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AIRPORT RESTAURANT REVIEWS
George Bush Airport -- Houston IAH
by Elliot Essman
At stopovers in Houston, I've eaten a number of times at Bubba's Seafood Grill, a comfortable sitdown restaurant with several airport locations. Bubba's offers breakfast items until 10:30. After that hour, they give you ample opportunity to mix and match mostly seafood items (with a ribeye steak exception) and still make your plane. Why settle for franchised fast food elsewhere when you can enjoy a cup of gumbo, crab cakes, crawfish etouffe, or red snapper stuffed with blue crab? Last time I dined at Bubba's I enjoyed the crab Caesar salad; next time I'm going for the fried catfish (the entree if I have time, the sandwich if I don't).

I'm not a southerner by birth, but I love the food of the region. It's hence a real treat to run into an airport branch of the excellent Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, a Houston-based chain that also has restaurants in Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix and my home town of Albuquerque. Pappadeaux offers fresh fish (charbroiled, blackened or panbroiled), with side sauces like Alexander (shrimp, scallops and crawfish in a white wine sauce), Opelousas (blackened oysters, shrimp and crabmeat in a lemon butter garlic sauce), and Ponchartrain (shrimp and crabmeat in a brown-butter wine sauce). "Dirty rice" is the obligatory side order, proving that New Orleans and the Cajun country are only just over the eastern horizon. Oh, don't forget the crawfish bisque for starters or the sweet potato pecan pie for afters. A full wine list will combine with these delights to prove that unanticipated delays at George Bush Intercontinental Airport do come with silver linings.

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