From comparing ticket prices to coordinating your 3-1-1, air travel requires careful planning. But the most important—and pleasurable—step is a stop at Surdyk’s Flights (located at both Terminal 1–Lindberg and Terminal 2–Humphrey) to assemble an in-flight picnic.
A Northeast Minneapolis institution, Surdyk’s was established in 1934 and has been the area’s go-to source for gourmet wine and cheese ever since. Locals in the know often stop by for lunch where, along with your wine and cheese, you can order a freshly made sandwich and a cup of homemade soup.
The same experience can be found at the airport with a few tweaks, such as pre-made sandwiches (to keep the line moving quickly), a pared-down wine selection, and a simple, fresh hot menu, which includes breakfast.
The real treasure here is the grab-and-go ficelle sandwich. It starts with a skinny sliver of a loaf—similar to a mini baguette with a bit of extra crunch. This is slathered with salty, cultured butter and layered with thinly sliced salami and baby arugula. Nothing could be simpler or more elegant.
If the ficelles’ case is empty (they go fast), there are plenty of other options, from the Surdyk’s version of a banh mi—a Vietnamese sandwich with pickled vegetables and chicken—to a classic vegetarian tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwich, all wrapped and ready to go. To complete your picnic, grab a single-serve bottle of Surdyk’s house wine (the to-go glass is attached) and a fudgy brownie so big you can share with your seatmates. If you require a smaller snack—just a little something to tide you over—go with the Bavarian-style pretzel ($2.50) (and be sure to say “yes” to the cheese sauce).
If you have time to spare, take a seat at one of Surdyk’s charming sidewalk patios located in the middle of the Airport Mall at Terminal 1 and in Concourse H at Terminal 2. Low fences and sweet streetlights surround private tables where you can enjoy herbed salmon baked in parchment ($15) or a small pot of chicken liver mousse ($9) spread on thick, crusty bread—simple, delicious pleasures that mark the end of planning and the beginning of your long-awaited vacation.