When flying to another airport for a hundred dollar hamburger, a big part of the tradition is simply finding an excuse to fly somewhere. But that doesn’t mean that the culinary experience that you have at the destination airport isn’t significant. After all, food is a basic need on Maslow’s hierarchy that you need to fulfill first. Further, you are limited to a reasonable radius from your home airport before your hundred dollar hamburger becomes a thousand dollar hamburger. That’s some real fancy ketchup. I just got back from a road trip from Georgia to Oklahoma for a family event. My wife is too pregnant to fly, so we took to the streets. While I was there, I discovered a fun way to get the destination portion of a hundred dollar hamburger: by dining at the local airport.
We began our adventure in Norman, at the house of our Oklahoma family. Just a few miles down the road is Max Westheimer Field (KOUN). As is customary, we let the locals decide where we should eat, but I was surprised when the local airfield was the destination. You don’t have to ask me twice to go to an airport. I’d be happy eating vending machine snacks and watching airplanes any day of the week, but on this day, we got a bonus: a restaurant on the airfield that’s crazy popular with the locals.
The restaurant is called Ozzie’s Diner. We had a rather large party, and happened to get there right in time. About the time we were getting our drinks, there was a line out the door waiting to be seated. I grabbed the menu and quickly learned the source of the restaurant’s popularity. In front of me was a $6.99 all-you can-eat breakfast. You order the items you want, and when you want more, you order more. The seating is all indoors and has windows running the length of the restaurant with a view right out to the flight line. Planes coming and going park right up near the restaurant, and a little fenced in grassy viewing area allows you to step outside for a closer view. Let the games begin.
Chock It Up To The Checklist
After breakfast, we stood outside and watched the planes. One particular light twin loaded up with four people who had just walked out past us. I watched as they walked around the plane. It appeared that the pilot was explaining the pre-flight. I watched as they got in and closed the doors. “I sure hope they remember that chock on the nosewheel,” I said out loud. The left engine started up. I walked up closer to the gate for a better look. Do I flag them down? Maybe they are just demonstrating some systems to students and don’t intend to move. The engine shut back down as a door opened back up. One of the passengers hopped out, grabbed the chocks and ran them over by us. “Forgot these,” he chuckled, as he dropped them and ran back. Situation averted. I’m hoping that was caught with the good use of a checklist inside. That’s the lesson I’ll take from it anyway.
When I travel to new places, I usually seek out the restaurants in town. I haven’t given much thought to finding good airport restaurants by car before this trip, but it’ll be a regular search from here on out. FunPlacesToFly is a great way to search for restaurants on airfields. As a bonus, you might even find an OpenAirplane location where you can rent a plane anywhere you travel. So get outside your usual radius and find some new spots. Then let us know about them so we can get in on that, too.
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