Full Menu for the About-to-Open Philadephia Centurion Lounge.. and Lounge Opening Gift?

As American Express prepares to open its 8th Centurion lounge in Philadelphia by the end of the month near gate A14 in terminal A-West I reached out to find out what the full menu would look like.

American Express’ lounges offer free hot and cold buffet items and a complimentary full bar in stylish surroundings, although in my experience they’re ‘too good’ in that Platinum and Centurion cardmembers like to use them and as a result they get crowded at peak (and even non-peak) times.

The buffet is a real draw. American Express partners with a local celebrity chef at each to design the local menu.

Chef Michael Solomonov

Here’s the menu for the Philadephia lounge:

    Challah French Toast with Tehina and Blackberries
    Shakshuka with Merguez
    Borekas with Kale, Potato and Feta
    Crispy Potatoes with Za’atar and Kashkaval
    Fall Fruit Salad with Rosewater

    Harira (Moroccan Vegetable Soup)
    Israeli Salad with Feta
    Kale Tabbouleh with Apples and Pomegranate
    Bulgarian Kebabs with Red Pepper and White Bean Salad
    Rice Pilaf with Carrots
    Stuffed Peppers with Pomegranate
    Malabi with Coconut and Passionfruit

Generally when American Express has opened a new lounge they have handed out gifts to cardmembers coming into the lounge for the first several days (‘while supplies last’). Here was the lounge opening gift from Dallas:

I asked American Express about what the lounge opening gift for Philadephia might be and they declined to share, offering that they treat “these gifts as a surprise & delight moment for Card Members when they visit the lounge, so we would not like to comment.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I don’t think they have to worry about crowding, except at the bar. I might expect that menu in Abu Dhabi, but not Philadelphia.

  2. Very interesting menu which should prove popular. Hopefully all the Spirit and Allegiant customers won’t overwhelm the club. The last time I was in the Centurion lounge I was shocked how people were carrying multiple plates loaded up so full that food was falling off the edges.

  3. Disappointed with the menu, does not represent Philadelphia other than the unique restaurants we have. I will certainly check out the lounge I will continue to go to Chickie and Pete’s for the Crab Fries. Regarding opening I Called to ask an unrelated question I was told they opened this week.

  4. The only meat on the lunch/dinner menu is a ground beef kabob. In fact the rest is nearly vegan except for the feta cheese and the milk they need to use to make the malabi pudding. Hmmm.

    Breakfast sounds delicious though. Has zero to do with Philly, but…. oh well!

  5. Nice looking lounge but wtf with the weird creepy menu virtually all of it
    No doubt they paid some odd ball chef to make it strange and I’ll assume cheap
    I think Mc Donalds or Wendys could come up with something more appealing

  6. Unsure what that menu is saying except look how many odd words and flavours we can pop into a sentence/ menu.
    Why should amex let you know their surprise gift in advance. Firstly the sense of entitlement in expecting a gift then another in expecting they should tell you speaks to the self importance of some business travellers! I agree with the sightings of greed, double loaded plates and people sleeping across multiple chairs in the Miami Centurion on regular basis. Staff refuse to ask so called hoggers and sleepers to consider making space for others. Miami centurion footprint and layout so I often just take myself to BA Gold lounge instead.
    Good luck in Philadelphia. I’ll check it out in January. Won’t expect a gift tho!

  7. The last thing I want is a gift to add to the stuff I travel with.

    I’d rather they skip the gifts and issue the Uber credit in one lump sum, not on a monthly basis.

  8. Nothing creepy or weird about the menu. It was created by the chef at Zahav, one of the very best rated restaurants in the city, a place I’ve always wanted to eat but didn’t find the time or money. And yes many of the dishes are middle eastern. So what? Would you rather have cheesesteaks and soft pretzels? Then head to the food court. Amex is creating a unique, upscale, gourmet experience using the very best of local talent, with an international awareness as they should do, building their brand around the globe. I’m thrilled about the opening of this lounge in my hometown and can’t wait to try it along with the new lounge in HKG. Glad to hear some of you who can’t deal with anything different will be skipping the buffet so there will be more for me!

  9. Odd food offerings. This lounge is in America, yes? Why not showcase foods from the home country? I don’t expect to find cheeseburgers and pizza in the Middle Eastern lounges, nor would I prefer that.

  10. Wow, surprised at how many negative comments about the menu there are. What foods from Philly would you think to serve if you’re trying to maintain an upscale lounge? As another reader has said, the chef pictured is well known in Philly and has delicious food at all of his restaurants. He was a James Beard winner this year for Outstanding Chef. Oh well, more food for the rest of us who appreciate it.

  11. I’ve been railing at the foolishness of AMEX serving unpronounceable Israeli food at PHL for weeks on Flyertalk. I’m glad I’ve found some “fellow travellers.” 🙂

    I know some folks like hip and trendy, but I don’t think that’s the majority of AMEX’s Platinum cardholders. I’ve probably spent more time in more countries than 99%+ of Americans, and I don’t want my go-to airport lounge to serve exotic food from a small foreign country. Israeli food once or twice is a great change. Serving it all the time is a horrible idea. Philly is America. AMEX’s Centurion lounges should reflect that. Fire the hipsters and hire “regular” Americans to design the menus.

  12. Since when is French toast, salad, pastries and kebabs all that exotic?

    Remove the Israeli / Middle Eastern names of the food and it’s all quite “normal”, honestly. It’s the taste that counts, not the name. And I can guarantee this food will taste a lot better than what is served anywhere else in the PHL airport.

  13. The problem for me is not the name itvis the ingredients. I have only been to a few Centurian lounges the food represented the location. Now I am not expecting nor do I want scrabble. Maybe mini cheese steaks with some cheese whiz and hot peppers to add. Mini soft pretzels from Philly pretzels in terminal F. Will still be going to chickie andcpetes in terminal A when I travel.

  14. I get it, to each their own like Larry said I can go to another location for the food and leave more of the buffet to him. He is also correct being from Philadelphia I also would not want a poor excuse for a cheesesteak I can get that a Chickie and Petes just a short distance away. (C&P steak sandwiches are not a good example of a Philly Cheesesteak) you go to C&P for the crab fries. What I did like at the Dallas location was the local food they offered which I think has since changed, the brisket was a favorite for me there, this is what I expected as a theme to show Philadelphia for people passing through. I will get a chance to check out the Philadelphia lounge next week and HK in December, maybe they will have cheesesteaks and Soft Pretzels in HK

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