As a fighter and bomber pilot in the USAF, you don’t get much exposure flying into civilian airports. Even the trainer I instructed in had fairly lengthy runway needs, as well as ground support equipment requirements most civil airports couldn’t accommodate. I did get a few really memorable airshows, but in general, most the flying was around the same flagpole.
Several of my airline mates, who came up flying regionals on their way to the mainline, typically got exposed to a wide variety of small markets, somewhat remote, and/or austere airports. This mismatch in experience usually manifests itself in me being really excited to go somewhere new, and the captains I fly with having flashback to their regional days.
I mention this because most pilots who move to the mainline fleets generally think their regional-type flying is a thing of the past. Well, not necessarily. My airline is starting to relook the routes the 150-passenger-type aircraft (like the A320 & 737) are flying. I currently fly the Airbus 320 and 319, so we’re seeing more very interesting places like Eugene OR, Missoula MT, and Burlington VT. On this particular trip, I got tagged off of short call reserve to fly a leg to Billings MT. Yes, the captain had some great stories from days-gone-by, and it was a very memorable layover.
Billings is huge on charm, and McCormick Cafetypified its warmth. The restaurant is located on the first floor of the old McCormick Hotel. Walking in the first thing that struck me were the high, red brick walls with an ornate ceiling and period light fixtures. The very next thing I couldn’t help but notice was the chalkboard menu, and mouthwatering aromas that drew me even farther into the establishment.
After close study of the menu, I set my sights on the Toucan. I can honestly say, I was very surprised when it arrived at the table. I had no idea what a treat I was in for. As it turns out, the Toucan is kind of like a breakfast calzone. It was incredible! Loaded with sausage, scallions and cheese, the savoriness of the main dish was very well complemented with a side of fresh fruit. It also filled the plate, so the rest of the day, i really didn’t get hungry until our last leg of the day that evening. Overall, McCormick Cafewas a win-win–great last and penalty of food for the price.
If you ever find yourself in Billings, I can highly recommend the
McCormick Cafe. It’s in a really neat setting, and is tasty too!