Have you flown out of Long Beach Airport lately? It's changed so much in the last year or so, I don't recognize it anymore. And that's a good thing. Now that construction on the new terminals is complete, the temporary trailers I used to wait in for my flights are history. They've been replaced by an open-air garden separating two spacious concourses. And in those concourses: a food court that no chains, not even a Starbucks, currently inhabit. Instead your choices are a collection of local names like McKenna's, which opened Burger Bar there, and the always dependable George's Greek Cafe.
And if you decide on George's counter for your pre-flight meal, there's really no better choice than the gyro: spongy meat petals shaved from a seasoned hunk of beef and lamb twirling on a spit. A pita pillow hugs the mass which is topped with gobs of tzantziki, fresh chopped tomatoes, red onion, and cucumbers. Order it way before you have to board though. It's messy and massive, the 747 of gyros. And it takes time to completely consume and then wash up before you get on the plane. I had to whittle it down a bit with a fork and knife before I could even attempt to pick it up. And I haven't even mentioned the generous pile of fries that came rippling hot out of the fryer.
So yes, LGB is excellent. Parking is a breeze (if a little overpriced), the security line is short, and believe it or not, eating at George's here, in the brand-spanking new concourse with barely a soul in it, actually makes going to the airport a pleasurable experience.
4100 Donald Douglas Dr, Long Beach, CA 90808, (562) 570-2600