There’s a little spot in the shopping center across from Grissom High School that serves casual food in an aviation atmosphere. For Huntsville, it’s a great place to showcase shuttle flight memorabilia. I can imagine that any boy age three to eighty would get a kick out of the stuff on the walls. In fact, I saw several men, the tall and the small, enjoying looking at the goodies on the walls while waiting for their food. When Shane and I arrived, we were warmly greeted and we walked up to the counter to place our orders. I ordered the grilled chicken flatbread ($4.77) with a side of homemade chips ($1.20). As we waited for our food, we enjoyed the flat screen TVs located in the corners of the dining area. We also enjoyed the wall full of aviation posters and pictures beside our booth. The decor in Flyboys is nice; they have managed to incorporate an obvious theme without making the place feel like a Chuck E. Cheese.
When the food arrived (pretty quickly for made-to-order), it was immediately obvious that I had ordered the superior dish. My flatbread was delicious. It was soft and warm with a flavorful grilled chicken filling. They added lettuce, cheese, and house sauce (another Zaxby-like creation) to create a nice balance of flavors. The chips were delicious as well, although some of them were a bit on the thick side, making their texture a bit tough. If we visit Flyboys again, I wouldn’t hesitate to order the flatbread again. As for the Philly cheese and the banana pudding…I’ll leave that to Shane.
I’ll start where Melanie left off. Based on the order-taker’s recommendation, I ordered the Philly cheesesteak. It had an okay taste, but it looked pitiful and had no pride. The bun had a nice texture and was fresh, but it wasn’t warm and tasted plain. Plus, it lacked the requisite sheen of griddle grease that makes cheesesteaks tasty (and completely unhealthy). Worse than that, the steak was sparse. Contrary to the flattering picture below, many spots on the bun had never touched steak. The meat itself did taste okay, but I imagine Steak-umm would taste just as good. The toppings also were sparse and didn’t include bell pepper, which I thought was required by cheesesteaks. Hot and fresh, the side of fries helped the sandwich a little, but I was left wishing I’d brought a bottle of Heinz with me, since only Hunt’s ketchup was available. On the whole, I was awfully disappointed and left longing for the awesome cheesesteak served at Salem’s Diner in Homewood. For dessert, I ordered a $2.04 banana pudding. Based on the large poster advertising their “homemade banana pudding”, I thought it might be nice. Unfortunately, it was nothing special. Sure, it had bananas, vanilla wafers, whipped cream, and pudding, but the pudding tasted like it came out of a package, and the serving was small. The serving was pleasantly presented, but it lacked any soul food character that makes banana pudding what it is.
I don’t think I’ll return to FlyBoys. Our service was nice (the order-taker was professional, friendly, and helpful), and I enjoyed the novel and honest aviation atmosphere, but the strictly ordinary food just didn’t do it for me. The cheesesteak was a real letdown, and the banana pudding was homemade only in the Sandra Lee sense. Plus, it was too expensive, which really hurt the experience. I believe the people who run FlyBoys are trying hard, but it’s not enough to bring me back.
Some final thoughts: