Weather: 36Â°F (2Â°C) Under clear skies.
Road Conditions: Briny wet with some clear patches.
Scarlet waits on the “flightline” at Doolittle’s Air Cafe.
It felt so good to get back in Scarlet’s saddle after more than a month of commuting by truck.
That four-wheeled routine of driving down the long, dark tunnel of freeway in the mornings, and getting stuck in gridlock every afternoon was weighing heavily on my soul. Existential Gravity ruled my days, and I could tell that I was slowly becoming one of them: the pitiful sheeple who do this sad routine every working day of their so-called lives.
So when the weather forecast told of highs in the forties this week, and lows in the twenties, it was all I needed to hear. I spent the weekend out in the garage, making sure Scarlet was ready to go. I even started up Frogwing and let him run for awhile, to circulate his oil and charge up his battery. Hearing his steady thumping heartbeat charged up my batteries as well. It was pure, mechanical therapy, and the perfect way to end my little vacation.
A P-51 Mustang dives upon diners from the flag-draped ceiling.
Doolittle’s Air Cafe sits at the gateway to all of my Ramble Plans. Only about a half mile from work, it is a popular lunch spot, and hosts some of our company’s after-work functions. It’s very convenient for when I need refreshment after a hard day in the cubicle, and I’ve become something of a regular there over the past several years.
The aviation theme is what originally attracted me to this place. I’ve been an airplane buff even longer than I’ve been into motorcycles. My first mechanical exercise ever, was the construction of a Revell plastic Spitfire model, at the tender age of seven.
I flew that little fighter plane all over my world for the next year or so, until one of my cousins introduced me to the joy of fireworks. The old Spit’ met a spectacular end when the fuel tanks were hit by enemy fire, late on the 4th of July, 1971. There was no parachute. This happened on the shore of Mud Lake, Wisconsin; but in my mind it was thirty years earlier, and we were on the bank of the Thames.
Anyway, the ceiling of Doolittle’s boasts many large models of aircraft both old and new, military and civilian. The walls are painted in a style once called “nose art”, in the spaces where there aren’t classic aviation prints hung in fancy wood frames. It is the kind of place you would hope to find close to a local airfield, but never do.
And the food… well, the food is definitely airworthy.
I chose my selection from the appetizer menu, because that’s what I usually do. At the time I stop by, it is too soon for dinner, and I have a ways to go before I get home. The Chicken Quesadilla is the perfect combination of light and spicy. Topped with a tangy chipotle sour cream, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions, it is also a fairly healthy dish. They present it well, and I always order a side of their fresh salsa.
Doolittle’s Chicken Quesadilla appetizer. One of my after-work favorites.
Go ahead, click on it… you know you want to.
They also have excellent Buffalo Wings, and the few times I have actually eaten dinner here, I’ve never been disappointed. I can recommend the Walleye Sandwich or Steak Fajitas from firsthand experience.
There’s been a bit of a shake-up at Doolittle’s lately, due to the use of that particular name. One of World War II’s best-known heroes was Jimmy Doolittle, who conceived and led our first bombing raid on Tokyo shortly after we entered the war. I don’t know all the particulars, but I do know that they are going to be moving away from the aviation theme at this location, to something they are calling the “Woodfire Grill”. It will still have the same basic menu, but I know the decor is going to change.
I’m glad I was able to present this place to you in it’s current incarnation. I don’t know what they are going to do with the various airplane models, flags, and beautiful aviation prints when they redo the place, but I would like to take this opportunity to call “dibs” on that beautiful Spitfire print that adorns the west wall…