Record Thanksgiving travel
Travelers are finding packed roads and long lines at airports as more than 50 million people are making a getaway this holiday weekend, the most since 2005. If you’re driving, you will have lots of company on Sunday afternoon, according to Google’s “Mapping Thanksgiving” report. The Transportation Security Administration predicts it will screen 2.6 million people at airports nationwide on Sunday, which would make it one of the five busiest days ever. To handle the crunch, MSP will have all 16 of its security lines open. Passenger screening canines will be in the checkpoint area helping to expedite the security process. In addition, signs at the North and South checkpoints will allow passengers to see how long their wait will be. Wait times also are posted at mspairport.com. Suffice it to say, arrive two hours early.
Holiday in Zambia
The Bushcamp Co. is offering 30 percent off holiday trips to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. The six-night trip costs $2,100 per person double-occupancy (a $900 savings) and includes two nights and a massage at Mfuwe Lodge; four nights at the newly renovated Zungulila or Kapamba bush camps; all meals; laundry service; game drives; walking safaris; holiday activities, including breakfast with Santa; airport transfers, and taxes. Conservation and park entry fees are an additional $70 per person per night at Mfuwe Lodge and $100 at the bush camps. Travel Dec. 1-Jan. 15. (Book by calling 1-804-767-8770; bushcampcompany.com.)
Trump burger takes Tokyo
Haruyuki Sano traveled one hour for a taste of the same cheeseburger President Donald Trump ate with the Japanese prime minister during his visit this month. “It tasted great, like steak,” the pastry maker said, after savoring the 100 percent U.S. Angus beef Colby Jack cheeseburger at Tokyo’s tiny Munch’s Burger Shack. Trump tends to get a mixed response in places like Japan, but his love for the Japanese take on the all-American hamburger is striking a chord with many here. The President Trump Set, a new addition to the menu at Munch’s Burger, which includes a serving of coleslaw and a side of fries, sells for 1,400 yen ($12). The juicy beef patty comes layered with crisp lettuce, melted cheese and tomato between hot soft buns. It’s one of the most popular orders, said owner/chef Yutaka Yanagisawa. Said Jotaro Fujii, a Tokyo-based food consultant, “Rather than mere taste, the value and joy come from being able to say: ‘I had the same burger as Trump.’ ”
Regional dining in Seattle
If you want quirk in Seattle, head north to the Fremont neighborhood, where you’ll find a bronze sculpture of Lenin and a Volkswagen-crushing troll under the Aurora Bridge — as well as some of the city’s best dining. With its seasonally inspired, vegetable-forward menu of shared plates, The Whale Wins (thewhalewins.com; 1-206-632-9425) could have been a simulacrum of restaurant trends. However, in Renee Erickson’s hands, it’s a paean to the Pacific Northwest. (She didn’t win a James Beard award for nothing.) The shopping-list style menu may be off-putting to some, listing ingredients separated by commas, but it’s consistent with what arrives: impeccable ingredients, simply prepared and allowed to speak for themselves. Also note that the restaurant charges an automatic 20 percent gratuity to provide a living wage to employees.