The Airport Diner is between Belfair and Bremerton on the Kitsap Peninsula right off of Highway 3. The Diner is in the airport but is accessible to the general public. You can sit and eat, looking out at small airplanes taking off and landing. A good handful of them fly in just to eat. Then they fly away. The first time I ate at the diner was four years ago. When my mom and step-dad suggested it to my husband and I, we were skeptical. Why would you drive somewhere to eat at a place that had the word 'airport' and 'diner' in the title? It brings to mind those wonderful unidentifiable plates of food they used to serve on flights.
We were back over on the Peninsula to stay for a week on a lake, spending time in the canoe and staring at the trees. Twice during that week we trekked over to the Airport Diner. For our first visit I ordered a shrimp salad. I felt like that was pretty risky but the lettuce was crisp and fresh (and it wasn't iceberg though I like iceberg!). It was a great salad, not fancy but straightforward and fresh. My mom ordered fish tacos which were served on three corn tortillas with salsa fresca and french fries. The tacos were flavorful with a small spicy bite to them. The salsa was fresh and tasty. My husband, son and step-dad chose an order of halibut fish and chips to share. They were served with a generous pile of french fries and an order of coleslaw. The coleslaw showed up with thinly sliced crunchy cabbage and small slivers of bright orange carrots mixed in. The dressing was tangy and sweet and did not overwhelm the slaw. The fish was flaky and moist surrounded by flavorful golden batter. The french fries were thick but not soggy. They were crisp and golden, which for large cut fries is difficult.
For our second visit the boys stuck with the fish and chips and it seemed consistent with the first batch. My mom ordered the gumbo and I picked a chicken avocado bacon sandwich. The gumbo was served in an odd way on a big open low bowl (almost a plate). Being a stew like substance this wasn't the best presentation. It was a sea of dull red. If they'd thrown it in a deeper bowl with a few sprigs of something fresh on top it would have made a world of difference (only in terms of presentation). The gumbo was spicy and loaded with seafood served on top of a bed of rice. My mom seemed pretty happy with it. My chicken sandwich was okay. The chicken breast was grilled but still moist. It was served with fresh avocado on a classic sesame bun and it did the trick.
When you walk in the restaurant you are told to find a seat. They show up with laminated menus and if the food takes a little longer (i.e. more than 10 minutes) and you have kids, the waitress shows up with crayons and paper to color on. We ordered ice tea with lemon in it (they ask you if you want lemon) which was served in these giant plastic glasses. It was fresh and tasty and they ask you if you want a refill when your glass is 2/3rds empty. They also stop by to ask you if you are happy with your food after dropping it off. The service was pretty good both times we were there and the food wavered between good and pretty good, especially for a greasy spoon type restaurant. The ambiance is diner ambiance, nothing fancy at all.
But did I mention you get to watch airplanes and helicopters take off and land while you eat? Not your typical restaurant view. If you are out in that area I would recommend you stop by.