At the end of October, I found myself zipping down to Dallas for a story. A quick 24-hour jaunt. Arriving the evening before, I met my sister for dinner at a fabulous restaurant called Roots Southern Table, gorged on collard greens and cast iron cornbread served with sweet potato butter, then jerk lamb chops and orange juice cake.
The next morning, with that huge Southern dinner still under my belt, breakfast was a Clif bar eaten on the run. Lunch was spent talking to people in the rain. Then boom, back to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, trucking through Terminal E about 3 p.m., heading toward a 5 p.m. flight home. It dawned on me that if I didn’t want to subsist on a foil bag of pretzels tossed at me by an unhappy flight attendant, now was the moment to root out something to eat.
What were my options? A big soft salt-crusted dough twist drenched in hot cheese-like product from Auntie Anne’s Pretzels? A Chick-fil-A sandwich which, setting aside the moral qualms of supporting haters, raises gustatory objections that my wife succinctly summarizes whenever we pass one, in a tone of mingled wonder and disgust: “Breaded chicken ... served on bread?!”
Hurrying along, I was just thinking that the path of prudence would be to eat at home when I approached a wood-tone vending machine. A Farmer’s Fridge, stocked with large jars of salad.
I love salad and eat one almost every day for lunch. Finding salad on this soul-dead airport causeway was like encountering a real twice-boiled bagel in Indiana.
I selected the Harvest salad — lettuce, dried cranberries, pecan couscous — for only $9.49. I poured in the balsamic vinaigrette dressing and gave the thing a shake, and ate in silent joy. For dessert, chocolate raspberry chia pudding.