In or near Atlanta airport
My family and I are flying from NY to Panama via Atlanta, where we have a three-hour layover on the way, and a two-hour layover on the return. Looking for good lunch--preferably Southern or something local and delicious--in or near the airport. Board recommendations include Paschal's, in the airport, BBQ Kitchen, near the airport, and the African food trucks out by the taxi stand. Can anyone comment on any of them, or make other suggestions?
3 hours is really pushing it. The Atlanta airport is massive and there's virtually nothing that's within the immediate area. It's not like you can walk outside, catch a cab for 2 miles to a great spot and return. 3 hours may sound like a long time but once you land, leave, eat, and return, you're really stretching your amount of time. My opinion is have a snack at the airport and return to Atlanta at a later date for AT LEAST 6 or 7 hours to go anywhere. Do what you want, but it's my suggestion.
I agree that 3 hours is tight, and the only thing I can suggest is The Pecan on Main St. in College Park.
The MARTA train (one stop) goes right to it, and the southern menu is very good.
Twice, I went on a search for the African food trucks. The first time I could not find so I asked my taxi driver who said they were "downstairs". Huh? The second time I asked the lady at the taxi stand and she said the area where they are is only open to the taxi drivers. Restricted access.
The African food trucks aren't actually on restricted territory, but you really have to know your way around to find them - and they may not be willing to serve you once you do. (I suspect that this is due to health/business licensing issues - or lack thereof, so if you don't look like a taxi driver, they may think you're an undercover health department (IRS, INS, etc) agent. IF you want to give it a try, follow the signs to the West Economy parking lot (behind where all the courtesy shuttle busses pick up) - walk to the far end of that parking lot just to the left of where cars enter the lot and look for the taxi assembly area across the street. A short dash through traffic and you'll find four or five food trucks and one picnic table amidst hundreds and hundres of taxis. A full meal awaits for probably less than a five spot.
I'll have a 2.5 hour connection both directions on DL in a couple months and would love to try the African food trucks. But if that's not enough time, I've got Paschal's as my back-up and I need to pick up something for the trans-atlantic flight. Other suggestions?
Another thread on Atlanta airport,
Edited to add: Here's a link to the airport restaurant search list,
Atlanta airport is not a great food stop in and of itself, nor is the immediate environs.
Paschal's is about the only thing worth mentioning, not because it's great, but because it at least has some sense of place (Atlanta, Southern) and serves decent, real food.
One other I might throw out, though a bit hesitantly, is Krystal's. If you've never had it, you've probably had it's Northeastern cousin, White Castle. Krystal's can be found all over the South, but not many other places. Some think the little square burgers are crap, but they definitely have a nostalgia for me. When they have the spicy chicken sandwiches, those are pretty yummy too.
Houlihan's in the Atrium is ok for a chain type sit down meal of burger or ribs and fries or salad. "Plane Delicious" at concourse A often has a smoked salmon sandwich which is quite good and their other rather pricey sandwiches are still better than most other stuff in the food court. and Paschal's for sourthern style