The New DFW Centurion Lounge Menu Revealed!

Regular readers know that I am a fan of the American Express Centurion Lounge at Dallas-Forth Worth Airport (terminal D, across from gate D14).

Free access to American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders, with paid access available to other American Express members.

There is a case to be made that it is the best lounge in the United States.

There’s good food, a good bar, a complimentary spa (15 minute treatments), and showers. It’s attractively designed as well. I’ll gladly take the train between terminals when connecting to visit here instead of using an Admiral’s Club.

A few more clubs like this (they’ve got one in Las Vegas, have San Francisco and New York LaGuardia in the chute, and more in the pipeline) and I won’t mind that my Platinum card won’t get access to American or US Airways lounges after March 22, or guest privileges in Skyclubs in the future either.

If there’s one thing I don’t like about the lounge, it’s that the food options seem to never change. The place has been open for four months, and I’m convinced my body is now 85% braised beef.

They’re still serving the fall menu. There was supposed to be a new winter menu, but we’re ~ 8 weeks into winter and it hasn’t appeared yet. The good news is we’re days away, and I’ve got a copy.

They brand with celebrity chef Dean Fearing and use his recipes, and the delay was apparently in working on the recipes and getting his sign-off on preparation of the new dishes.

Breakfast is getting a makeover — there will still be French toast (changing from almond french toast with a vanilla-pineapple syrup to a vanilla french toast with berries and brown sugar creme fraiche). There’s a different frittata coming, and instead of spinach and cheese tacos there will be egg, ham, and cheese tacos. They’re also adding a breakfast quesadilla with bacon, roasted poblano, and jalapeno jack cheese. And there’ll be a fruit and Greek yogurt bar.

Later in the day a butternut squash soup replaces the sweet corn soup. We keep the smoked beef brisket. There’s a new enchilada coming, and smoked pecan crusted chicken breast over creamy jalapeno jack grits as well.

Here’s a comparison of the old and new menus, that will debut next week:

I wish they would switch up the food on different days of the week. Perhaps the lounge isn’t geared towards very frequent visitors, but connecting in Dallas and especially dealing with bad weather and flight cancellations, it’s possible to spend a lot of time here and they certainly don’t discourage it. It would be nice to ‘mix up’ the food options a little.

That said, this is a very minor quibble in the context of US airport lounges. The mere fact that they have food and it tastes pretty good is leaps and bounds ahead of nearly all other options.


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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Comments

  1. Having not visited a Centurion Lounge yet, do the lounges offer free booze as well? How about complimentary bottled water?

  2. I checked out the lounge back in December, I didnt have amex plat, so I paid to enter. Just to satisfy curiosity. Pretty interesting lounge 🙂 I do like the chaise lounges overlooking the gates. Unfortunately, it’s going to get filled up quite a bit since the other lounges do not allow amex plats (ie Admiral, DL). When I was there, it wasn’t too crowded, but then suddenly it was packed.

  3. Just did leisure Bna-Lax-Bna and enjoyed my platinum Amex crown room with guest. I can’t imagine how I’d feel without the guest access which will soon be upon us. Surely Amex is going to remedy this situation?

  4. They are experimenting, so please give them a little grace. This may be the first Card Provider to attempt a lounge, where it has always been the airline before. Let them get their feet wet and figure out what their own customers really want. In my view, AMEX is in the lounge business only because 1) high-end card customers want lounges and 2) a few of the better airline lounges began excluding some PAX whose only qualification was a high-end AMEX card. AMEX was face with (possibly) losing a lot of paid members, premium card members.
    At the end of the day, there are less than one dozen “FC” lounges that are worth the effort to find them; over the last 4-5 years, most FC lounges has slipped their standards South are too many are not worth the trouble to find. AMEX is trying to change that, if only to retain a lot of paid members. They have made a good start and we’ll see over time. Wile a little High End food is nice, good booze is expected, I suspect that most clients just cherish the quiet and relief from the mass chaos in the rest of the airport. That kind of relief packs substantial value, IMO.

  5. I do think that this lounge is really great, just not to the extent that most bloggers have been praising this place. It’s more of an “A-” lounge…you can’t be an “A” lounge unless you cover ALL of the bases, and you can’t be an “A+” lounge unless you provide a transcendent experience.

    The Centurion Lounge fails to meet even some of the basic core benefits of an airport lounge for a business traveler (who I think is a core segment for the Platinum Amex):

    1.) Help with travel itineraries, especially when you need immediate ticketing help during major delays and cancellations

    2.) Workspaces that are conducive for work. I need a cubicle where I can get some privacy and focus on work. The “business” space in this lounge is a large communal table, just like you had in your 5th grade study hall library. I want to take a business call and look at my laptop, not awkwardly at a random stranger sitting right in front of me.

    3.) Variety in food. Most business travelers have an expense account for food and have no issue paying for meals as long as the quality and variety are there. Most lounges do not allow us to bring in food from the terminal restaurants because they operate under a separate food license. So we are stuck with lounge food. And I would rather pay $9 and buy a different salad, entrée, or sandwich from the AA lounge than eat the same exact fattening food at the Centurion Lounge week-in, week-out. Menu changes every 8 weeks will not be enough variety.

    4.) Places to lounge. I do think the chaise loungers are nice, and the meal tables are pretty nice, albeit in a loud space. The problem is if you don’t get any of those spaces (and it’s more likely now that it is getting increasingly crowded), you are stuck pretty much sitting in a hallway. The rest of the lounge is a series of hallways…it’s not very relaxing to sit in a chair in a hallway and constantly have travelers walking by you.

    Don’t get me wrong – I think the lounge is very good and adds something unique to the spectrum of lounges, but it’s just not jaw-dropping amazing, and DEFINITELY not an adequate replacement for AA lounges.

    Amex – it’s time to step it up, or it’s time for business travelers to drop the Platinum card. It just doesn’t make good business sense to keep the cards anymore.

  6. Forgot my Platinum Card at Vegas Centurion Club. NO PROBLEM. All you actually need is your id and they can look you up, FYI.

  7. I like the DFW Centurion lounge. In fact I go there instead of the Admirals Club in DFW, my home airport. I generally check in at T-D, head to the CL, then take the skylink to my gate. My Admirals Club membership has expired. haven’t really missed it yet. Many AC’s are as crowded as the terminal areas in some airports, often with entire families. Not exactly the business traveler domain referred to by @Mcn.

  8. DFW is my home airport and I limetbeCenturion Lounge. Just wish the beef was leaner…so fatty that I can not eat it most times. Also, would be nice if they had hot food at 6am instead of 6:30am. Picky, but those have been my annoyances. Love the chips and dip. Excellent service and wait staff.

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