Because nobody likes airplane food
September 11, 2009 10:05 AM   Subscribe

What is the ideal food to welcome someone home with after a long flight, keeping potential delays and an long commute from the airport in mind? Bonus points for late-night Boston/Cambridge delivery recommendations!

I'd love to have a super tasty meal waiting when my boyfriend gets back from Europe in a few days, but besides stew, does anything still taste good after sitting for several hours? Without a car, picking him up will take me at least a couple of hours round trip, so while I like cooking, I'd rather not have to, given all the time and stress unknowns.

He's expressed a strong interest in almost any manner of Asian food, so while I'd be more than happy to just pick up some Chinese or Thai, I'm worried that a late arrival on a Sunday night will seriously limit our options. He really does not want pizza, and eating at the airport seems...non-ideal. I thought about stashing some sushi in the fridge, but that seemed iffy with the timing. Are there any take-out/delivery options that lend themselves especially well to reheating/eating cold? We're near Harvard Square, if that helps any.
posted by Diagonalize to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If nothing else, the Kong will certainly be open then.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:11 AM on September 11, 2009

General ___'s Chicken holds up pretty well after refrigeration. And I've recently found out that adding Tabasco sauce increases its power two-to-threefold.
posted by ignignokt at 10:12 AM on September 11, 2009

Cold Sesame Noodles are Chinese, meant to be eaten cold, and taste better after sitting in the fridge for a while, so you can make them a day early (and avoid combining the stress of cooking with the stress of airport-picking-up). If you want to have some protein in the dish, you could add shredded chicken or little chunks of tofu.

(It has become a tradition in my relationship that I bring a big container of cold sesame noodles whenever I pick my partner up from the airport.)
posted by pluckemin at 10:20 AM on September 11, 2009 [3 favorites]

Sushi would be fine in the fridge all evening. Definitely for "a couple of hours", no problem.

And I think all takeout Chinese is by nature better when microwaved later.

When I'm not falling over asleep after a long flight, I crave cold drinks. Very cold, not the sort-of-cool from the airplane. And since he's going to be zombified for the trip back to your place, something caffeinated might be appreciated.
posted by rokusan at 10:21 AM on September 11, 2009

Do you own a crock pot? If so, then you can put together a really nice meal in there and let it cook while you're out, so you'll both come home to some nice hot food.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:22 AM on September 11, 2009

Response by poster: For full disclosure, I feel I should probably add that I am Japanese and grew up in a predominantly Chinese neighborhood, and my SO is sweet white boy raised in the Midwest, so our views on what qualifies as Asian food sometimes differ.
posted by Diagonalize at 10:25 AM on September 11, 2009

I will just state that the perfect meal, on any occasion, is a BLT. I would find a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich even more wonderful after a long flight. If I was raised in the Midwest, I would find it mana from heaven.

Your mileage may vary.
posted by qwip at 10:30 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Chili. Make it now, let it cook for a couple days on low.
posted by notsnot at 10:31 AM on September 11, 2009

I vote pasta, but maybe that's just me. I always find a good fettucine alfredo to be the most comforting food. Try to find good delivery based on proximity to universities. You can even order online! Also, there's a bomb-diggity pizza place called Greg's in Belmont center, right at the end of the 84 bus line on Concord Ave. I don't know if they deliver, but I think it would be worth the trip for sure.
posted by wild like kudzu at 10:48 AM on September 11, 2009

Redbones is open 'till 1.

No need to go there after you pick him up; barbecued meats only get better in the fridge. You could maaaaaybe convince them to deliver to some parts of Cambridge (closer to Davis, the better). But, uh, I'm sure they'd come to the Porter Square parking lot and meet you. With a bag full of delicious meat.
posted by oinopaponton at 10:50 AM on September 11, 2009

Response by poster: He generally loves pasta, but he's just spent the past couple of weeks in Italy, so he's probably going to be pretty well pasta-ed out. Although, the cold sesame noodles still sound pretty tasty.

Having caffeine on hand is a very good idea, rokusan. I hadn't even thought about drinks.
posted by Diagonalize at 10:53 AM on September 11, 2009

Also, seconding CampusFood.

And you didn't ask, but I just wanted to make sure that you're aware of the Silver Line's Logan-to-South Station route and how much better it is than the Blue Line when you're leaving the airport.
posted by oinopaponton at 10:54 AM on September 11, 2009

Response by poster: I'm generally a big fan of Foodler, but I'll have to check out CampusFood now.

And the Silver Line and I are old friends (an impressive feat when you consider I only moved here a year ago).
posted by Diagonalize at 10:58 AM on September 11, 2009

Seconding RedBones.
posted by SNACKeR at 11:05 AM on September 11, 2009

The Kong is always open late.
posted by jefficator at 11:38 AM on September 11, 2009

Response by poster: I've never actually been to Hong Kong. It always seemed like a crappy college dive for kids with a fake id looking to get blitzed. Is the food there any good?
posted by Diagonalize at 11:54 AM on September 11, 2009

Is it actually good Chinese food? No. But it's not awful.

But it fills the need for late night munchies very well. If your boyfriend likes generic American Chinese food, he'll like it. If you have more discriminating tastes, you probably won't like it very much.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:00 PM on September 11, 2009

Maybe this is just me, but he might be dehydrated from the plane. Some cold cold water in addition to the food might go over well.
posted by canine epigram at 1:16 PM on September 11, 2009

Seconding chili. It doesn't fit the asian requirements, but if I got off a flight and my GF was able to reheat some chili that I could then throw some cheese on and mop up with decent bread, I'd be extremely happy. Total comfort food.

(I know, "reheat" sounds awful. But I'm a wimp about leaving appliances on while no one is around, although a crockpot might be ok. Anyway, reheated chili can be yummy.)
posted by flipper at 1:32 PM on September 11, 2009

Response by poster: Plenty of fluids, check! I'll probably bring something with me when I go to pick him up.

Chili fell into my "stew" category, so it's something I've been thinking about, but I do make pretty good chili.
posted by Diagonalize at 1:36 PM on September 11, 2009

If you want to cook something, check out Lunch in a Box. Most of her recipes are made to be eaten at room temperature several hours after making.

Also, leftover Indian food always tastes terrific on the second day, so I don't think that would be a problem if you picked some up before hand.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:37 PM on September 11, 2009

Response by poster: Ah, bento, my old friend. It's not that I don't like bento. I love bento, but that's the kind of thing I'd make for him to take with him when he's leaving, not when he's coming back.

But the Indian food, man, I could always go for a curry. I should see if he'll respond to the siren call of reheated vindaloo. Or I suppose I could make a Japanese curry. Japanese curry, hmm...
posted by Diagonalize at 1:48 PM on September 11, 2009

Chicken soup made with the whole bird can be left simmering for hours.
posted by brujita at 2:00 PM on September 11, 2009

If you do feel like cooking in advance, Kylie Kwong's Chicken with Cashews recipe is easy and tastes even better straight from the fridge the next day.

Greeting him at the airport with a cold soda (and perhaps a granola bar or something small in case he's dying from hunger) is a great idea.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:10 PM on September 11, 2009

Late at night? Macaroni and cheese.

After a long haul, I can't eat anything complicated. Scrambled eggs, hash browns, and toast hit the spot and don't take long to make.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:22 PM on September 11, 2009

If you want an entirely unrelated fresh and delicious dessert, you might want to pick up cannolis and bread at Bova's (24 hour bakery! awesome!), though I suppose that runs into the "he was just in Italy" problem.
posted by ubersturm at 3:20 PM on September 11, 2009

Response by poster: Despite the ridiculously long wait to get through customs, we did end up getting back in time to order some (thoroughly Americanized) Chinese food. It was acceptable, and he was pleased. Thanks for everybody's suggestions!
posted by Diagonalize at 11:47 AM on September 14, 2009

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