March 24, 2010

Have Wine, Will Travel

My trip home from visiting Texas was an adventure all its own. My flight landed in Baltimore about 30 minutes late, but my connecting flight was delayed by 2 hours. Which turned into 3. Which turned into 4. Ah, travel. Upon hearing I'd have a good few hours to burn, I wondered where I'd go to get some food and kill some time. I turned to my right and saw Vino Volo a mere 20 steps from my gate! Sweet serendipity!

I ambled up to the bar, took in my surroundings, and opened up my menu. The bartender said hello and asked how I was doing, and I gave my trademark smile and replied that I was doing much better now that I had somewhere to be for my 2-hour delay. He seemed... yeah.. pretty uninterested. Wow, sorry I'm so boring! Back to the menu, where one glance was all it took to decide on my order...

And then they tasting of three world reds from South Africa, Argentina, and Spain. Delightful! And a mere seven dollars! Seven!

Each glass (or tasting) comes with little paper doilies (?) that have the wine's name, background, flavor profile, and a brief description. I loved this!

I saw it posted somewhere outside Vino Volo that they serve food, so once the bartender came back, I asked for that menu, too. They categorize the foods by which go better with red, white, etc., and smack at the top of the 'red' category were the braised pork mini tacos. I ordered the half portion for 5 dollars. FIVE!

This was deeelicious, and a perfect pairing with the 3 wines. They really brought out the zing in the sauce, and the meat was a nice foil, especially with the peppery South African Shiraz. Even the tortilla was soft and delicate. I would have liked just a little more lime juice on the sandwich, but hey, I'm in the middle of the aiport, right? I'm just happy to be here at this point!

This was a lovely little place, even if the bartender wasn't the friendliest sort, at least not with me (he seemed super chatty with everyone else---was I looking THAT bad, or did he think my few attempts at striking up a conversation were New Yorker for 'leave me alone?' We'll never know....). I thought it odd that he never checked in on me, didn't ask if I was enjoying my food, needed anything, etc. He was chatting with everyone else but me...odd! Most people like me, dammit!

While I enjoyed the people watching and plane watching--you could see Southwest planes taking off right outside the window--I didn't linger as long as I would have, had I felt just a bit more welcome. Still, my bill came to a whopping 12 bucks (15 with a 25 percent tip) and I did enjoy the wines I tasted, plus the sandwich was just enough to keep me going in the middle of a long haul home. I saw they have locations in JFK, Newark, and a host of other airports, so I will definitely pop in to the next one I see.


Linda Axelrod said...

I LOVE the doilies under the glasses explaining each wine. Usually you get the flights(stupid name)and the waiter rattles off some info and by the time you hear what each person at the table is drinking, you haven't a clue what you're drinking. And it's a big mistake...the doilies help you to remember and you'll go out and purchase a bottle.

Fabulous prices, too. I don't think they've put one into Terminal A (United) in EWR, yet...probably in International Departures...but I'll keep my eyes open.

FadeIntoBlue said...

Sounds like an ideal way to wait for a plane. I really get excited when places serve trios, because you get variety and may possibly find your new love. It was also great that they serve half portions. Very reasonable place and I'm excited that it's a chain! Hopefully they'll grow . . . because I don't tend to frequent those airports.

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