One of the most impressive benefits of any number of high end travel cards, like the non-Delta Amex Platinum personal or business cards, is individual membership in Priority Pass. In addition to granting you and a guest lounge access at a number of airport locations worldwide they are now also partnering with restaurants and even brewery’s for credit when you visit.
One such place is immediately past security in New York’s JFK airport Terminal 8. Bobby Van’s Steakhouse. You enter via a short set of stairs or via an elevator just around the corner toward gate 14 for those with mobility issues or large bags and don’t want to drag them up the steps.
The rules for Priority Pass use at the restaurant are straight forward. You get up to $28 credit toward anything they offer on the menu and you can also have one guest with you that gets the same $28 credit as well (i.e. $56 total). You can review the full menu here on their website.
The dining area is divided in two by the bar and you have an outside style bar area (it is still inside the concourse) or
Inside has a more rustic traditional steak house feel in an enclosed room. When we visited at lunchtime on a Monday there were very few patrons and we were encouraged to be seated outside.
I was traveling with a fellow frequent flyer and ordered the steak sandwich. Often times when you think of a steak sandwich it is way over cooked, thin sliced meat that can be disappointing. What you see above was delicious and simply huge with tender cuts. I ate only the steak, mushrooms and onions and was completely full.
My traveling companion decided on a burger and substituted a side salad for the french fries that came standard (I should have done this as well since I did not touch the fries anyway). He mentioned it was one of the best burgers he had had in a long time.
When it came time to pay the bill the server took the Priority Pass card and said it was all covered under the card and did not even bring me a receipt. I tipped him just over 18% of what the bill would have come to (tip is NOT included with the Priority Pass card). This really is a great value from this perk from my travel card.
Since most who read RenesPoints blog are Delta and Skyteam flyers I wanted to time how long it would take to transit from Bobby Van’s to T4. You do have to leave T8 and then take the air train (outside security) 3 stops. With almost no line and TSA PreCheck it took us about 20 minutes one day and under 30 the next from the restaurant to the other side of security. At peak times I would plan for even longer from restaurant to gate.
Before I visited I called the airport to see if I would be able to use my Delta (or in my case AeroMexico) boarding pass to enter T8. I was told I would NOT be able to do so and only those with ticketed flights out of T8 could enter. That turned out not to be true as TSA had no issue whatsoever with me clearing security in T8 nor did I have to tell them why I was at a terminal I was not flying out of. The second day one of the hired non-TSA goons attempted to block me and I challenged them to ask TSA – TSA said you are flying Delta? I said yes but first going to Bobby Van’s and there was no issue at all.
Lastly, is it worth it, that is, to have to clear security, dine, and allow enough time to train around to another concourse, and then again re-clear security? That depends much on you. The food was excellent as well as the service. With Clear and TSA PreCheck, for me, security is never an issue and most times quick and painless (TSA PreCheck paid for from my non-Delta Amex Platinum card and Clear free being a Diamond with Delta).
Have you had a chance to visit Bobby Van’s? Did you enjoy your visit as much as I did? Do you think it is worth the hassle in the first place? Let me know. – René