The fast food courts in the International Terminal of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) have been touted as offering the best eating available at any US airport. Operated by some of the Bay Area's favorite restaurateurs, international travelers can sample from menus designed for a quick bite. If you can ignore eating off disposable table ware, the prices are reasonable, held in line by airport contract terms, for the quality delivered. Also, if you're not flying and are interested in dining at SFO, several vendors offer free parking for minimum purchase amounts to lure non-passenger customers.
Before my departure last week, I fortified myself by trying a light lunch and bagging a piece of pastry for the long flight. As insurance against not finding anything edible in-flight, from Emporio Rulli, I picked up a chocolate budino, $2.75, described as as a "chocolate muffin", but oh so much more than that. This was a dense pudding-like small cake with chocolate almond-flavor embedded with a few fresh raspberries. Several other pastries are offered, as well as panini for a savory snack.
Perusing the menu for Harbor Village Kitchen (tel. 650-821-8983), the BBQ duck egg noodle soup, $7.95, sounded promising. When I asked if the duck had freshly roasted today, I was told that it was indeed fresh and the meats are roasted on premises several times a day. That may be true, but this one had a dimpled and moist-looking crust like it had been reheated in the microwave. Good flavor though, but some pieces were excessively tough and the skin was not what it should be. The broth, however, was faultless - light, greasefree, intensely sweet with fresh flavor - as were the good quality fine egg noodles with the right firmness (almost crisp), a few leaves of poached iceberg lettuce and a sprinkle of chopped scallion. I would eat here again, if trying to load up on Asian flavors before another trip to Europe, but try the roast pork instead of the duck. Lots of snacks, e.g., dim sum samplers, roti with curry sauce, congee, soups, rice plates, and a few specials of more ambitious entrees like sea bass with black bean sauce, and the prices looked in line with in-town restaurants.