Washington, Dulles (IAD) to Frankfurt in Lufthansa First
Ok, so I lied. I initially intended to make one long post about the travel all the way to Tajikistan, but since I normally post trip reports so late that I forget the details I’m going to do this entry while it’s still fresh in my mind. By fresh in my mind, I mean Lufthansa’s beverage offerings haven’t completely erased my memory 😉 So, live from the Lufthansa B-Terminal First Lounge in Frankfurt…
This is mainly going to be a pictures post. If you’re not interesting in airline food and drink porn, you might want to stop reading now. So, thanks to Mohammad from Über, the trip to Dulles was completely uneventful, despite the heavy rains in Washington. Check-in at the Lufthansa First counter went smoothly, and the upgrade from business to first was confirmed. A very promising start to the trip! Tried to use pre-check, but Lufthansa doesn’t participate, so it was downstairs to security theatre with TSA. Wasn’t feeling like a nice dose of radiation today, so decided to opt out since I’ve never done it before. There appear to be two types of TSA agents: those who get their jollies when they get to do the pat-down, and those who get really uncomfortable with it. Today’s lucky TSA winner was somewhere between 100 and 200 years old, and moved slower than most snails. He changed rubber gloves three times before finding a pair he liked (OCD much?) and then the TSA tug and grope could begin. After reading the speech about what he was going to do, he started telling me his life story. I mean, come on, it’s awkward enough you’re groping me but I don’t need your life story. Just because you’re getting frisky with me doesn’t mean we’re gonna date…
Soon enough it was over, and I was on the way to the United Global First lounge. The Lufthansa Senator lounge is usually way too crowded, so I opted to go hang with United for a few glasses of Veuve. Or so I thought. It appears that the one thing I didn’t think United would dare Jeff Up (champers in the first lounge) they did. The Veuve has disappeared some time in the last month, replaced by Heidseck Monopole Blue Label. Perfectly drinkable, but another example of United doing the cheap. At least the shrimps are still there – for now.
After catching up on e-mail, I got back on the train about an hour prior to departure to check out the Senator Lounge. They’ve roped off a corner of it now for first class passengers, it it seriously feels like a closet. The biggest benefit, however, is an improved drink selection in this corner of the lounge.
Spent about 15 minutes there, and then the agents came to grab me for boarding, which was done straight from the lounge – a nice touch. Upon boarding:
Shortly after takeoff, it was time for an amuse bouche, smoked salmon on a cucumber slice. Tasty enough…esp when washed down with a glass of Cuvée Louise 1999 bubbles. This is a good time to discuss the drinks menu. Lufthansa likes to mix up the bubbly, and this was a tasty enough option. There were also four white and four red options:
2011 Kiedrich Gräfenberg – Weingut Robert Weil Riesling
2011 DeLoach Russian River Valley Chardonnay
2012 Salwey Grauburgunder RS
2011 Domaine Long-Depaquit Maison Albert Bichot Chablis Grand Cru
…and for reds:
2006 Château Laroze Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé
2009 Peter Lehmann Barossa Valley “The Futures” Shiraz
2007 Barone Ricasoli Casalferro
2011 Galpin Peak Pinot Noir
…and for dessert:
2010 Reichsrat von Buhl Scheurebe Auslese
The champagne was quite good, and I stuck with it through the meal, so can’t really comment on the wines at all. Back to the amuse bouche:
Soon the table was set for dinner. Mmmm garlic bread.
Then came the caviar.
After serving it, she made sure to tell me “there’s more if you want more.” I suspect Lufthansa is taking notes on passengers, and my name comes with a note of “two caviar courses.” So, yes, I couldn’t turn it down. Round two:
Then, the mixed appetizers:
On the right – citrus cured scallops
In the centre – Beef Ravioli with Balsamic Glaze. Incredibly tasty, but couldn’t taste the beef at all. Oh wait, looking at the menu again it says BEET ravioli. It all makes more sense now…no wonder. I blame the champagne.
On the left – Seared Beef Tataki with Papaya Salad and roasted Peanuts. Again, incredibly tasty. Lufthansa was doing very well with the starters on the new menu.
I still had room for more, so it was time for the “Fresh Salad with yellow roasted Tomatoes presented with delicious Dressing.” I’m not sure I’d call it delicious, but it was certainly tasty enough. Some creamy yogurt concoction.
There were five choices for the main, and one instantly stood out. In retrospect, I wish it hadn’t. The other four choices:
Tenderloin of Beef with Plum Chutney, roasted Yukon and Leek
Stir-fried Egg Noodles with Eggplant
Roasted Chicken Breast with Sesame Glaze and Bok Choy, Quinoa
Pumpkin Stew with Ginger Chicken (this sounded tasty, and I kind of wish I’d chosen this.)
However, I went with the “Butter poached Lobster with Butternut Squash and Fingerling Potato. Now, the sides were quite tasty, but the lobster had the texture of an old tire. Chewy, bland, and rubbery with almost no taste at all. It was a serious disappointment and gave a bad name to lobsters everywhere.
I did, however, finish it of course, and moved on to the cheese course. “Sage Derby, Parmesan, Gruyère, Cambozola, Humboldt Fog garnished with Grapes.” Yum, it was tasty, and unusual for me I finished a small sample of each.
I was completely stuffed by this point, but couldn’t resist the promise of “Warm Chocolate Cake” with vanilla ice cream. And another glass of port. Just to make sure of course.
…and finally, a couple of glasses of Johnny Walker Blue, with one ice cube, and chocolates. Yum.
It was at this point I completely passed out for more than five hours, waking up about 15 minutes before landing in a very, very foggy Frankfurt. More to come soon, starting with the First Class Lounge in Frankfurt and the flights to Istanbul and Dushanbe.