Chuck's Donuts was a venerable late-night stop for students and nerds of all stripes when I was first introduced to it in the 1970's. No true donut shop ever changes and Chuck's holds true to the standard. It is still the slightly dingy, 24-hour sanctuary of sugar and caffeine that we all need at some points in our lives. I headed to Chuck's as soon as I got off the plane. I was able to restrain myself to the extent that I just got a raspberry donut hole. Did I need it? No. Did I enjoy it after five hours in a middle seat? Heck yeah. Sometimes you just need a little nostalgia.
Trev, Jan, and Karem took me to a wonderful evening at West End Grill located, appropriately enough, in the West End. The restaurant still has its old tin ceiling festooned with stained glass chandeliers. I was too hungry to take a picture of our appetizers: crab cakes and bleu cheese tarts. The crab cakes had just a bit of heat to them, something you don't always find in a crab cake but which worked very well. The bleu cheese tarts lived up to their intriguing premise, rich and tangy. This is my caprese salad. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil were all outstanding. The balsamic vinegar had been very well aged, giving it a thick consistency. My main course was tuna, perfectly prepared to a medium well. The tuna left just enough room for a chocolate lava cake paired with decaf coffee. The cake was rich and moist. I kept scraping my plate to be sure I retrieved all of the chocolate.