Each week, my Meal of the Week feature examines an airline meal from my travels over the years. This may be a meal from earlier in the week or it may be a meal served over a decade ago.
It’s white asparagus season in Europe (Germany especially) and I had the rare opportunity to sample asparagus in first class two days in row on two different airlines. So who did it better, Emirates or Lufthansa?
My Emirates flight from Dubai to Brussels aboard the 777-300 in first class showcased the steak over the white asparagus as the primary focus. That was a mistake.
Grilled Beef Tenderloin
Served with truffle hollandaise, white asparagus, and steamed potatoes with parsley
The steak itself was dry and not particularly tasty. But the white asparagus was tremendous. Not only was it perfectly cooked, but the truffle hollandaise sauce was perfect: not too rich, not too light. The freshly steamed potatoes with parsley were also incredibly fresh.
I certainly could have done without the steak as the portion size of asparagus was large.
The next day, I flew Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Los Angeles. Asparagus was on the menu and I knew exactly what I had to order for my main course.
Fresh White Asparagus with Sauce Hollandaise and Parsley Potatoes
Served by your request with Black Forrest Ham and Prosciutto Cotto
I did not request the ham, but it arrived anyway and I skipped it. The asparagus was very good, though not as tender as Emirates nor was the hollandaise sauce as nice.
I should add that the Lufthansa flight also offered delectable cream of asparagus soup, which I greatly enjoyed.
The Emirates flight had white asparagus salad with quail eggs, radishes, and pine nuts which I skipped. I also appreciated that Emirates shared on the menu that white asparagus is grown in the dark (I had no idea):
So while the steak may have been horrible on Emirates, the UAE-carrier offered better asparagus than German-carrier Lufthansa. Ouch.
But you won’t go wrong with ordering it on either airline…I loved both dishes. Neither, however, beat the homemade recipe of my father-in-law, which I had enjoyed a couple weeks earlier and were so fresh and delicious they required no sauce.