Last week was opening day for John Wayne Airport's newest arrival, the Anaheim Ducks Breakaway Bar & Grill. Located in expanded Terminal C, between Southwest Gates 18 and 19, passengers can leisurely await flights with cocktails, sandwiches and flat-screen televisions. We scored a booth overlooking the runway and checked out a few of its offerings.
While only a limited number of items were available for sampling, we looked over the menu and were pleased they thought to include specialty non-alcoholic options besides soda, as well as a kids' menu.
Our beverage of choice that morning was the ginger swizzle, a
refreshing blend of ginger ale, mint and lime that tasted like a fizzy mojito.
Although what we really craved was anything off the breakfast menu (served until 10:30 a.m.) — maybe steel-cut oatmeal with toasted almonds or an egg-and-Tillamook Cheddar panini.
Recommended bites were tray-passed for the media event, saving the full-service treatment for real passengers. One was a shrimp-taco appetizer, incorporated with pasilla chiles, caramelized onions, queso fresco and avocado crema. The flavors were tasty, not overpowering. But the filling easily escaped the mini-tortilla, so it might be too messy for business travelers to appreciate.
An easier item to wield was a stacked rib-eye sandwich. Shrunken to slider form, it was originally plated minus the cheese, but benefited more from the inclusion. Barbecue sauce, applewood bacon and crispy onions are a few of our favorite things, making this a savory treat. Its extra-toasty bun also made a difference. It would easily pair well alongside any of the bar's bottled beers.
The last teaser was an upscale offering of charcuterie. We've tasted enough meat and cheese selections to know this was all right, but the bits of serrano, speck and piccante salami were miniscule. The dab of fig jam and pickled onion were hardly enough to enjoy. It made us thirsty for a glass of Red Rock merlot. What would've fared better with its tapas-style presentation was some of that Tuscan flatbread, topped with fennel sausage and mozzarella. Oh, well. . . .
If you love your hockey, or maybe are just sick of standing in a McDonalds or Starbucks line, mosey over to Breakaway and sit for a spell. We suggest a Punch In the Nose (Stoli, Pama, red berries and Red Bull) to keep you alert for final boarding call. Don't let the orange accents scare you off, and yes, those are actual hockey pucks and sticks incorporated into the décor.