Dining Hall Favorites - West End
Our dining hall series comes to an end with potentially the best dining hall at Virginia Tech. That, of course, is West End.
West End has been a staple of Virginia Tech dining for decades and has been the jewel of the world-renowned Tech dining services for as long as many Hokie faithful can remember. It now has competition for the most high-end dining hall on campus since the arrival of Turner Place, but many will still stick with West End for that award.
West End is home to two of the most famous Hokie dining dishes; the London Broil and the lobster. There are few, if any, universities in America that offer lobster on the meal plan, which is probably why eating that dish always finds its way onto the Hokie bucket list.
West End is not just a place for students. On any given day there will be various groups of people you wouldn't expect there, such as high school football recruits and football coaches, professors, and administrators. It's that good.
While I was at Tech, each time my older sister visited (who was also a Tech alumni), she asked one thing: "Can we go to West End?"
Simply put, West End is legendary and iconic. From the burgers to the brunch, the options are endless. Not to mention it's across the street from McComas gym, which makes it a prime location for a post-workout meal.
West End - thank you for everything! - Love, every Hokie
Here are some of our West End favorites:
Grant Mitchell - Chipotle Steak Quesadilla
West End is full of many options such as burgers, pastas and other selections, but the chipotle steak quesadilla is by far my favorite. It has become trendy to throw shade on West end, but given their close proximity to a number of campus buildings and the quality of the food, it is very clear that this is the place to be.
Preston Huennekens - Pub Burger
West End's pub burger was one of my first meals at Virginia Tech and remained a staple in my dining hall rotation. What's not to love? Texas toast, onion straws, and cheese sauce on top of a burger, paired with fries to dip into said cheese sauce. A win every time. I've likely lost years of my life eating these, but who cares. The pub burger is a 10 out of 10, and I'd kill to have one in front of me right now.
Justin Cates - London Broil
For a long time I favored the brick oven pizza place in West End. I'd grab a couple of slices of the four cheese variety on Sunday as soon as they opened, then wander across campus to do a radio show in the WUVT studio in Squires. It was my reliable go to as my gastronomical daring had yet to develop at that age. Once I was living off campus and after hearing so many people rave about the London Broil, I finally relented and tried the stuff. It did not disappoint. I would gladly drink a cup of that gravy right now. I'm convinced you could put it on essentially anything and up the flavor profile to respectable levels. A burnt frozen pizza? Old cabbage? A garden hose? I'd give them all a go, especially with a side of meat from West End.
Adam Rothe - London Broil / Sunday Brunch / Hot Tender Chicken Salad
First off, I'm not ashamed for having three favorites because West End is that good. London Broil is going to be a popular choice and rightfully so. It's just a perfect plate of food with thinly sliced steak, mashed potatoes, a corn bread muffin, and green beans, or any other variety of sides. Of course, everything gets doused in the amazing gravy, which elevates this meal to new heights.
Then there's the Sunday Brunch. Nothing screamed "hungover" like West End Sunday Brunch. Everyone would be looking like absolute garbage while they picked up their eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, french toast sticks, biscuits, hash browns, etc, the list goes on and on. I rarely missed a Sunday Brunch at West End. Finally, my sleeper pick is the hot tender chicken salad at the salad place. This salad was perfect for those who like to think they're being healthy because healthy this salad is not. It comes with three to four fried chicken strips, blue cheese crumble, and croutons. Then, naturally, I would get it with a side of ranch to put it over the top. Every bite was delicious even with the filler stuff like lettuce, onions, tomatoes, carrots, etc. The salad was essentially a tool to get the fried chicken into my body and I took full advantage anytime I had this meal.
Taylor Caskey - Sunday Brunch or Hot Chicken Tender Salad
Let me just start off by saying that narrowing down my West End favorites to just two was difficult enough. What some people may not know is that all of the athletes usually live in Cochrane their first year which is connected to West End so I have spent a lot of time in there. Not only was it convenient, but it was the tastiest dining hall in my opinion during my freshman year. Nothing was better than waking up after a football gameday and strolling over to West End to get some French toast sticks and eggs. It almost seemed like everyone in there had the same exact mood on Sunday mornings; just happy to be there. Nowadays, when I get the opportunity to, I will almost always pick up a hot chicken tender salad. However, this is not a salad, but more of a bunch of delicious toppings on a few pieces of lettuce. The perfect crispy chicken, cheese, peppers, tomatoes; I mean you name it and it's probably in there. Drizzle that thing with some honey mustard and you have yourself a pretty great meal.
Chris Himes - London Broil
As a freshman cadet with an impossibly hectic schedule who was essentially tethered to upper quad, West End was a myth. It was this remote location that only upper classmen and non-cadets had the luxury of time available in their schedules to carve out the 1-hour plus required to make the round trip journey, order, eat, and enjoy their West End meal, before rushing off to class or some other event. But not for me, especially with locations such as Shultz (RIP), Squires, and Owens being far more convenient (and tasty!) options.
Nevertheless, toward the end of my first year, classes and corps demands acquiesced enough to rationalize my inaugural voyage. And with a full year of mounting expectations, I had only one goal in mind… the London Broil. I excitedly ordered, sat down, and stared longingly at the sizzling masterpiece set before me as I slowly sampled my first bite. And? A coronation of trumpets sounded off with fireworks exploding in the background. The impeccable blend of marinade and spices, cooked just enough to achieve maximum tenderness, and at only 3oz, offered the perfect serving size... so perfect that I ordered two more. Totally worth the massive hit to my Hokie dining card.
Billy Ray Mitchell - London Broil
This is hands down the order I got more than anything else over my tenure at VT. Being at Harper hall it was a quick stroll over to West End. I headed over to the chop house and got this verbatim: 2 white rolls, asparagus, mashed potatoes, extra mushroom gravy (YUM YUM YUM), and a double order of London broil. I also usually got it in a to go box so you had a nice little pool of the sauce and mash to dunk the bread in #FatHack. Aside from that, cant go wrong with the pasta or Reubens over at wrap world. Last honorable mention is the cast iron cookie Sunday from the desert spot. SO GOOD.