SSP America Debuts Le Grand Comptoir and Real Food Company at George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Le Grand Comptoir and Real Food Company mark the first locations in a North American Airport

Dec 16, 2009, 13:21 ET from SSP America

LANDSDOWNE, Va., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- SSP America, a division of SSP; the leading dedicated operator of food and beverage brands worldwide, celebrated the opening of Le Grand Comptoir and Real Food Company in a VIP Event last night. The arrival of these two unique restaurants to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) marks the first locations in North America.

Bush Intercontinental Airport is now celebrating its 40th Anniversary. IAH is the 8th busiest airport in the nation. In 2006, it was named the fastest growing of the top ten airports in the United States.

"George Bush Intercontinental Airport is a major global gateway with non-stop flights to 174 destinations worldwide," said Eric Potts, Houston Airport System interim director of aviation. "Houston is the perfect partner for new restaurant concepts like Real Food Company and Le Grand Comptoir because of our accessibility, location and high passenger traffic. Fifty-five percent of our customers at Intercontinental Airport connect on flights and many have time to enjoy our airport amenities in between flights."

"When Houston travelers dine at Le Grand Comptoir and Real Food Company, they will understand why SSP is so passionate about what it is providing," said Les Cappetta, president and chief executive officer of SSP America. "Gourmet food, hospitality coupled with innovative design is sure to ignite taste buds and create a destination spot within George Bush Intercontinental Airport, proving that a true restaurant experience can be achieved within the airport environment."

Le Grand Comptoir is an authentic French brasserie and, with over 80 styles of wine available by the glass, it is truly unlike any other airport wine bar. Fresh, upscale and contemporary, its rich wood finishes are balanced by vibrant green hues, stonework accents, posh leather stools and a long, elegant brass bar dressed with modern pendant lighting. Its bistro-inspired fare includes signature crab bakes and tempting strawberry crepes, transforming a layover from tedious to delicious. Le Grand Comptoir also offers a premium bar, selection of handcrafted beers, and range of specialty coffees.

Providing eight separate and distinctly different menus at once, an active open kitchen and a dedicated head chef, Real Food Company definitely epitomizes its name -- 'real food'. This vast 6,200 sq. ft. modern marche-style restaurant entices travelers with beautiful displays of fresh ingredients and the fragrance of its bakery. Theater-style cooking is complemented with artistic flourish amongst the constantly evolving menus. It is an extravagant affair. Real eggs, fresh artisan bread and passionate chefs are all to be expected at Real Food Company.

An endless array of gourmet salads featuring baby field greens, grilled chicken, toasted almonds, fresh mushrooms and green onions tossed with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, sourdough bread filled generously with roast turkey and aged Swiss, traditional and innovative toppings are available on the oven-baked pizzas. Texas barbeque brisket and juicy roasted chicken with choice sides of ginger glazed baby carrots and southern-style creamed corn are also on the menu.

Le Grand Comptoir and Real Food Company are located in Terminal C and join SSP's international bakery concepts Upper Crust and Panopolis.

About SSP

SSP, the Food Travel Experts, is the leading dedicated operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, with operations in more than 130 airports and 300 rail stations in 31 countries. Its unparalleled portfolio of international, national, local, specialty and new breakthrough food and beverage brands includes its own national and international brands. Among these are Starbucks, Caffe Ritazza, Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Bonne Journee, Caviar House & Prunier, Le Grand Comptoir, Panopolis, Camden food co., Upper Crust and Le Train Bleu. SSP has operations in airports, train stations, motorways, retail parks and conference centers.

About SSP America (SSP Canada / SSP Caribbean)

SSP America operates in more than 42 airports and motorways across the USA, Canada and the Caribbean. Third party brands in the broad portfolio include The Palm Restaurant, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Houlihan's, Gordon Biersch, Panda Express, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Chick-fil-A, Moe's Southwest Grill, Peet's Coffee & Tea, T.G.I. Friday's, Tim Hortons, The Great American Bagel and Buffalo Wild Wings. SSP America's brand portfolio also includes strong local icons such as Laurelwood Public House & Brewery, Harry & Izzy's, Nonna Bartolotta's, Alterra Coffee, Shapiro's Deli, Brew Brothers Brewery and Legends of Aviation.

    Darleen Nascimento
    (703) 723-5418
    (703) 462-4699 (c)