Last week, we outlined the Top 10 Reasons Living in Oregon is Awesome. Unfortunately, this also means that big-time work meetings involve some serious travel back to the midwest. This type of travel also presents a crapshoot when it comes to finding vegan food at airports, hotels, or work-sponsored networking buffets. I know that work lunches can be great, so I was interested to test this theory in a different time zone.
This past week, I flew to Chicago for a three-day work meeting that I genuinely look forward to every year. What I don’t look forward to is the lack of food options, and the fact that there isn’t any kind of grocery store or market within eight miles of our hotel. I have learned to bring along standard vegan travel fare like Lara Bars, Primal Strips, and Nature’s Path oatmeal. I am also always on the lookout for fruit from any kind of breakfast bar, and have become quite skilled in foraging for peanut butter. I had packed enough food to get by for a couple days, but found myself rationing my supplies by the end of day two. I decided that in order to survive the longest day of meetings, and still have food for the flight home, I needed to explore the vast expanses of the hotel and see what I could throw together. Here is a picture of what I came up with:
Day three of meetings went off without a hitch, and I had just enough food left to take care of breakfast and a morning and afternoon snack. Lunch looked to be an issue as I educated two hotel food service employees that havarti is not vegan. The day ended with a flight out of O’Hare airport, but not before I stumbled upon a little gem in any vegan’s desert: the food court. I quickly typed ” O’Hare vegan” into google on my phone, and found some great info that guided me to a salad bar/vegan soft serve restaurant B Smooth tucked in between a burrito joint and a Golden Wok. I ended up creating my own salad with all kinds of fresh produce, and had a vanilla-banana milkshake with vegan soft serve.
The two most important pieces of information I picked up over the weekend are as follows:
1) Work meetings that involve travel always necessitate bringing along a grocery stash.
2) O’Hare Airport is extremely vegan friendly. Seriously peeps, vegan soft serve in the midwest! And since it is O’Hare you know you will have time to kill between your delayed flights anyway, so eat up!
Anyone have any other vegan friendly experiences in airports?