leave your inhibitions at the door
We spent five days in Puerto Rico and had a terrific vacation filled with great weather, lots of relaxation, and fun times. After one more breakfast of eggs benedict soup, it was time to hit the airport.
It seems obvious, but once you get to the airport there’s that undeniable truth that vacation is done. If you’re like me (which I feel sorry for you in many ways if you are) and are completely obsessed with food, that finality is even more evident went you hit the culinary bleakness of the airport. Every once in a while, an airport will have a terrific local restaurants, like Tortas Fronteras at Chicago O’Hare. But for the most part you’re going to be eating some shitty ham sandwich made three days ago or – if you’re lucky – Chili’s.
Airports in vacation spots that cater to Americans are even more bleak. They often think they’re doing us a favor because we’ve been away from Cinnabon for so long. Or they figure everyone’s completely hungover and can’t taste anything anyway. That’s the only possible explanation for how the Cancun airport can have the very worst burrito in the history of burritos.
The San Juan airport is no better. A quick look around and I saw a Carl’s Jr, Subway, and Auntie Ann’s Pretzels. I know Puerto Rico is technically part of the United States, but did they have to bring in the worst the mainland had to offer? Then again, my opinion of traditional Puerto Rican food was lower than low.
Just as I was plotting the ingredients for my bland Subway footlong, I came upon Café Avila, a Spanish tapas bar. I was a little leery because…well… airport food. But I must’ve uttered the phrase “what the hell, we’re on vacation!” a hundred times that week, what’s one more?
Wow! Talk about your pleasant surprises. The soup was an outstanding mix of deep earth and spice. I was almost licked the bowl clean. And the perfectly grilled octopus was even better.
What a terrific way to end a vacation.
And yes, I may or may not have had more than a few glasses of Rose. How can you tell?