Airport area eateries offer good food |

Airport area eateries offer good food

Recently, Johnnie Saletti wrote a piece about how Saletti’s, her parents’ restaurant, is closing after a long and successful run here in the valley. It struck a note with me as I have been interviewing some local restaurants for the Journal. When I was younger my mom operated several restaurants in Las Vegas. I can relate with Johnnie Saletti on the toll it takes on a family. My mom was a widow raising three kids and it was certainly difficult. I remember sitting on an old sofa in the back room where the supplies were kept, watching “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Gilligan’s Island,” game shows and, at times, the Indianapolis 500. I certainly didn’t appreciate all the hard work that was going on around me when I was 9 and 10 years-old. But as I have grown I look back to those times and remember how mom, as the short order cook, could work circles around me any day of the week. So, in honor of my mom, the Salettis and all who work in the culinary industry, I would like to say a big thank you for all your dedication, long hours and hard work.

As I stated when I first began this column it is about being informative. This month I would like to call your attention to two local restaurants you may not even know exist in our expanded neighborhood. I hope you seek them out and patronize them. They work hard and deserve your business.

The first restaurant is the Taildragger Cafe, located at the Minden Airport. Longtime residents already know it is the place to go for a good meal. You can sit at the window tables and watch the airplanes and pilots while enjoying one of the best hamburgers in town. The restaurant is owned by Meg Getty and managed by Renee McElvain. The Taildragger opened 13 years ago and provides a large café-style menu. Renee post many daily specials but states the one-third pound sirloin burger is their most popular request. The Taildragger strives to serve the local businesses with low prices and prompt service, often getting patrons in and out in 30 minutes.

According to Renee, the biggest challenge is keeping customers and getting their return business. She promises quality food and customer satisfaction. Management monitors the social media pages for reviews and they are always receptive to customer comments. Whatever experience you have please make sure you make management aware so they can continue the positive and correct the negative.

Renee is very excited about the return of the Thunderbirds during the Aviation Roundup Oct. 7-8. The Taildragger not only offers good, quality food but they also have a full bar including bar mounted slots and poker. Taildraggers’ business hours are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. You can find their menu on Facebook if you search for Taildragger Cafe.

Next is Flight Restaurant and Bar which opened in May of 2012. The eatery is located at 2244 Meridian Blvd Suite A along Airport Road on the south side in the Meridian Business Park. Flight can be a little harder to locate as it is very limited in what it is allowed to do for signage. Rest assured the eatery makes up for it with excellent food, and on Fridays Flight often features a live band. The owner of Flight is Lori Baxter, a very enthusiastic owner who loves her customers. Lori describes Flight as casual dining with great salads, appetizers, sandwiches and steaks. Flight runs a prime rib special each Friday night for $19.95. Lori swears by the chicken chardonnay. I went back a few days after the interview and gave it a try — it was delicious. Flight’s chips and dip are homemade, and you can’t beat the garlic fries. Flight also offers fresh fish dishes and calamari.

Flight’s challenges are a difficult location for an affordable rent, the economy and getting good employees. Lori states she tries to meet those challenges by provide a fair price with great food, the right staff and consistent food quality. When asked what she wants her restaurant to be known for, Lori offered the restaurant’s slogan — “amazing food, great prices, friendly staff.” Flight uses customer comment cards and social media to monitor customer satisfaction. If you ever experience anything different please let her know and she will go out of her way to make it right.

Flight also offers a full bar with gaming. Lori offers catering for weddings and special events. Flight provides local businesses with delivery for orders placed prior to 9:30. You can find their menu at Flight’s hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday thru Friday, 4:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday amd 4:30-10 p.m. Friday. The bar is open as long as there are customers.

In case you didn’t realize it, we are losing restaurants. Saletti’s closes February 14th. Independence Diner, I’d Eat There and others have closed. Louie’s suffered a leak which has temporarily closed the restaurant for repairs. No business can survive without customers and I hate to see a restaurant fail. Many times, there are a lot of factors which can hurt beyond the point of recovery for an owner. Please realize they are working hard for you. Give them a thank you and a generous tip if you can. I encourage you to take a night out and explore your community. We have some great restaurants in the area and they deserve your business. I will have some others in the coming months.

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