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Dead Cow at 35,000 Feet!

Aboard American Airlines Flight 75
Seat 5G


Date of Flight: 29 February 2004 -- Somewhere over the Eastern US


OK, so this is my first "moving" Dead Cow meal review. Not really worthwhile, but it does take up space on this Web site!

So there I was, 35,000 feet (literally), flying from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, CA, after a long and busy week of doing "stuff" in the DC area. American Airlines flight 75 departed Dulles at 18:00 and I was hungry. For some reason or another, the glass of water and draught beer in the Admiral's Club did not fill me up! So I was ready for food.

Airline food is a challenge -- to say the least -- and I make it my policy not to eat it unless I am fortunate enough to be seated towards the pointy end of the airplane. And even then, it is a hit or miss proposition.

After reaching a reasonable altitude (the airplane, not me), the flight attendant came by and told me what my dining options were for the flight: grilled salmon, cheese tortellini, or beef tenderloin. Because I never eat fish on an airplane and any type of pasta dish served in flight always sucks, I was left with the Dead Cow. So be it.

The first course was a reasonably nice Caesar Salad. It was a nice size, tasted surprisingly like a Caesar Salad, and came with a great sourdough roll. After the salad, I asked for a glass of wine. My choices were "red" or "white". The "red" was some unknown merlot that, after application of the proper quantities, was not half-bad. Next came the Dead Cow.

It looked like either meat loaf or Salisbury Steak...not like Real Dead Cow. But I was hungry and it was just sitting there...beckoning me. So I picked up my plastic knife and fork and began eating. (Yes, for some reason, since 9/11 the TSA thinks that metal eating utensils are dangerous implements in the hands of hungry passengers. But only on US airlines; foreign carriers are smart enough to still use metal knives and forks in first class.) Oh ya, back to the Dead Cow. It was tough, cooked beyond recognition, and completely devoid of taste. But the tablespoon-size portion of "smashed potatoes" was very nice. I will say that after finishing my ninth or tenth glass of wine, even the mystery meat was starting to taste good! To end this misery (either the meal or this review), the hot fudge sundae dessert was wonderful.

First class and coach airline food quality, along with airline customer service in general, has declined drastically over the past decade. Look for more on airline and hotel customer service rants in a new section on DeadCowSociety.Com coming sometime soon.

In closing, the flight overall was nice, smooth, on-time, and we landed at the correct airport. Life is good. The crew of AA75 on 29 February are to be congratulated for their professionalism and a job well done. Happy Landings!


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