sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 31, 2006

devastating news
posted by soe 8:55 am

Word is trickling down through Wesleyan’s alumni email list that Middletown’s famous diner, O’Rourke’s, suffered a devastating fire last night. This is terrible news for owner and head chef Brian O’Rourke, for the town of Middletown, and for gourmands worldwide.

O’Rourke’s, a Silver City-style diner, was an amazing place that managed to straddle a line with ease. On weekdays it served your typical greasy spoon food, specializing in steamed hamburgers. On weekends it turned gourmet, however, offering up a menu that was pages and pages long and constrained only by the imagination of Brian and his customers, who came from around the state to taste his creations. He introduced us to a variety of new foods, including colcannon, mashed potatoes with cabbage, and sabayon, a delightful custard. The bread was homemade and you were presented a sampler plate as soon as you managed to make your way in the door. The lines were long, particularly if you got a late start to your morning, but the prices were affordable and it was possible for a family to eat after church without breaking the bank.

It’s still early and details are sketchy about what will happen next. I am hoping that Brian, like my cousin Gary whose restaurant burned to the ground last year, will be able to recoup his losses and rebuild. In the meantime, my heart goes out to him and to his employees.

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 1 Comment.

So sad, so sad. Watching the footage from the local NBC and CBS affiliates was very painful and heart-wrenching: the line chefs and bussers showed up to work to find the building ablaze, and are now out of a job. Many of these guys have worked at the diner for years. And Brian was too upset to talk on camera, and the footage of him spoke volumes – like a father seeing his child horrifically injured.

I hope that he can rebuild, and I’m sure that the community will pitch in if asked. And I hope that Gary gets in contact with Brian, if only to provide a reassuring word or two.

Comment by randomduck 08.31.06 @ 11:02 am