Friday, June 23, 2006

Headache Number 1,349 in owning your own restaurant...

The Cutest Chicklet in my cooking classes has opened a restaurant. It's actually the second restaurant in her family, and is based off of their main restaurant. The cuisine is South American with a little Mexican thrown in to lure in people who might not be familiar with her country's home cooking. (I call her the Cutest Chicklet, because she looks better in the uniform than anyone else...damn that natural beauty thing!!)

This secondary restaurant has been christened as the Express version of their main restaurant. The food at the Main Place is really reminded me somewhat of Cuban food, and I am absolutely hooked on their arepas, which are these little corn pockets (think cornmeal pitas) that are stuffed with meat, cheese, avocado, etc. The arepas start life as a little corn pancakes and are fried on a grill so the outside is crispy and fluffy inside is stuffed with the goodies. Mmmmm....heaven!

Anyway, the Express was supposed to open on Thursday, and they were offering a free sampling menu. The Man and I headed that way after he got home from work, only to find a sign on the store apologizing for being closed because of "technical difficulties."

Knowing how much I was looking forward to the restaurant opening (because it is about 30 minutes closer to us than the Main Place, which means I can feed my arepa addiction more easily), the Cutest Chicklet gives me a call this morning to let me know that the Express is definitely opening today. She explained the "technical difficulty," which happened while she was there early in the morning doing prep work for the grand opening. She was there alone, chopping away at stuff, and heard a sort of explosion and then smelled something burning...the hot water heater had exploded and sort of caught on fire...which caused the sprinkler system to go off and sort of flood the restaurant...about 2 hours before they were to open. She called 911 and got help before there was any major damage, but they still had to dry the place out before they could open to the public. She had regained her sense of humor by the time she called me, because she did point out that the one bright spot in all this was that some of the fire fighters were extremely cute. If your brand-spanking new restaurant is going to catch on fire, the very least card that Fate could deal you is the ace of hot firefighters, don't you think?

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