Do you guys watch Grimm on NBC? If so, you probably know Claire Coffee as the Hexenbiest/witch Adalind Schade. You also might know her as Nadine Crowell on General Hospital or Janie Ross on Franklin & Bash. I’m lucky enough to know her as my friend Claire, who happens to be a fellow Northwestern Wildcat in addition to being supremely intelligent, talented, and beautiful. She also knows more about the San Francisco 49ers than most humans living or dead.
As a cast member on Grimm, Claire finds herself flying to and from Portland often (that’s where the show is shot) and, as a result, spends a ton of time at PDX. I asked her to write a guest post for Fly&Dine readers about her absolute favorite thing to eat at the airport and she chose the Kale Chicken Caesar side salad from “Flying Elephants at PDX” by Elephants Delicatessen. I’ll let Claire take it from here…
Portland is a food and coffee wonderland, so you’d expect its airport offerings of both to be at least remarkable. Unfortunately, when it comes to pre-ﬂight nourishment, PDX might as well be Bakersﬁeld Regional. I spent a year walking up and down Terminal C (American Airlines Platinum, thankyouverymuch), willing even a Starbucks Bistro Box to appear. I’d board my plane sullen and defeated, grasping at bags of Country Club trail mix and Pretzel Thins, or spending $9.50 on a plate of orange-ﬂavored cheese and a trio of grapes from Buy-On-Board. It wasn’t until I had to make a trip to the Homeland Security ofﬁce in the Concourse Connector for my Global Entry interview (I passed) that I discovered that the secret to the dodgy PDX culinAIRy (ed. note: nice one, Claire!) landscape lies BEFORE the security checkpoint!
Elephants Delicatessen is like a beacon of light in a sea of iceberg Cobb salads, and its perfectly composed Kale Caesar is all you need to arrive at your destination with a full stomach and a noble constitution. It is an efﬁcient beauty of a dish. Compact, delicious, and excited to fulﬁll a large part of your green quota for the day. Because I can already hear your eye roll at the mention of one more goddamned kale salad, I will use numbered bullet points to quickly extoll the wonders of this dish.
1.Bite-sized pieces of chicken on miniature shreds of kale. No knife, no problem!
2. Fluffy egg pieces sprinkled throughout, softened and perfectly seasoned kale, breadcrumbed (ed note: not a real word, but we’ll take it) to perfection.
3. No cucumber slices to cut through.
4. No dressing pouch to ﬁddle with.
5. No red onions or other strongly aromatic additions to disrupt your fellow passengers.
6. The entire container ﬁts within the palm of your hand. Avoid the germ-ﬁlled tray table altogether!
7. For $4.50!
Two containers of salad, an artisan chocolate bar, some Food Should Taste Good chips and I’m ready for battle.
See you in the exit row.
Claire Coffee can be found on your television screen every Friday on NBC at 9/8c (new Grimm episodes are back on April 25th). She can also be found on your computer screen at clairecoffee.com or on Twitter @clairecoffee. If you find her at your screen door, invite her in for a hot beverage and rousing conversation. I promise that you won’t be sorry.