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In the past, airports were hardly the place one would consider going to for a good meal. Times change and airports are looking to reinvent themselves as a destination outside of travel with art exhibitions, shopping, and high-end dining experiences. So today, I stopped by The Landings at Carlsbad, located at McClellan-Palomar Airport, to try out their lunch menu.

After an initial misstep with parking (it’s the second lot on the right, not the first), I made my way into the restaurant. Despite an almost full house, the noise level was low as I chose a table near a window. Patio seating is also available. Christmas carols played softly in the background as four televisions projected muted golf and football.

Lunch, served from 11-5, offers a selection of sandwiches and wraps, burgers, fish tacos, and a tuna plate. Other than a side salad offered with the soup of the day or chili, there are no additional salad options. I asked if their veggie burgers are made in-house; they aren't. Okay. Continuing to look the menu over, one of the burgers caught my eye: “Incredible Peanut Butter Burger!!!” ($11) Three exclamation points really stand out on a menu, as does the word “Incredible”, so I took the subtle marketing clues and ordered it. Unable to decide between the coleslaw and the sweet potato fries for my side, the server offered to bring me a sample of the coleslaw. Though a tasty, classic version and made in the restaurant, I chose the fries.

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While enjoying the wall of windows, looking out over the runway and a couple of hangars, my meal was served. Open-faced, the 1/2 lb. Angus burger came with bacon, Swiss cheese, red onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and a mound of creamy peanut butter. My initial reaction was that there was too much peanut butter, but I left it on to experience the burger the way the chef intended. I did request a few more pickles to supplement the two tiny ones I received on this massive burger. After I put it together, I had no idea how I was going to be able to eat it; it was huge! Vacillating between my attempts at lady-like and sexy babe in that hamburger commercial bites, I managed to eat. It was very good. The flavors combined well with the peanut butter coming through for an occasional surprise.

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Was it worth three exclamation points? Maybe one and a half, and I would call it "Intriguing". Would I order it again? Probably…unless they add bigger salads to the menu.

The Landings at Carlsbad 2198 Palomar Airport Road #100, Carlsbad, CA 92008 (760) 929-0200 http://www.carlsbadlandings.com/ Open Monday through Saturday 8:30am to 9:00pm and Sundays from 8:30am to 4pm Happy Hour: 4:00 -7:00 p.m. Dinner: 5:00 -9:00 p.m. See website calendar for live entertainment schedule.

Comments
1

I've wanted to go there ever since it open but assumed it was a grab-a-bite before we get to La Costa type restaurant. Now that I know they offer a lunch menu, I'll go. I really miss the old burger joint that was above a hanger before they remodeled the airport. You could almost see every part of the runway, planes landing and taking off. My kids loved it better than McDonalds. I think planners really missed a great opportunity not putting the new eatery on a 2nd level.

Dec. 3, 2012

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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