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When heat's on, he sizzles

By LARA CERRI, Times Staff
Published December 23, 2007


Tomas Dominguez, 40, lost his job when a fire damaged the Four Coins restaurant in St. Petersburg where he had worked for eight years.
photo
[Lara Cerri | Times]
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Tomas Dominguez tosses another hamburger patty on the grill in the afternoon lull. He puts a square of cheese on top and watches it melt. Earlier, a lunch crowd packed Johnny's Pizza & Restaurant. It's his second day on a job that he plans on working seven days a week.

"I like to cook," he said. "It's nice working here."

The hours add up, which means more wages to send home to Mexico to his ailing mother and to his daughter who studies accounting in college there. He's trying to work longer hours to send extra money home for Christmas.

A month ago, he wasn't sure he would have much to send. Dominguez, 40, lost his job when a fire damaged the Four Coins restaurant in St. Petersburg where he had worked for eight years. "I was a little scared," he said. "I didn't know what was going to happen."

A customer on his way out walks back to the kitchen to compliment the cook.

"That was a cheeseburger in paradise."

[Last modified December 22, 2007, 23:54:33]


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