Monday, September 16, 2013

Nice Lunch – Houston Intercontinental!

Anyone who’s ever flown much has experienced the many ‘food as fuel only’ restaurants and fast food operations that serve many and probably most of our domestic airports.  On our trip to Calgary Alberta and the Canadian Rockies, we flew from Knoxville to Houston, and then after a lengthy layover, it was on to Calgary…

Our flight was fairly early leaving Knoxville so we had breakfast at Ruby Tuesday's in McGee Tyson Airport.  It was OK…fuel for the trip and a morning wake up.  When we finally arrived at Houston’s Intercontinental, officially the George, (H. W.), Bush Intercontinental, it was time for lunch. 

We checked our options on one of the big airport services directories and maps…and we decided to skip the cutesy diner that would normally draw me in and instead, we opted for Cat Cora’s Kitchen.  I had no clue who Cat Cora was but Laurie knew about her and it sounded like an upscale luncheon opportunity. 
For the uninitiated, myself included, Catherine Ann "Cat" Cora is an American professional chef best known for her featured role as an "Iron Chef" on the Food Network television show Iron Chef America and as co-host of Around the World in 80 Plates on Bravo.  FYI…I don’t watch cooking shows, I watch eating shows!

This is an interior photo of Cat Cora’s Kitchen in the airport.  For an airport restaurant, it’s a pleasant and friendly atmosphere.  We were promptly greeted and our server was very pleasant and informative. 
As per Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport’s website, Cat Cora's Kitchen in Terminal 'E' provides "healthy, fresh choices including a variety of cocktails, tapas and unique entrees like flank steak tacos, lobster mac and cheese, chimichurri chicken sandwich and burgers with special toppings."  This restaurant is open from breakfast through dinner, 7 days a week. 

FYI…This is a photo of Cat Cora ‘borrowed’ from Wikipedia.  She was born in Mississippi but her father was from Greece and both her father and grandfather were in the restaurant business.  For more on Cat Cora and her rise to fame and fortune, you can go to

A couple of days ago, I sent an email to Cat Cora’s 'Q and A' email address on her website.  I was looking for an emailed copy of the Houston menu as it isn’t posted on-line.  I haven’t had a response yet, so I’ll just have to describe our lunches from memory using our photos.
I had this terrific cheeseburger…top quality ground beef cooked perfectly to medium rare and served on an excellent grilled bun.  The burger was accompanied by an equally excellent spicy fresh tomato soup! ($15.00) 

Laurie went for the chicken sandwich on a grilled French roll with what we believe was chimichurri sauce.  This very nice/very flavorful sandwich was topped with fresh tomato and cucumber slices and a little red onion.  Did I mention that the spicy tomato soup was excellent?! ($14.00)
While lunch at Cat Cora’s Kitchen wasn’t inexpensive, it was worth the money just for the upscale luncheon opportunity…in an airport!  Thankfully, more and more of our larger airports have added restaurants that really do make traveling a bit nicer.  Any of you that flew in the 50’s, 60’s and even into the early 70’s will remember that most of the larger airports used to have at least one fancy upscale restaurant.  I don’t miss the fancy part…but I do welcome back a bit of quality dining!
In addition to Houston, Cat Cora now has dining facilities at both the Salt Lake City and the San Francisco’s International Airports.  The website only shows a menu for San Francisco and it’s much different than the one in Houston.  She also has restaurants at Disneyworld and in Costa Mesa California.  For more information, go to
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Dear Dave, I a glad that you and Laurie enjoyed your lunch. It is a bit expensive but it is worth it since you enjoyed everything.
    At least it is good that you get a good meal at the airport now.
    Most of these celebrity chefs are getting their own restaurant chains now.
    I wish that the chefs would do more cooking on their shows and not so many games and contests.
    Blessings, Catherine

  2. The photos and your description of the lunch make it sound like a positive dining experience. I'm glad you enjoyed the food and can't wait to hear more about your trip. I hope your week is off to a great start. Blessings...Mary

  3. I love Cat Cora récipes, I know her by Bon Appetit magazine, many times she was the cook chef in the magazine, all look good!!