Friday, June 20, 2014

Legal's Test Kitchen (Logan Airport, Boston, MA)

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Renowned local seafood chain Legal Seafood has gone regional, and now has 34 restaurants from Massachusetts to Georgia, including their "Test Kitchens," restaurants where they try new recipes, as well as showcase old favorites.  Featuring both local and nationally sourced seafood, they espouse a philosophy of using fish from sustainable sources and fisheries, and offer a high level of service and product.  This review is a little different from most because it is not of a restaurant that is accessible to the daily diner; it is, rather, of one of their locations that happens to be located inside Logan Airport.  That said, Legal's Test Kitchen (LTK, or like the rest of the restaurant group, colloquially, Legal) Harborside is a restaurant I have tried in the past, and it was just as good (if not better) so I feel confident in recommending that restaurant as well, and even would go so far as to recommend the entirety of the Legal Seafood line.

As I am about to embark on a vacation abroad, I find myself in one of my least favorite places; the airport.  Not just any airport, either, but Logan, a hellish place that typically is among my least favorite places on earth.  Today, however, I arrived at lunch time, and since all I had had to eat was a doughnut at a staff meeting this morning and a piece of toast before leaving western Mass to head out to Boston, I figured food was a good idea.  LTK happened to be situated directly in front of my gate, so I decided to grab a beer and a bite to eat.  They do not have a particularly extensive list of craft beers, but old mainstay Allagash White was among them, so I cannot complain too much.  The menu is rather limited at this particular location, but they had gumbo on the menu, a personal favorite and something I rarely pass up when the opportunity to order it presents itself.  Meals come up quickly here, as they should at an airport restaurant, with a clear recognition of the fact that people often are grabbing a quick meal between flights and have limited time, so mine came to me in probably five minutes.  Despite the rapidity of the cooking, everything was prepared pretty well, from the fried okra (breaded, strangely; it worked though) to the shrimp to the scallops; my only complain was a little bit of grit in the seafood, but considering the okra was not at all slimy, I am willing to call that a wash.  The gumbo was served with a mound of rice in the middle, which was simple white rice, but with the gravy-like soup it was very good, as the gumbo itself had a fair amount of flavor; clearly a proper roux was made in the preparation.  The dish included generous amounts of everything, and I am definitely not hungry as I write this.  That is a very good thing, seeing as the beer (only a 16oz, not the optional 23oz) and gumbo came to $26 before tip; nothing annoys me more than needing more food after spending that kind of money on lunch.

Airports are not typically known for providing good, or even acceptable food, but in this case Logan, and Legal's Test Kitchen, break the mold, and for that I am quite thankful.  I highly recommend stopping into Concourse A (across from A5) for lunch if you have the time while at Logan, or hitting up one of their nearly three dozen other locations throughout the northeast, mid-Atlantic and Georgia.

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