Say goodbye to pre-made sandwiches and hello to haute cuisine from the likes of Alain Ducasse, Mario Carbone, Amanda Cohen and other big name chefs, plus some high tech menu and ordering systems that employ iPads instead of waiters.As a Manhattanite, I hate Newark. If I take a car I have to crawl through Soho to the tunnel, which can literally take hours if you're flying anywhere near rush hour. Or I schlep my bags to the F train, walk two avenues over to Penn Station (hope it's not raining, snowing, grey slushing, or sweltering hot out!) get on the line for a ticket machine, wait up to 30 minutes for a Newark Airport-bound train, then switch to that verkachte Monorail thing that has a top speed of 7 miles per hour while praying that my terminal isn't at its last stop because it's literally 25 minutes between the first stop and the last stop. (FYI, this amazing 1960s technology is coming soon to the bay area as the Oakland Airport connector!)
My friend Gabe had an awesome tip when I lived on the West side: just take the PATH from Manhattan to Newark Penn and then jump in a taxi for the last 2 miles. This actually worked well until Hurricane Sandy and the near-constant evening/weekend repair closures since. Once that's done, it's probably the fastest way there if you're in SW Manhattan.But getting there is only half the fun. Once you're there it's just... crowded and old and surly and tacky and long security lines and ugh. I'll stop. This little news clip is a glimmer of good news and I'm going to focus on the positive. Ever-more international flights are using Newark, so it's not realistic to just refuse to fly out of it. Better food is always a good way to make me happy.
I'm going to keep my expectations low, though, because I've tried the airport editions of Blue Bottle coffee and Wolfgang Puck and those have been pretty flat, but I still liked them 10x more than what was there before.
Also, I got to try out the "high tech menu" iPads mentioned in the article while I waited for my flight to Puerto Rico earlier this month. Every seat has a card swiper, an iPad with custom software, and power+USB jacks. You enter your flight information when you sit down and it will keep track of delays and gate changes in the background while you browse the menu or shop for souvenirs (i guess the deliver those right to your seat just like they do with the food). The food options all have large photos for each item and sub-menus for all of the picky/allergy/condiment options. It was a lot like using Seamless, now that I think about it. And anything that let's me poke a few buttons on a screen and make a gin and tonic appear is something I approve of!
P.S. Someday the PATH might run all the way to Newark, but I'm guessing I'll be arriving to the Airport (en route to Boca, of course!) by one of those senior citizen lift vans by then.