Terminal C North Now Open For Your Airport Dining (And Drinking) Pleasure

Terminal C North Pala and Bam Bam

A lengthy walk to my departing flight’s gate through the old Terminal C was my first hint that United’s new Terminal C North at George R. Bush Intercontinental Airport is now open. The chef-driven eateries at the terminal include Pala (curated by Coltivare and Revival Market’s Ryan Pera), Ember (from Chris Shepherd of Underbelly), Bam Bam from Cajun Kitchen’s John Nguyen and Monica Pope’s panini place, Olio. (Check out our preview report for more details on each.)

Unfortunately, I was behind schedule; boarding was in a mere 15 minutes. While I didn’t have time for a meal, I did have time to test the iPad ordering system with something that would be quick to make.

Pala bar
All seats in Terminal C North are outfitted with iPad ordering stations. Photo by Phaedra Cook

Everywhere you look in Terminal C North, travelers are relaxing at wide tables that have every seat outfitted with an iPad. The electronic tablets have a variety of functions, including games and checking on flight status. Also included is the ability to order from any restaurant in the terminal and have it delivered to your seat (even if you’re not seated in that particular restaurant).

I settled in at Pala, which was right next to my gate. Scanning your boarding pass grants access to the ordering system. I ordered a Collins. There were eight different vodkas and gins to choose from; I selected Citadel Gin, an old favorite that eschews heavy botanical notes and instead lets citrus flavors dominate.

Pala order screen
A sample iPad ordering screen; this particular menu is at Pala. Photo by Phaedra Cook

There are still some bugs to iron out with the system and the staff seems well aware of that. A server who was circling the floor and checking on diners seemed impressed I’d figured out the iPad system by myself (it was pretty easy) and circled back again to verify I’d actually placed an order. I had, but for some reason it didn’t actually made it to the bartender. The server “manually” alerted him.

Gin Collins Pala
A frosty Gin Collins from Pala in Terminal C North Photo by Phaedra Cook

Regardless, within 10 minutes of my arrival I was starting down a frosty, well-made, lemony Gin Collins—and that sure beats settling for an airplane cocktail. Unwilling to suck it down in five minutes, I was five minutes late for my “boarding group” instead. No one yelled at me and I was none the worse the wear for my tardiness.

The modern order system at Terminal C North is a lot of fun. Just don’t miss your flight.

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