlin Field a week later on a Friday night and to our delight found out that they had outside music planned. There is outside seating for a fairly large group and a fire pit to keep you warm in the cool New Hampshire night air. There is a full service bar outside for those enjoying the fresh air. Yes, they have a liquor license (it won’t do the pilots any good but in case the passengers want to have a drink with their meal, it is available.) We opted to sit inside at a table and my wife sampled their special $3 Margarita. The menu is Mexican with a liberal serving of “Gringo” dishes. The food was served hot and with excellent presentation. Prices are low and the most expensive entrée on the menu is $12.99. We went outside after our meal and enjoyed music and watched the local talent that was performing. The residents were so friendly, they were really nice. If you are looking for a new place to try, this is the one. This was a pearl of a find with good food, reasonable prices, low fuel prices, long runway and plain friendly people. What more could you ask for.?
Rick’s Runway Café
At Orange County Airport Montgomery, New York Phone: 845-457-6323
Rick’s Runway Café, located at Orange County Airport (KMGJ) in Montgomery, New York, is the quintessential destination in the area for the classic $100 hamburger. Not only is the food exceptional, but also the airport facilities are a step up from what you would expect from a smaller non-towered field. KMGJ boasts two superb runways (3/12 5002’ x 100’ & 8/26 3664’ x 100’) serviced with an assortment of instrument approaches including an ILS and several GPS approaches. On a weekend with good VFR weather expect a busy pattern, and keep an eye out for SWF Departures (tune to SWF ATIS to get flow) as if they are departing Rwy 27, they are pointed right at you. Once on the ground taxi over to the main ramp area on the northeast end of the field, and park on the ramp just opposite the Café.
Local area pilots have been going to Orange County to grab a bite to eat for years, and the old timers can tell you just how nice the current café is compared to the eatery prior to the renovation. The interior is warm and welcoming, as are the waitstaff. The dinning area has large windows that overlook the ramp, so you can always catch a great view. Tables as well as booths are available. Breakfast is served on weekend mornings, with daily classic specials like pancakes with chocolate chips or Belgium waffles, which were our choices we had the day of our visit. Top it off with a great cup of coffee, and you have the makings of a superb breakfast. If you drop in for lunch you will not leave hungry! Besides a large variety of $100 burgers to choose from, don’t forget to consider one of their hot sandwiches. Rick’s Runway Café is one Fly and Dine destination that had always made my top 10 list, and you too will not be disappointed.
Mon- Thru 11:30 – 4:00, Fri 11:30-5:00
Sat & Sun 7:00 – 4:00
with Breakfast till 11:30 on Saturdays
and 12:00 on Sundays
The Landing Zone Grille
Did you ever think about a fly-in meal where you could show your friends a disappearing airport setting and sample some of that old time local airport food you’ve heard about? It’s more difficult every year to find that small airport where you can enjoy the local flavor of a great proprietor. We’ve uncovered an airport restaurant whose airport is no longer an available for fixed wing aircraft yet has survived for half a decade without a direct fly-in runway. Think about that – and you’ll start salivating now. If you’re fortunate and fly a helicopter you can drop in at the Johnnycake Airport and walk to the restaurant.
Besides good food and beverage its central Connecticut location makes it an easy choice for enjoying a New England weekend. Best part, stay the weekend and you’ll want to dine at the Landing Zone Grill more than once during your visit. There are fixed wing aircraft airports nearby; the closest is 18 miles away in East Hartford, CT (EHT) or 20 miles, Oxford (OXC).
Let’s get to the business of an airport restaurant that you must put on your list of establishments to sample this summer. The Landing Zone Grill has an almost unending selection of different cuisine choices on the menu. On any given day the appetizers range from alligator tenders, crab cakes, escargot, squid red or Joseph’s famous wings. One patron said, “The sawdust wings are da' bomb, try "sawdust/Medium/Hot and Smokey!" Oh did I forget to mention the mussels Meredith or exotic wild mushrooms that also make a great start to a meal?
Often when the wife and I drop in on a fly-in we test a restaurant’s atmosphere with a soda and beverage. We like to get a feel for the place and its people before we dine. The Landing Zone Grille makes that pretty easy. For the passengers there are over 100 fine beers, ten of which are micro brews on tap. My wife is especially fond of salads during the middle of the day and we found that the grill has over 12 made to order salads on the menu. Beyond the simple salads you can order Island Palm, Mediterranean salad or a fresh Bocconcini salad just to call out a few.
Let’s get on to that preverbal $100 hamburger but let’s not stop there. For the normal hamburger price, you can experience the Sante Fe, a Mushroom or blackened burger hot off the wood grill. That is something special in itself. You would expect great chowders in New England but there are few places you’ll find all three Rhode Island, New England and Manhattan Clam chowders made fresh. Now a real surprise in New England, the chef owner makes a specialty Swamp Medley of crawfish tails, shrimp, alligator, frog legs with shallots and just right amount of spice that will bring you back for more.
Let me sum up a stop at The Landing Zone Grille with a few comments from other patrons – “There are very few places on Earth left like this, it is absolutely one-of-a-kind, and worth your time to explore and seek out this little ole' wood smoke grille up on airport hill. See you there!” “I was in the mood for hot wings, and the Landing Zone had the hottest and most flavorful that I have ever tasted.”, “I like a beer now and then and the Landing Zone has all the exotic brands, including my favorite, Chimay” The comment I liked most, “The Landing Zone kind of reminds me of my best friend’s basement, warm, inviting, and casual.”
Tell Chef Cajun Joe Furnari you heard about his grille in the Atlantic Flyer, he’ll be surprised! We paid for our meal and no one knew the Atlantic Flyer was there! This is a place to go for serious food, fun and laughter! What a combination and an easy three stars. Open Wednesdays thru Sundays - 525 Burlington Road, Harwinton, CT 860-485-2733.
By John Cilio