It seems that every month United Airlines offers a slight variation on its cheeseburger, so for this week’s Meal of the Week let’s review the “steakhouse cheeseburger” I enjoyed earlier this week.
Steakhouse Cheeseburger On United Airlines – Yea Or Nay?
United Airlines promises that improvements to its onboard catering are coming, and they cannot come soon enough to Polaris Business Class. When it comes to domestic cabins, though, I find the current selections are very much hit or miss. While the chicken curry is not fit for (imaginary) dog, the burgers are usually a safe choice. Last month I wrote about the delicious bacon cheeseburger that was simply sublime. Yes, sublime.
I actually pre-ordered the smoked five spice tofu bowl (side note – I am trying to reduce red meat consumption this year and trying to develop an appreciation for tofu. I’m not sure if airline tofu is the way to accomplish this, but I figured I’d try one).
Well, that was not catered. Instead, a steakhouse cheeseburger was loaded, which was described as a “steakhouse burger with cheddar cheese and peppercorn sauce.” The meal was served with a grain salad, bread roll, and cookie…talk about a carb overload.
The burger was very good and I did eat the pretzel bun (leaving the other carbs on the plate), which adds a lot to it. I do not think the cheese was cheddar, though – it looked and tasted more like Monterey Jack cheese.
My suggestion to United: add a fresh green salad and bowl of fruit to every domestic meal. It’s simple, but people love it. I brought my own salad from the grab-and-go lounge and enjoyed it onboard with the burger.
Anyway, the burger was very nice. I do recommend it among the other options, though I will try again for the tofu bowl next time.
Have you tried the steakhouse cheeseburger? How did you like it?
I hate nightmares about these casserole dishes. Julia Child and Martha Stewart would NEVER
I know when I’m eating a hamburger on a bun I want a bread roll for a side dish! Great menu planning!
Whatever that corn side dish is needs to be removed ASAP. It doesn’t actually taste as bad as it looks but still needs to go.
The quality is still so lacking. Just like the new United Club at ORD. The Sky Club there is 100x better. The new lounge is dirty and the employees are more interested in chatting than working. The food selection is also miles behind Delta.
Dreadful prison fare
Please refer to the appropriate name of the condiment: Government cheese.
Pretty bad. We were delayed after the doors were closed and I think they had already put the meals in the ovens. As a result my steakburger roll was welded to the plate and burned, as was the meat. The salad was a mystery.
“ United Airlines promises that improvements to its onboard catering are coming” LOL!!! What a joke!!!
Miss me yet?
As Chief Executive Officer at United Airlines Holdings, Inc., Scott Kirby made $9,845,064 in total compensation. Of this total $1,000,000 was received as a salary, $0 was received as a bonus, $0 was received in stock options, $8,729,907 was awarded as stock and $115,157 came from other types of compensation. This information is according to proxy statements filed for the 2021 fiscal year. — can’t afford to replace the casserole dishes and upgrade the food!
United catering plain out sucks! They are trying to become a leading airline, but their premium soft product is still severely lacking and management does not seem to have a clue. This is part of the reason United Polaris is so awful for the prices they charge.
Beige food. The chef de cuisine should be fired. All beige, carbs with a side of carbs. Not even a garnish to break up the beige.
Totally agree. Takes so little effort to make it look more appealing. Little garnish, color..
Continental used to offer a nice green salad, bowl of soup, and side of fruit with the burger. Would make all the difference here in terms of appearance and creating a more balanced meal.
First, let me say that I am usually very tolerant of airline food and dont mind it considering I keep my expectations low (sure I miss the original Polaris stuff) – since I know it is not easy and can/will typically eat whatever it put in front of me….however, my recent OGG-SFO flight in F (sitting backwards in an old pre-Polaris 777), I ordered the “recommended by FA” chicken meal (and I also like/prefer the chicken dishes) – this was horrible and I couldnt/wouldn’t eat any of it. Was some random chicken thing with no flavor, horrible texture, etc and surrounded by nothing by rice. I was still hungry and asked for the cheese plate – and this was one of the few times that they actually had one on board. That was also horrible. In the past (like last month?) they had several reasonable sized wedges of different types of cheese, crackers, grapes, and a piece of candy – this had 2 small pieces of cheese (or cheese food as one was in a foil wrapper) and some kind of random fig spread… my first thought was – I cant believe people (including UA) paid for this?
waiting for my “how did you enjoy your flight” survey…..
I am a frequent international traveller on United Polaris class and most of the time just skip the meals on the flight. I eat at the lounge before boarding. The food in the Polaris lounge, although not always “sublime”, is sometimes very good and so much better than the in flight catering.
It seems your strategy may be United’s strategy, possibly–to push first and business to eat in lounges a la ‘who cares what’s being served on the flight because the food is better in the lounge’. I know we’ve heard reports that United is working on the in-flight issue, so perhaps this is the outgoing vendor being unhappy about them moving in a different direction.
I had this earlier this week as well. I asked the FA for a box on pringles. She had to get them from the coach cart but it was way better than the gain salad- that thing is terrible.
Good luck with the tofu.
Looks better than my white rice chicken entre’ with a cold white rice salad in old 1st on HNL-SFO. Either way UA 1st catering is pretty lame, especially with the salads.
Save yourself and don’t bother with the tofu dish. It’s utterly terrible.
Thanks for the tip.
Seriously, WTF? My dog would reject that
Based on the above, I now feel “entitled” while in economy with my mystery meat grub served on a federal prison platter and a biscuit as hard as an artillery shell.
I will save the biscuit to shoot down the Chinese weather balloon drifting over the US.
I will admit: fake Chinese spy balloons were not on my bingo card.
Looks like Biden beat me to the punch concerning the Chinese weather balloon while tying up traffic at three US airports.
However, I’ll lend the biscuit to the Air Force for future Chinese balloons….
I was on a west coast Delta flight in First and they had their cheeseburger. I was stunned at how completely decent it was. Not cooked to a hockey puck. Not cold. Kind of perfect? Took a few leaves of the side salad on top, and then asked for a bag of chips as well and enjoyed it.
Airlines are NOT fine dining restaurants! They need to stop serving food period & let the whining passengers eat b4 they get on a flight or eat at a airport food vendor. Passengers will “bitch” no matter what you serve them. Don’t waste ur time or money even trying!
That is really not true.
Let’s remember what flying used to be before it turned into what it is today. Look at the legacies. Consumers are not likely to accept such a drastic shift in service in their same lifetime. IDK if you are in the industry or not, but if you are you should realize passengers keep travel alive. They help pay the bills–when bailouts aren’t occurring.
Yes, years ago the experience was nicer and planes weren’t nearly as full. Just think about how much more pleasant your flight is when the middle seat is empty. However, it was much more expensive. Why to people even buy things like a Basic Economy product?? The same reason why Spirit exists.
If one is against bailouts, I understand but beware if unintended consequences. These very well might means much HIGHER fares in the long run.
Think about it.
You obviously do not do too many 24 hr flights around the world. Upon arrival in the USA from overseas, you need food!
I had the steakhouse cheeseburger a week ago on my United flight and it was awful. The roll was so dry and overcooked it was crispy and the burger- well I had better burgers in meh cafeterias. This was a big NO for me
Honestly, I loved the crispy bun. That was probably my favorite part.
I have had the burger and it is pretty bad. Cheese was burnt, and the sandwich tasted sweet. Very disappointing. I agree that the dinner roll and grains salad definitely need to go! Their lounges serve sub par food so I guess you couldn’t expect any better of the food served on the plane.
Matt. I’ve been trying to eat more vegetarian-based meals too. Tofu is best when you stick more Asian applications.
A quick, easy, tasty recipe is this one for teriyaki tofu.
Thanks. The texture of tofu does not suit me – I am trying to find a way to eat it (and like it).
Deep fried, of course. Fried pickles, too.
Try different firmnesses. Also consider trying Korean tofu soup or Mapo Tofu. If you make Mapo Tofu yourself, you can replace the ground pork with chicken or even TVP without too much of a difference in flavor.
Cheddar is white, unless it has artificial coloring or it’s a very expensive aged cheese.
Yep, white cheddar cheese is quite common…
Thank you! I almost fell out of my chair (Ok, obviously that is not true) when I read that it couldn’t be cheddar because it was white! I can’t really be surprised since most people see Cheddar as orange and if it’s white it is listed as white cheddar…
Only the best catering for the best airline in the world.
LMAO. I live for Jan’s comments on United food articles.
High impact and destruction, low cost. Agreed!
I like having hamburgers on the plane.
I had the burger recently. Or tried to at least – the meat was so freezer-burned it was barely edible. The bun was incredibly soggy as well, even if the meat hadn’t been awful, it still would have been a mediocre burger at best.
I never plan to fly first class on a domestic united flight again, unless it’s part of an itinerary with a polaris flight.
I avoid junk food when i travel by airline
Many years ago in first class trips to Asia the caviar service was amazing, but the seats were so so.
The Polaris hard product is a huge improvement, very comfortable. The Polaris onboard food service is a huge downgrade and especially when compared to other airlines. I carry snacks but get a great sleep.
2023 will be my last year as a 1K and loyal United flier. Premium Cabin catering is so bad they’ve lost all of my business.
According to industry statistics, of the legacy carriers, United spends the least per passenger on food.
Matthew, I always appreciate your takes on United’s food and service. I’m to the point where I really just hope United will snap out of it and start serving better food. I live in a UA hub, so it’s hard for me to use DL or AA. Is there any hope at all that United is going to improve things? The improvements up until now barely bring Polaris back to what it was like pre-pandemic. I’m just so disappointed. Why doesn’t United realize that people want good food? Is it just that people keep buying seats regardless, so there’s no reason to up their game? 🙁
I’m on a FB page with only Global Services and IK. Some have actually met with the Director of Catering in October I believe. They recognize that this is an issue and said it would take up to 6 months to revamp the menus especially in Polaris. I’ll believe it when I see it…
UA has promised improvements since last year. My recent Polaris flight EWR/BCN (in Fauxlaris) and CDG/EWR the food was inedible. Rather than trying to be creative and failing a simple sliced chicken in a salad would be better. I get they business model is different from the Gulf Carriers but…
I had this meal, it was decent. I found the burger to be very salty. I really enjoyed the dessert.
That looks absolutely disgusting. If I had a dog I wouldn’t feed it that.
Flying EWR – HNL in 1st cl on Thursday UA 363. Why isn’t there an option to choose my breakfast option in advance? It’s an 11 hr 20 min flight out of a main UA hub FFS and I’m already unhappy.
For some odd reason, no pre-orders on widebody flights.