Jackalope Flats + Phoenix Airport = Delayed Dining

Last week I went to visit my brother’s family in Utah, and my connector flight was delayed two hours in Phoenix.  On the plus, Sky Harbor is a pretty nice airport.  On the downside, when you haven’t eaten and you’re a slightly unstable Dramamined mess and the idea of Pizza Hut Express’ Margherita makes you want to run off the jetway a la Lloyd Christmas, you might have some issues.  And by you, I mean me.  It was late, and I was too tired to run all over the airport looking at dinner choices.  Plus, I have this incredible fear that if I go too far from my gate somehow I’ll lose track of time and never make it back to board, so I found my gate and then looked around for food.

At this hour, most places were running out of my airport staples, like croissants and bagels, and lest I carry myself on Diet Coke and Sour Patch Kids, I needed to find a place to eat something of substance.  I strolled by Jackalope Flats once and then again and then again.  Looking inside, I assumed I did not want to eat there.  I watched a documentary once about jackalopes, and I was not particularly interested in eating at its namesake.  Also, personal preference: desert decor turns me off.

I was hungry, though, so I went in, unsure if I should seat myself at the sit-down restaurant.  I did and looked over the menu for vegetarian options.  This is a meaty joint, but with an alteration here and there, there were actually quite a few items from which I could choose, including the fiesta nachos, onion rings, soup – if the day’s choice worked, southwest chicken avocado salad sans the chicken and bacon, omelets in the morning, and yogurt and granola.  Okay, so there were not that many options, really.  A dark-haired, cafe-esque waitress came by to take my order.  She was sweet, and I went with the southwest chicken avocado salad vegetarian style.

For traveling especially, this salad was pretty good.  The ingredients all tasted fresh, and without any grease, I knew it would not make me sick on the plane.  The salad came with avocado, tomato, corn, black beans (yay protein!), shredded cheddar, Romaine and iceberg lettuce, and I had the tomato basil dressing on the side.  I loved the dressing.  Me?  Love a tomato basil dressing?!  I know, shocking, but it was not too overpowered by the basil, and it was light and refreshing.  The salad was great, but unfortunately, as I finished eating it, I bit into a piece of chicken.  This has happened to me before, as I am sure it has to other vegetarians.  Sometimes, there just is not a lot of care put into the making of a dish, ensuring that there is actually no meat in it.  I mean, it is actually kind of a big deal.

Other than the chicken tragedy and the unfortunate name, this place was good enough.  The service was quite good – the waitress nice and timing acceptable, and the food was fine, but it is difficult to mess up a salad (however, not impossible).  Bottom line, it killed some airport time, it was clean, and most importantly, it did not make this motion sickness master sick on the plane afterward.  (But I remain disturbed by the jackalope on the wall).

Jackalope Flats is located near terminal 3 at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, and yes, it is overpriced – I’m always annoyed when I have to pay full price for a salad in which I am not eating the protein.  Boo.

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