Last week I wrote about United Airlines resuming service between Chicago and San Jose, CA. I flew the route once, in August 2007, and was served a meal in first class I will never forget. In honor of the recommencement of this service, I will highlight that lunch in this week’s Meal of the Week.
I do try to limit my carbs, though it is not always easy. Admittedly, I am a sucker for bread and potato chips. I will also rarely turn down pizza. But sometimes too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. This meal qualifies.
UA381 / August 04, 2007 / Chicago (ORD) 3:17PM – San Jose, CA (SJC) 5:49PM
Although the flight departed in the middle of the afternoon, it was catered for lunch, which on United in 2007 was not much. UA had emerged from bankruptcy the previous year and though the Great Recession had not yet struck, this was in the Glenn Tilton cutback era. (At least Tilton just cut in-flight meals rather than decimating the MileagePlus program like Jeff Smisek…but I digress)
The choice was cheese pizza or a Cobb salad. I’d had United’s Cobb salad before and found the iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing unsatisfying. Plus, I had never had pizza on a plane before. So I ordered pizza.
Oh my. What came out was carbs with carbs and a side of carbs.
Yes, look at the French bread pizza served with a garlic focacia roll and chocolate brownie.
Now admittedly, the pizza looked great. Sadly, it was lukewarm and chewy. The bread was not crisp or even warm but the cheese was so hot I burned the roof of my mouth.
Don’t worry — United’s domestic first class meal service has improved dramatically. Fly that route today and you will get something like this–