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Abhor the Valentine's Day circus? Five places to head instead

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No matter your current Facebook relationship status, Valentine's Day is a miserable holiday. If you're not working it, you're either frantically dialing for a last-minute reservation at an already overbooked restaurant, bitterly downing a pint of Ben & Jerry's on your couch or avoiding text messages from a remorseful ex.

You know what we say? Screw that. Whether you're a hater of love, an agoraphobic or simply not in the mood for a five-course affair that's bound to empty your wallet when all you were really looking for was a little sexy time, you still should still be able to exercise your right to step proudly out into a dining establishment this fine February 14.

And it's because of people like you that we've compiled a list of five places to celebrate with your sweetheart sans five-courses, candle-lit corners or champagne buckets.

The Kentucky Inn, 890 South Pearl Street A dive bar escape might be a given, but our pick this year is the Kentucky Inn, where, after a couple of shots of whiskey and a PBR, it'll be difficult to remember that there's a Hallmark holiday happening at all. And for those who need more sustenance than liquid dinner, this bar serves up frozen pizzas. Which, admit it, is exactly what you would have made yourself had you stayed home to wallow in sorrow on your couch.

Vine Street Pub, 1700 Vine Street Today marks the exact mid-point of the Mountain Sun group's Stout Month. And since stout is basically the opposite of champagne -- except for the fact that they both pair well with oysters -- we'd guess that there will be a very different celebratory atmosphere at Vine Street tonight than most of the restaurants in town. Plus, there are no oysters here. But there are nachos. And chicken wings. And since you probably don't have to worry about farting in your sleep and scaring off a significant other, well, why not?

La Villa Real, Alameda and Raritan The opposite of sitting down for a five-course meal may very well be carrying out a foil-wrapped morsel from a taco truck and then wolfing it down in the car on the way to other activities. And for that kind of dinner, head over to La Villa Real on Alameda and Raritan, where they'll be doling out tacos, gorditas and burritos until 10 p.m. And this way, whether or not you get a little tongue in your taco is entirely within your control. Empowerment.

Silla, 3005 South Peoria Street, Aurora Fun fact: Today is also North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il's 69th birthday. And so instead of celebrating the day of love, perhaps you'd like to show solidarity with South Koreans and oppressed North Koreans alike by stuffing yourself full of kimchi and bulgogi and bi bim bap at a place like Silla, a busy Aurora joint that does excellent versions of all three.

Chick-fil-A, 4090 River Point Parkway Even if every other restaurant crosses to the cupid-and-flowers darkside, we can always rely on drive-thrus and super-size specials to get us through our darkest hours when we succumb to eating our feelings. Oh wait. This Chick-fil-A created a $20 candlelight dinner. And sold it out.

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