Redesign of terminal evokes Jersey Shore
By Liz Fuerst • EWRzone.com
Have time before a flight? Want to have a meal with a close friend before you head into the security checkpoint? There are a number of good places to eat in this basically domestic air terminal before the traveler goes through screening. Westfield Corp. mall developers, with headquarters in Australia, finished updating the terminal’s old Concourse Level food court at the end of 2014. It is now called Liberty Terrace and features a configuration that evokes restaurants along a boardwalk. It’s very “New Jersey,” according to Westfield executives. There’s even a wooden floor inset inside paving stones, just like real shore boardwalks.
Emphasis is on quick service (Westfield doesn’t use the term “fast food”), and every concession has agreed to offer a variety of healthy eating options. In fact, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in 2014 ranked Newark Airport as fifth in the nation for healthy food options.
Because of traveler demand, Westfield has also laced Liberty Terrace liberally with new electrical outlets and USB ports for charging digital devices.
At the gates, a traveler can stock up for the plane from easy grab-and-go purveyors or relax at comfortable sit-down eateries, most of them outposts of the big national chains. Whether you like Tex-Mex, Italian, Chinese, or American BBQ, Terminal A has your back.
Grab a snack
Dunkin’ Donuts: Near entrance to Gates A10-18. America runs on it. Dunkindonuts.com. (973) 623-8888. Open until 10 p.m.
Jamba Juice: Liberty Terrace Food Court. Juices, smoothies, breakfast wraps, and healthy options such as steel-cut oatmeal and energy bowls. Jambajuice.com. (973) 424-0888. Open until 10 p.m.
Market Express: Located outside entrance to Gates A30-39. Beverages, sandwiches, wraps, yogurts, and fresh fruits. Remember not to take beverages through security!
Have a meal
Cheeburger Cheeburger Express: Liberty Terrace Food Court. All Angus-beef burgers, fries, grilled chicken. Cheeburger.com. (800) 487-6211. Open until 10 p.m.
Jersey Mike’s Subs: Liberty Terrace Food Court. Subs made just like at the Jersey shore. Jerseymikes.com. (973) 504-8400. Open until 10 p.m.
Manchu Wok: Liberty Terrace Food Court. Chinese quick service, including soups, eggrolls, Mongolian beef, and orange chicken. A full plate with an entrée, drink, and fried rice or lo mein noodles runs around $9. Manchuwok.com. Open until 10 p.m.
Qdoba Mexican Grill: Liberty Terrace Food Court. Tacos, burritos and other Mexican fare. Qdoba.com. (973) 242-0916. Open until 10 p.m.
Tony Roma’s: Between Gates A20-28 & A30-39. Sit-down restaurant that is legendary for fried onion loaf and BBQ ribs, both baby backs and short ribs. Serves alcohol. Also on the menu are burgers, pasta, a Cajun-seared mahi mahi, and various appetizers. tonyromas.com. (973) 547-7944. Open until 9 p.m.
Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen: Liberty Terrace Food Court. Thin crust and Sicilian pies, strombolis, pastas and baked chicken wings in a tangy sauce. Sandwiches like Chicken Caesar Pizza Wrap intrigue diners. New healthy options like steamed vegetables and Green Leafs’ build-your-own salads. villapizza.com. (973) 623-2717. Open until 10 p.m.
Grab a snack
Abica Coffee: Gates A20-28. 10-18. Coffee from everyday varieties to exotics such as Guatemala “Antigua,” coffee from Papua New Guinea, organic Bolivian, and boyo from Cameroon. Decaf is made via Swiss water decaffeination process. Also teas, smoothies, breakfast muffins, and snacks. No website.
Abica Coffee/Boar’s Head: Gates A10-18. Along with coffees, teas, and beverages, this vendor offers sandwiches made from Boar’s Head meats and cheeses. Breakfast items, too. No website.
Auntie Anne’s: Gates A20-28. Serving the chain’s famous pretzels, pretzel hot dogs, and refreshing lemonades, some fruit-flavored. Try the cheddar-stuffed pretzel nuggets. auntieannes.com (973) 624-1111.
Auntie Anne’s Express: Gates A10-18. Kiosk serving Auntie Anne’s pretzel-centric goodies as snacks for the plane. auntieannes.com.
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream: Gates A10-18. All the flavors, from the new “The Tonight Dough,” the fave of host Jimmy Fallon, to those old favorites “Chubby Hubby” and “Karamel Sutra.” Cups or cones. They also have drinks.
Jamba Juice Express: Gates A20-28. Juices, smoothies, breakfast wraps, and healthy options such as steel-cut oatmeal and energy bowls. Jambajuice.com. (973) 424-0888.
Java Moon Café: Gates A30-39. A local NJ provider of coffee ad healthy-option snackables such as hummus and crackers in a container. Perfect to take on the plane. Java Moon has started offering hot Panini-style sandwiches such as quesadillas and Philly cheesesteak.javamooncafe.com. (732) 928-3633.
Market Fresh: Gates A10-18. Beverages, sandwiches, wraps, yogurts, and fresh fruits. A good place to buy waters to take on the plane. (973) 624-0205.
Have a meal
Currito Cantina: Gates A10-18. A national chain known for the quality of its burritos, tacos, guacamole, Mexican toppings like roasted corn salsa, and hot sauces. The restaurants bills itself as “Burritos without Borders,” a nod to the Japanese, Indian, and Thai-Peanut, and Buffalo concoctions on the menu. currito.com. (973) 5457-7938.
Earl of Sandwich: Gates A20-28. Hearty hot sandwiches such as a Reuben with pastrami, and the Earl’s Club with turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Also serves salads, soups, and desserts. Hot breakfast sandwiches, bagels, and fresh fruit yogurt parfaits served until 11 a.m. Dinner is available starting at 4 p.m., with pastas and stuffed baked potatoes with toppings. earlofsandwichusa.com. (973) 854-6133.
Phillips Seafood: Concourse, Gates A30-39. A sit-down seafood restaurant that originated in Baltimore, serving Maryland favorites like premium crab cakes. There’s meat and chicken on the menu as well. Good for lunch with crabcake sliders and other sandwiches and tacos. Serves a wide variety of wines by the glass and bottle, draft beers, and Phillips’ signature drinks like a Bloody Mary and Blue Crab Margarita. Phillipsseafood.com. (973) 242-0600.
Ruby Tuesday’s: Gates A30-29. A sit-down restaurant that has just redecorated and expanded. Menu is pared down from larger restaurants in this national chain but still a great selection of steaks, burgers, salads, and sandwiches. Serves alcohol. A small kiosk called Ruby Tue Go is just outside the restaurant for grab and go. rubytuesday.com. (973) 547-7929.