UA3999 PVD IAD 1017 1145 CR7 2A I was dozing and came to as they announced group 2, so I scampered up there and stood around waiting to merge in, and some guy asked if I was in group 2, and I said, actually, I'm in group 1, and all these silly Rhode Islanders made way for me to get in front, which I refused, entering line after them. I got one of the thrones on this aircraft, the only one that doesn't have a disadvantage attached to it. 1A doesn't have underseat storage, and the row 7 seats, though they have great legroom, are in coach. Our FA, an attractive South Asian, perhaps Malaysian Chinese, not in her first youth, was on her first day, very nervous. She was supervised by a smiley black woman in a mainline uniform. They made no bones about this being a training session, and it was pretty amusing all in all. Several iterations of the safety announcements, drink service, and the snack basket, each one perfecting on the mistakes of the previous. I had Madi K's whole natural nonpareil almonds, which were a bit stale but at least unsalted and not rancid. The staleness was manifested only by the texture. "Popcorn, Indiana" kettle corn was oversweet and had little flavor but was moreish in the way that sweet-salty things are. There were also brownie chips, oatmeal cookies, and something else that I didn't see. The flight took barely an hour. On the way out I told the trainee that she would end up doing fine and the supervisor that she was a good coach. Next gate was way off in the D terminal, and I had the choice of going left to the restaurants or right to the club. I did both. After a tentative stop to look at the menu at Bistro Atelier, where I once had a respectable steak frites, I decided to cheap it across the corridor at Bar Symon, which has a simpler and somewhat more modest menu. There are several varieties of burger, of which I chose the Fat Doug, a patty covered in pastrami, Swiss, and cole slaw. I asked for it as rare as they could make it. Which turned out to be medium-well. From top to botton: a brown roll with a crunchy top; slaw; cheese; pastrami; burger. That was also the order of goodness of the ingredients as well. The bun was yeasty but had this really intriguing hard shattering crust - I think it had been painted with an egg and milk wash to get this effect in a similar way to that in which a pretzel roll is painted with alkali. The slaw was standard with mayo but fresh and crisp. Swiss cheese is Swiss cheese. The pastrami, thin-sliced plate, would have been a ton better if it hadn't been frizzled like bacon, thus vitiating the pastraminess. The burger was a kneaded, salty meatloafy thing, and though the order had been put in for "pink" (I verified this later with the waiter) was pretty gray throughout - it probably would not have been significantly better done rarer, though. There was also a sauce built in; mustard based, I thought it was boring and called it so-so sauce. The apparent real name is Sa-sa sauce. It was maybe a C burger and if the meat were better would have made B- or so. It was only $11 something, but then there was only 1/3 lb or so of not-of-the-best burger, counting filler. There are two sauces on the table, apparently inventions of the chef. Coffee BBQ at first taste was one of the worst things I'd ever tried - sweet and putrefied-tasting. I gave it a second chance with the burger and discovered some flavors not all of which were terrible. At first I figured Michael Symon should be fed to the lions. On second taste I figured he should just have his dominant hand cut off. At first F; second try D. Lola ketchup is slightly less objectionable, as it has a distinct sour component. Here the Indianish corander and other curry spices come out, and I kind of liked that. I give it a B-/C+.