Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lights Out for Valentine’s Day: 2016

Traditionally, Mike and Melissa have cooked together as their unique way to celebrate Valentine’s Day (in theory: flowers, cards and chocolate are relegated to "surprise" moments). However, owning a restaurant, the couple now finds themselves cooking for others on this ever-popular dining out holiday. For the past couple of years, the couple has featured a weekend special at The Burlington Place which features two salads, two desserts and one of two of the Valentine pizza specials all for $25.00. Reminiscent of the meals the couple prepared together, this pizzas feature a few aphrodisiac items and flavor combinations that are all together lovely. Diners choose from either the Aphrodite which features asparagus, prosciutto and feta on a lemony garlic olive oil or the Pizza Enamorado which features fresh tomatoes, Anaheim peppers, red onion, bacon and an avocado drizzle all on a garlic olive oil. Each year, Melissa also develops two dessert specials for the occasion. This year, diners could choose from a Rumchata Pudding Shooter or a Sangria Brownie Tartlet. The plotting and execution of Valentine’s specials is always a joyful, hectic, crazy experience for the Harrington's, but one they ultimately anticipate and look forward to.


This year, however, a bit of a freakish wind surge had other plans for Saturday afternoon and evening diners. After a full and bustling second-Saturday brunch and Bloody Mary bar, Mike and Melissa had their Valentine plans shocked when the entire electrical system of The Burlington Place clanked off. Each whispered a few obscenities and waited with bated breath for a possible quick return of electricity on what should have been February’s busiest day. A couple hours later, after forcing the remaining heat of the pizza ovens to cook one last pizza for a couple who had called minutes prior to the outage, Mike and Melissa posted notices on the door: No Power, No Pizza. The duo then headed to Abode 212 to plot the next steps. Upon entering their home, the distinct smell of natural gas filled their nostrils and led the couple to their second spewing of obscenities.


While plotting their next steps (for home and business), Melissa texted a friend to inquire what her and her husband were doing for the evening. Together, Mike and Melissa decided that if electricity was not on by 4:00, they would leave The Burlington Place closed (seeing how the ovens take an hour to preheat, there was a very distinct window of time for electricity to return and allow the evening dinner hour to function relatively smoothly). If they were unable to return to The Burlington Place, they would then head to Worland where their friends would be watching Worland Warriors in their last home basketball game of the season before heading out to dinner themselves.


As 4:00 rolled around, the plan began to look a little clearer. The Harrington duo had a representative of Wyoming gas en route to turn off the gas and they themselves were loading into their Subaru to make their way to Worland for basketball and dinner with friends. Mike and Melissa were about to experience a Saturday night akin to those experienced by all those who don’t devote their lives to the service industry.


The Warriors conquered the New Castle Dogies and Mike and Melissa even had a chance to catch up with Tom Harrington and give a few hearty waves to John and Donna Harrington. Following basketball, the Harrington duo packed themselves over to Rumours where they enjoyed a couple of beers, wings and burgers with their good friends Cole and Lisa Nicholas. At approximately 8:30 p.m. Melissa received a text from her neighbor informing her that the power was finally back up in running. Good riddance.

Relieved to return home to power (although, no heat or hot water since the gas had been turned off), M&M said farewell to their friends, shrugged at the luck of the day and gave thanks for a surprise night out on the town.


Sunday morning saw M&M enjoying a brunch of Steak and Avocado Toast together prior to heading into The Burlington Place to serve up a decent handful of Valentine specials and learn very little about the previous days power outage. By mid-day Monday, all the weekend mishaps had been cleared up as the gas was back on and the smell was attributed to high winds making a strange mess of the ventilation system.


Cheers to all the love, all the delicious foods and all the unpredictable things that each life holds!


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