News and notes from Hartsfield-Jackson, the world's busiest airport

Could airport restaurants become a destination on their own?

In another sign of the evolution of airport restaurants, airport concessionaire HMSHost has declared October "Airport Restaurant Month."

It's the second year the company has celebrated airport restaurant month with special menus at airport concessions around North America.

It's an unusual move since "restaurant week" in a city or neighborhood often serves the purpose of drawing diners to try restaurants they otherwise may not have visited. A decision to eat at an airport restaurant, on the other hand, is often the product of necessity and proximity -- not palatal discrimination. Too, airport restaurants are not typically known as culinary oases.

Nevertheless, airport concessions nationally and in Atlanta have been improving over the years to feature more upscale offerings and local favorites.

In Atlanta, HMSHost's restaurant month includes a chef's tasting menu at one restaurant at Hartsfield-Jackson: the Atlanta ChopHouse & Brewery in the domestic terminal atrium.

The menu costs $22 to $25 with an entree of pan-roasted Atlantic salmon, grilled chicken breast or Berkshire pork tenderloin, along with a choice of a side.

While restaurant weeks often offer a three-course meal, it's true that travelers are often rushed and may not linger for dessert. The Atlanta ChopHouse location in the pre-security area of the terminal does make it accessible for people who are not taking a flight, such as those who waiting for friends or family to arrive.

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About the Author

Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.