Lindbergh Field food court taking off in a new direction - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Lindbergh Field food court taking off in a new direction

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The food court at Lindbergh Field will soon be getting a facelift with a host of new restaurants. But they won't just be your typical chain stores.

Let's face it -- Lindbergh Field isn't exactly taking off with the most mouth-watering cuisine.

"There's not a good variety here and it's certainly not a healthy variety, so we'll probably go somewhere else," San Diego resident Dale Peplinski said.

But the Airport Authority Board is now writing out a new recipe for success by turning to some of San Diego's top restaurants to bring some local sizzle to your palate.

The San Francisco-based High Flying Foods has been recommended to run eight of the 16 food and beverage locations at Lindbergh Field. Some restaurants on the short list include Saffron Thai, Pannikin and Phil's BBQ.

"It allows you to be exposed to a lot of people that probably would never ever find your restaurant when they travel to San Diego for a vacation," Phil's BBQ owner Phil Pase said.

Within the proposal, the airport has specific criteria, which includes a condensed menu that also has breakfast items. For some vendors that are predominantly lunch and dinner-driven, the requirement means getting creative.

"One of the really fabulous things that my mom has been working on very hard is coming up with some exciting, fun, breakfast menu that has kind of a Thai influence," Saffron Thai co-owner Angela Goding said.

But for others, it's a chance to showcase their trademark favorites and freshly made treats.

"We're obviously going to offer a condensed version of the Pannikin. We'll have our wonderful coffee menu and all the drinks that we do, and our famous Mexican chocolate," Pannikin owner Shawn Holder said.

With a final decision expected Thursday, business owners are hopeful they have just the right ingredient to serve up a new, tastier era in airport dining.

"Our main goal is to feed people healthful food that's delicious and it's going to make you feel great when you get on an airplane," Goding said.

Some of the local restaurants the Airport Authority Board has already nixed include Hodad's, Sammy's Pizza, Jack in the Box and Barrio Star.

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