America's 10 Best Food Cities - United Hub
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America's 10 best food cities

By The Hub team, July 12, 2016

Whether we're picking a vacation spot or a new place to live, it's safe to say that we let our stomachs guide our decisions. We want a city with great regional dishes and innovative chefs, and, well, restaurants with character (an alfresco farmhouse table just does something to us). Here are our picks for America's ten best food cities, whether you're pondering a move, or just lunch.


Bagels and Lox board display at a restaurant

New York, NY

Sure, sure, it's a no-brainer, but let's take a look at what you can actually order up in the Big Apple. For one thing, NYC has twice as many three-star Michelin-rated restaurants as any other American city. And on the other end of the spectrum, there's the $4.50 Recession Special at Gray's Papaya (two dogs and a soda) . And that's to say nothing of those New York-specific foods you just can't get anywhere else. We're looking at you, bagels and lox, pastrami sandwiches, pizza (real pizza, guys) and black-and-white cookies.

Crispy spiced quail with tart onions on a plate

San Francisco, CA

It's hard to imagine a city more obsessed with food than San Francisco (and the surrounding Bay Area). It's the kind of place where $4 slices of toast are now the norm--and when slathered with cream cheese, black pepper and sea salt, like they are at The Mill, that's just fine by us. Iconic restaurants like Chez Panisse and Zuni Café helped define the American farm-to-table movement, and there are plenty of stellar newcomers following suit, such as The Progress (shaved romanesco salad with pig fries) and State Bird Provisions (crispy spiced quail with tart onions). Plus, if you live in SF you have a pretty fun neighbor: wine-guzzling Napa Valley.


Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago, IL

Hot dogs loaded with pickles, peppers, mustard, tomato slices and celery salt. Deep-dish pizza so thick it might as well be a casserole. Chicago certainly does street food right.And if you're in the mood for something on a white tablecloth, try Rick Bayless's empire of authentic Mexican restaurants. Or maybe Alinea--Grant Achatz's palace of molecular gastronomy for a 16-course meal featuring dishes like hot potato, cold potato, black truffle and butter.


Smoked-salmon pizza

Los Angeles, CA

Turns out, L.A. is more than just wheatgrass shots at Juice Crafters after a hike through Laurel Canyon (though that is kind of a magical duo). It's also smoked-salmon pizza at Spago in Beverly Hills, chicken and waffles at Roscoe's and the best chopped salad of your life at La Scala (it was, after all, Marilyn Monroe's standing order).


powdered-sugar beignet

New Orleans, LA

Welp, it's hard to know where to begin with New Orleans, a city unlike any other in America, where food is fundamental to nearly everything. The logical place, of course, is Café Du Monde, over a powdered-sugar beignet and a steaming cup of café au lait. Move on to Creole classics like jambalaya and gumbo, catfish po' boys, chargrilled oysters and anything cooked by John Besh.


Fried Chicken over steamed oysters

Charleston, SC

Charleston may not be the biggest city on this list, but what it lacks in square mileage and population, it makes up for in grits. They do Southern staples right--from crispy fried chicken to tangy, mustard-sauced pulled pork (remember, barbecue in Charleston means pork down-home pit-cooked in mustard barbecue sauce). Then there are Sean Brock's restaurants Husk and McCrady's, where everything--save for the expansive wine lists--is locally grown in the South and prepared as an homage to traditional Southern cooking. Head 25 minutes downtown for steamed oysters and perfect sunsets at Bowens Island.


Multiple colorful donuts

Portland, OR

Yes, you're right. The entire East Coast (or at least all of Brooklyn) has packed up and moved to Portland. Plopped down in the middle of verdant farmland, Portland has produce aplenty and knows what to do with it. Take Toro Bravo, where the kitchen dishes out tapas like marinated sheep's cheese with rose-petal harrisa and mint, made from local ingredients and given a Spanish twist. Plus, there's Pok Pok (some say it's the best Thai food in the country), Voodoo Donuts and enough artisanal coffee roasters to keep your food tour highly caffeinated.


Brisket, sausage, beans, cole slaw on a tray

Austin, TX

If we had to live on barbecue and tacos for the rest of our lives, we're pretty sure we'd be just fine. Austin is pretty much killing it on both of those fronts. Fans flock to Franklin's for brisket (after just a few hours in line) and The Salt Lick for sausage (and, well, more brisket). And while picking a favorite taco is like picking a favorite child, you certainly can't go wrong starting with ones stuffed with scrambled eggs and chorizo at El Primo.


Roast pork sandwich with sauteed broccoli rabe

Philadelphia, PA

Everyone knows the cheesesteak (Pat's? Geno's? Jim's?). Lesser known (but, dare we say, even tastier?) is the roast pork sandwich, dripping with melted provolone cheese and sautéed broccoli rabe. We recommend picking one up at Redding Terminal, the city's bustling food market, before moving on to fried chicken and doughnuts at Federal Donuts, and some transcendent hummus and Israeli salads at Zahav or Dizengoff. Diet starts tomorrow.

Fish throwing in Seattle

Seattle, WA

If fish throwing is one of your top tourist attractions, you get a spot on this list. Enough said.

This article was written by editor@purewow.com (PureWow) from PureWow and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

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