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August 29, 2008

Yelp Elites Explore 826's Bigfoot Institute!

Posted by Ligaya T

Big5Img_0533 One of the greatest things about yelpers is that they're always down to do the crazy. With every event we aim to broaden our repertoire of experiences and explore different parts of the city, from the beloved tried-and-true to unmarked territory!

This adventure took some deep on the orange line, other guests driving over an hour toBig3 join in the shenanigans at 826's Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute. Founded by Dave Eggers to bring together community volunteers with writers of the future, this is the newest of seven 826 centers around the country all with unique themes to stimulate creativity such as pirates, superheroes and in our case the venerable, hirsute Bigfoot.

Big2 Kabir H went yeti tracking in full gear in the Simulactron as Joey T, Ligaya S (yes, there's another one!) and Nick H joined in for their first Yelp toasts of UFO and yummilicious wines from Bin Ends! The varietals complimented the scrumptious Jamaican eats from Pepper Pot that guests piled high with glee. For Kristen P this foray into a new cuisine proved awesome! And Daniel M raved the chickpeas were so fantastic even the live fighting crabs would have enjoyed them.Img_0527_3

In the spirit of writing, Elites recited useful, funny, cool reviews. Big4Ben L shared his thoughts about the translucent floors at the Apple Store "don't wear a skirt"! Damien S conveyed just how irresistible Dave's Fresh Pasta's Cuban really is. And we learned Jessika D's secret (hint: Venus) to being "one hot bitch"!

Resounding high fives to our hosts, Daniel and Hannah, John at Bin Ends, Harpoon/UFO, Elite wonder woman BarbaraAnn B of Pepper Pot, and of course the Leighann F and Miriam W (who came all the way from NYC to be with us) for their assistance behind the scenes!

Check out what guests are buzzing about in their reviews and take a gander at the wonders of the center and many a smiling face captured here! Hope you'll come along for the fun next time...

Cheers & SYOY!

August 28, 2008

Yelp Gets Physical With The Chargers!

Headline_image Unless you've been living under a rock -- or you're a lousy Raiders' fan -- you're probably getting fired up for the Chargers season-opener this Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium. Sure, we hear all sorts of sports jargon on ESPN regarding stats, game plans and potential playoff contenders... but have you ever wondered where your favorite Chargers' players like to hang OFF the field? Yelp's very own Ruggy J, had the opportunity to huddle up with pro-bowl center Nick Hardwick and new linebacker Derek Smith about some of their favorite spots on our home turf.


Ruggy: San Diego's got some of the best Mexican food in the country. Where do you run for some authentic, south-of-the-border cusine?

Nick Hardwick: Miguel's in Point Loma. They've got a solid atmosphere, nice breezes on the deck and good food. You gotta try the Lobster Puerto Nuevo. It's amazing.

Derek Smith: Definitely Las Olas in Encinitas. It's right by the beach, the food is excellent and they have great margaritas.

R: San Diego has some of the best weather in the United States; where do you head for a day at the beach?

NH: La Jolla Shores. There are no real waves or anything, but it's really nice and has a cool stretch of sand. It's a fun place to kick back.

DS: If I'm taking my family, it's Moonlight Beach. If I'm going to surf, it's Swami's... even though I don't get out as often as I'd like.

R: Where's your favorite place to celebrate after a big win?

NH: Definitely PB Shore Club. They've got a cool vibe and the drinks are always flowin'.

DS: The Beach House on Highway 101. It's a pretty cool spot with an awesome ocean view and great food.

R: You're both big, beefy dudes... where's your go-to place for a big hunk of red meat?

NH: Morton's in the Gaslamp. I know it's a chain, but there's just something I like about it. The people are always really friendly.

DS: Probably Fleming's in La Jolla... I guess I like it because it's the closest to my house. Ha-ha.

R: Any hole-in-the-wall spots you've discovered since living here?

NH: The Venetian. They've got some of the best Italian food around. I like the Pearl Hotel as well... it's a pretty cool, swanky place that's totally unassuming.

DS: Beach City Burrito in Cardiff. They've got the best burritos in North County. I get the Chicken Pesto for lunch all the time. The ingredients are always really fresh.

R: What's the best part about returning home after a road game in a crappy city like Cleveland?

NH: Touching down at the San Diego Airport is always so nice. It's just so beautiful here in San Diego and we're stoked as soon as we hit the tarmac.

DS: I always head home to see my kids… that’s the best part.

R: What's the one thing in San Diego you couldn't live without?

NH: Probably Croce's. I really dig the music... I like it a lot.

DS: San Diego as a whole. There is no way I can limit it to just one. I love Mission Bay, the boardwalk, Del Mar Dog Beach... just everything. I love this city.

August 27, 2008

Austin's Hot Night in the City!

What do you do when 700 of your closest friends turn up at the Buffalo Billiards Lodge? Why crank up the fun, of course!

Yelpers and Austinites turned out from all over to revel in the festivities recently, where they filled up on Redhook Ale, Treaty Oak Rum, Sake2Me Sake, Blackstone Winery wine and loads of good times brought forth by Annie Ray's photo booth, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang burlesque, Myo Massage and the hot hot spinning of DJ Mel.

That's kicking it just right!

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August 26, 2008

1st Eva Brooklyn Elite Event Bowls Yelpers Over!

Posted by Amy Sarisky

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It was a night made for strikes yesterday at The Gutter in Williamsburg. Free Chelsea Blonde Pale Ale went beautifully with gourmet pizzas (hellooooo, truffle oil!) from Fornino. Newly-Elite yelper Marc. A. also brought in reinforcement pizzas to feed the bowling masses!

There were many familiar faces out in full force as well as a few newbies who had never attended an Elite event before and were pleasantly surprised to find themselves both tipsy and warmly welcomed. Molly C. has been to her fair share of events in Chicago, but is new to the BK. She felt right at home! Elite veterans Roderick A. and Peter K. got real serious-like with the bowling; they brought their own balls and wristguards! But it was Nadja M. who was the real ringer-she kept getting strikes in heels (her lofty loafers, as she called them)! All in all, a smashing time was had by all, even a certain BK CM enjoyed herself despite a pitiful string of gutterballs.

Thanks again to Paul, John, Matt and others at The Gutter and to Michael and his crew at Fornino for making the first Brooklyn Elite Event a truly striking evening!

Lookee here for more photographic evidence!

August 25, 2008

Mad Hatter Yelp Elite Party!

San Diego yelpers raged their hot little buns off this past Saturday evening at Arterra in Del Mar... proving once again, that San Diego gets down like nobody's bizzzzznass!

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The theme of the party; hats! From ball caps, to old Halloween costumes, to hats crafted with duct tape... everybody came correct with an impressive array of snazzy headwear.

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In the end, it'd be this man, Ryan "Crazy" V that took home the grand prize--a bottle of Garfield hand sanitizer and an Indiana Jones coloring book. Score!

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Gotta give love to the people that made this party happen. The fine staff at Arterra, Rain vodka, Peroni beer, Mike Brown photography, DJ Sachamo... and of course, YOU!

For more pictures from the event, click here!

August 22, 2008

Reporting from SF - The Yelperazzi hit Cheeko B!

Posted by Nicole Grant

Yelpers and their canine companions headed on down to Cheeko B for a day of doggy pampering! Everyone came out with their furry friend in tow to meet other yelpy dog owners, get their PHOTOS taken by pet photographer Jesse F and outfit their doggies in red Yelp bandanas. Tara R and Jeff H were there with Ms. Tinypants aka Gida, Shelly L was there with Lily, Phil H was there with Willie and Kim D was there with Shanti, just to name a few!

The flowing wine and juices from Fizzy Lizzy kept the party going until late afternoon. Everyone left happy, with a nice gift bag from Cheeko B. Now, who wants to start organizing the UYE yappy hours?

SYOY,

Nicole G
- Your Yelp SF Community Manager

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August 21, 2008

Elite Yelpers in Chef Louie's Kitchen!

Posted by Ligaya T

Img_1349 Img_1348Img_1344 One Chef Louie (of Sel de la Terre)
One gang of top Boston kitchen mates
One day to figure out what to concoct
One spectacular event
Hundreds of happy bellies

Yelpers and hopefully-soon-to-bes gathered at Joshua Tree in Allston to celebrate the return of Chef Louie's cooking extravaganza! It started like a Choose Your Own Adventure weeks before as guests voted for cuisine type: Italian, French or Stir-Fried. Then ingredients: a) I like big butts, b) I like all natural breasts, and c) to be honest, I'd just like to pork you. Then added yummies: eggplant, mangoes, potatoes, peas, blueberries or spicy mustard. Just one day before the event, the Chef and his team were told what ingredients they were to use to create a meal for hundreds of folks.

Img_1353 Elite members Kristina B and Tarah H joined in on the kitchen antics, watching and learning from Chef Louie and his crew! These ladies became wicked skilled with their knives. Together they whipped up a tremendous smörgåsbord of deliciousness: chicken breasts with spicy mustard and blueberry sauce, three potato salad, tomato and mozzarella with lemon vinaigrette and a peach, blueberry, beet and bacon cobbler. (Now that's some mighty fine alliteration.)

We're pleased to report a rousing success! Many thanks and hoorah to all that made the magic happen! Check out the photos here.

Keep your eyes peeled for another Chef Louie Special coming up soon...

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San Francisco Yelp Elites Metamorph on the Wharf at Butterfly

Posted by Nicole Grant

Almost 300 Yelp Elites and their guests gathered at Butterfly to check out its newly renovated space, complete with sea urchin chandeliers, plush lounge furniture and gorgeous views of the Bay. Chef Robert Lam went all out with the eats, passing out kobe beef sliders, strawberry salmon rolls, fire fried calamari and pulled pork lettuce cups like there was no tomorrow.

Deliciously dangerous Effen Cherry Blossoms and wines from Reverie got yelpers out on the dance floor as soon as resident mixtress DJ Similak Chyldand busted out with the Salt-n-Pepa! Other yelpers crowded the outdoor balcony for a rendezvous on the water with old friends and new ones. From the sound of the reviews and the look of the photos, everyone had an amazing time.

We even heard there was a dance-off...

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Cheers and SYOY,

Nicole G
Yelp San Francisco Community Manager

August 20, 2008

NYC Elite Squad Doubles its Pleasure at Barramundi

Posted by Sam Perwin

Img_1622 The NYC Elite were in rare form Monday night storming the Lower East Side for two floors of event-tasticness at Barramundi. The beer was a-flowing downstairs with 5 varieties from the friendly folks at Craft Brewers, and upstairs our hosts were dishing out their specialty: delicious sultry sangira - perfect for the balmy August weather, and perfect for the Elite Squad.  Oh, and did I forget to mention the empanadas...mmmm....

Img_1596 It was also a great night for faces new and old.  We met Ki G in her first Elite Event, and Chun L making his debut appearance.  Old-timers like Nina C, Gabby D, and Chris J were welcomed back to the Elite fold (we missed you guys!) - and major props to Peter K for all the awesome photos!

Another BIG thanks to Tony and his awesome crew at Barramundi, Craft Brewers, and Empanada Mama.  See you real soon for the next one, kids!

Oh, looking for more pics?  Right here, guys!

 

Your fearless leader,
~Sam P.

August 18, 2008

Yelp + Improv = Yelprov @ ComedySportz Theater!

Perhaps a film noir performed to a country song in a French accent would make you chuckle? How about "internetting" the walk of shame on a mini-giraffe computer for a quick giggle? Well, it got yelpers rollin' in the aisles...

Combine the hysterical antics of the ComedySportz improv performers, the outrageous suggestions (hello, let's do a song strictly devoted to burritos with the lovely Lisa B!), add a copious spread of food and stellar libations (Matilda and 312 Urban Wheat) courtesy of Chicago's own Goose Island Brewery to the mix, and you've got one helluva funny evening!

The ComedySportz Theater treated the Yelp Elite Squad to a special private show on August 14, 2008 at their shiny new digs at 929 W Belmont. Highlights of the evening included Lori L on stage playing Four Corners, Amy H drinking 312 out of the CSz trophy, Ray L getting "brown-bagged," and Alex F winning the grand raffle, including $50 to Goose Island and a late night prize pack of ComedySportz tickets!

Ah, don't forget dessert! Half time (intermission) of the show was spruced up with root beer, black cherry and orange soda floats from Goose Island, in addition to a tempting selection of dessert bars.

Read the reviews and check out the pictures from Dan Gin...

Special thanks to ComedySportz Theater, Goose Island Beer Company and to Chicago yelpers for keeping the energy high and the laughs at a maximum. LOL, for real! ;)

SYOY!
Colleen C

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August 12, 2008

Yelpin' Hot Summer Nights in Washington, D.C.

Nelliessign It's mid-August and the weather in the D Sizzle is anything but sizzling.  Who can complain?  It was absolutely perfect outside for a rooftop party on Nellie's Sports Bar's outdoor deck, and DC Elite yelpers partied it up for Yelpin' Hot Summer Nights!

With delicious Latin-themed nibbles like the crispy fried empanadas, cheesy quesadillas, and crunchy ribboned sweet potato fries, yelpers like Emily R and Matthew M munched the evening away.  With the light refreshing breeze and the glow of the holiday lights spread across the deck, Yelp Elite members like Candace H enjoyed a beautiful glowing sunset while sipping on fresh fruit Yelpy Absolut Crush drinks.

Meanwhile, our awesome sponsors from Future Brands and Republic National, Tiffany and Christy, led groups of yelpers through their Absolut Akademi training course in vodka tasting, sending them on their way with personalized diplomas for knowing their drinks!  All of the action was captured by our phenomenal photographer, Jane K!

What better way to celebrate the 2008 Olympics than at a gay sports bar, enjoying the top notch caliente cuisine, surrounded by the stars of DC Yelpdom?  Thanks again for having us, Nellie's!  Don't be surprised if we drop in to watch the presidential debates!

Hasta la yelpa,
-Kevin L and Miriam W

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August 11, 2008

Summer Computer Love in Silicon Valley!

Posted by Connie Chang

2744841897_2e24da0a2f On Wednesday August 6th, yelpers from all over the Bay Area attended our very first Silicon Valley Summer Open Party! Judging from all of the reviews, everyone had a blast soaking in some Computer Love! It was great to see over 500 yelpers and their friends come out to Mountain View at the Computer History Museum.

At the Yelp "1337" (Elite) reception beforehand, 75 guests had the chance to attend the 2740085773_76acf47bef Knob Creek Whiskey Professor's tasting class. Throughout the night, guests enjoyed the delectable food from our amazing sponsors: The Red Crane, Pizzeria Venti, Zucca, and Extravaganza Catering. Drinks were flowing from Adina, Haamonii Smooth Shochu, Firestone Beer, the Museum Mai Tai station, and Mighty Leaf Tea. Guests also had the opportunity to explore the museum's Visible Storage exhibit, which included a demonstration of the restored PDP-1 presented by the men who coded it, and the Charles Babbage Difference Engine No.2 exhibit, on display in North America for a limited time only.

DJ Strategy's beats kept the whole night lively, and out in the museum's courtyard, Bayonics gave an incredible concert with their flavorful latin hip hop beats!

Many of the photos from Wednesday night can be found here, with Richard T's fun Project Photobooth pictures included. Yelpers definitely made history In Silicon Valley!

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August 05, 2008

Seattle Yelp Elite Event @ Ananda Spa!

Posted by Katie Scharer

A Big Thank you! goes out to Julianne and her lovely staff at Ananda Spa, who hosted a Spectacular Garden Party the other night for Seattle's Yelp Elite!

Complete with Spa Treatments, including paraffin hand dips, brow waxes, and massages, Yelpers had the chance to indulge in a bit of personal pampering.

Heidi P partook in the mini massage, claiming it was, "15 minutes of pure bliss, and for once the oily lotion they rub all over you smelled delish!," While Rylee O partook in the parrafin hand dip: "One of my most favorite things in the whole world is to have my hands massaged and Calm did it up right!  She worked all the kinks out of my hands and arms, and then made them as smooth and soft as a baby's butt with the scrub, paraffin dip and lotion." Word!

Sake2Me made this event particularly fun with a bevy of their Delicious Sake infused beverages in flavors Green Tea, Yuzu Citrus, Asian Pear, and Ginger Mango.

Good times with Great Yelpers! When it was all said and done, I'm pretty sure there wasn't an ungroomed set of brows in the house!

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Portland's Rooftop Elite Party

Posted by Laura Nestler

Last Thursday, Portland Elites experienced an evening with the stars on the panoramic parking rooftop at Hotel deLuxe. Rocking Elite hoodies and VIP seating, Yelp's finest enjoyed a warm starry night of live music, a cult classic film screening, and spectacular city views!2722269277_7089d1bc7a

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The evening kicked off with live music by the Rainy States and refreshments from Sierra Nevada Brewing and TAZO. The movie began at dusk, and Hot Rods to Hell turned out to not only be a fine piece of '60s B-movie memorabilia, but a meaningful morality tale with painfully quotable lines. 2722083916_868a7d706d


Many thanks to NW Flim Center for allowing us verified party-crashing privileges, KPSU for connecting the dots, and the capricious Portland weather for cooperating. And of course, endless thanks to Andrew C and Danielle K whose talents are clear in this fine set of photos.2721258265_7d0e37d20c

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Until next time, cheers and SYOY!
Laura N
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August 04, 2008

Michael Bauer, a Yelper?

Michael Bauer. The name instills fear, respect and a whole lot of other emotions for restaurant owners and their staff, and really anyone who cares about dining out in the Bay Area. Yelp's own Nish N had the chance to have lunch with the enigmatic restaurant critic of the SF Chronicle at Chez Papa Resto. Our guy had the steak, Michael had the lamb. They split the bill. Here's what they chatted about:

Nish:  Where would that last meal be? Our Mayor was big on Alice Waters.

MB: It depends on what night you catch me; I’m kind of fickle in that department. It might be Foreignthe roast chicken at Zuni, the carpaccio at Foreign Cinema; the soup dumplings at Yank Sing; the chocolate pot de creme at Slow Club. Hey maybe it could be a progressive dinner and we could hire a driver. Then I’d add the Corpse Reviver II from Fonda in Oakland and the Rattlesnake from Beretta in San Francisco.

Nish
: Any funny stories about being recognized at a restaurant?

MB: I once was threatened by an owner that I would be kicked out of his restaurant if he saw me. I put on a disguise and walked right past him. However the meal was so mediocre I decided not to review the place. It died without any help from me.

Nish: Are you a fan of Yelp? What are we doing right and wrong? Be critical, we know you’re good at that!

MB: I think there’s a place for what I do and what Yelp does. In a perfect world I’d like people to go to me first, aPotato1nd then to Yelp to see if my review still holds. The problem with user generated sites, obviously, is that there can be poorly researched or mean spirited comments. As with a reviewer from newspapers and magazines, readers need to learn who to trust and who to discount. One thing I don’t understand: Why are some newer reviews buried while others are brought to the top. Why not just keep them in the order they come in, newest to oldest. I think that would be more helpful for everyone. [Nish explained to Michael that you could, in fact, sort by currency].

Nish
: Any tips for yelpers when eating out?

MB: Go hungry and expect the best.

Nish
: If you’re not on the clock, so to speak, any regular eateries you like?

MB: As I mentioned earlier, I love going to Foreign Cinema and Zuni. I’ve also loved my recent meals at Willi’s Wine Bar in Santa Rosa and Chez Papa Resto. However producing a review and Update each week, writing a daily blog and continually researching the Top 100 doesn’t leave me many free nights. When I’m not dining out for work, I’m generally out of town.

Nish: Where’s the last place your readers would expect to find you?

MB: Taco Bell.

Nish
: Any up and coming chefs to keep an eye on?

MB: CTaco_bell_chihuahuahristopher Kostow from Meadowood is a true rising star. Jeremy Fox at Ubuntu in Napa is rewriting the story on vegetarian cuisine.

Nish
: Any bars that have surprised you with their level of food service?

MB: The first place that comes to mind is Beretta; great service for a casual environment.

Nish
: Does Michael Bauer need a reservation? Any secrets to getting that perfect table?

MB: I always make reservations in other names. Therefore I generally get the worst times—either very early or late. It’s also surprising that when you go early you often get the worst table. If you don’t like the table and others are available that are better, simply ask for them.

Nish: When reviewing, would you prefer to eat alone or with companions? Why?

MB: I have other critic friends who love to eat alone at least one meal. I’ve done it when I’m out Funwithfood07of town, but I don’t think I’ve ever dined by myself in the Bay Area. Dining is a social experience, and I need the extra mouths so I can order and taste more food.

Nish: Do you have a favorite neighborhood?

MB: The best part of the job is getting to explore many neighborhoods. However I still love the vibrancy of North Beach.

Nish: Last great book you read and where did you buy it - or enjoy it?

MB: Most of my reading is on the treadmill at 7 a.m. every morning trying to work off the calories I consumed the night before. I figure if I can get rid of at least 500 calories a day on the treadmill, it will allow me to eat more at night. Currently I’m reading Exile by Richard North Patterson.

Nish: Last time you bought something really outrageous (expensive or just plain weird) and where'd you find it?

MB: I’m pretty conservative with my purchases; my main indulgence is to go on a trip each year that’s not connected to food. That’s the reason I’ve gone to Antarctica, Iceland and on safari in Africa. This year I plan to go to Egypt.

Nish: If you didn’t have your current gig, what would you be doing for a living?

MB: I have a master’s degree in mental health mass communications and at one time I started back to school to become a therapist. However food is much more fun.

Nish: Do you do anything else besides eat?

MB: Very litFunwithfood08tle. I love to go to movies and I have a dog that requires lots of exercise, so that fills my day.

Nish
: Is there something you wouldn’t ever eat?

MB: Monkey brains still warm from the just-slaughtered animal.

Nish: What’s the last meal you ate outside of San Francisco where you said, "I wish we had that"?

MB: Fried chicken at Stroud’s in Fairway, Kansas. Pasta at Felidia in New York. The chicken enchiladas and tamales at Irma’s in Houston.

Nish: Last experience – culinary or otherwise - that made you think: "God, I love San Francisco"?

MB: I think that every day because there’s a surprising view around every corner. As for food, I’m always happy to see how seriously the chefs, even at smaller restaurants, take their craft and their respect of our environment. A couple of weeks ago I was in New York in 99 degree weather; yet another reason I wanted to get back here. The climate, I think is an important factor in why we’re such a great restaurant city. Who wants to eat when it’s 100 degrees?

Nish
: Where are you eating tonight?

MB: Bin 38

August 01, 2008

Yelp Denver Gets Dazzled

As Mary Jo S put it, Wednesday night at Denver's Elite Event at Dazzle "took us back to the days of the Great Gatsby when things were roaring hot." Luckily our elite yelpers and their guests rolled into the Jazz club to be greeted with refreshing Pink Lemonades and Orange Coolers as well as miniature servings of delightful foods. Dazzle outdid themselves with all the snacks they passed around, especially the spoonfuls of their infamous smoked 4-cheese macaroni!

All those flashes that kept blinding you were courtesy of Denny Greene and we thank him kindly for capturing our good times at the event. Thanks also to Megan W of Al's Barbershop, Babooshka, Tattered Cover and the Midnight Movies at the Esquire for the raffle prizes the luckier yelpers walked away with.

Most importantly, thanks to all you Denver yelpers (and the party crashers from Austin and Olympia) for being so amazingly fun! Every time I see you all it just gets better and better. Until next time SYOY!

Your "Denver Yelp Princess,"
Tiffany C


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Yelp Philly Takes Center Stage

Posted by Carrie Estok

Img_9811 Last night was a glorious evening, indeed. Why? Because it was the first ever Philly Elite Open Mic Night! Held at the sweet 941 Theater in Northern Liberties, yelpers read some of their favorite reviews (and some they loved that were penned by others - Emily A got some big laughs re: Friendly's!) as well as sang and displayed artwork. Paige W and Alicia F rocked it, Britt M and Adam C shared some amazing pieces, and everyone enjoyed the goodies so generously provided by our sponsors: Gray Kangaroo, Steaz, Tutta Bella Bakery and Rustica. And thanks to my brother from another mother, Kevin L, the DC Community Manager, who always rules.Img_9827

Img_9818 Big thanks also to the local businesses who donated gift certificates and products for the raffle: Helium Comedy Club, The Pita Pit, Juju Salon and Organics, DnA Salon, Cashman and Associates, Smak Parlour, Keystone Concierge Services and Positano Coast. Wowza, those were some amazing goodies!

Img_9920 So many new faces (and cameras - yikes!) - it was so much fun. I can't wait for the next one, but until then, thanks for the memories!

xo- Carrie E., Yelp Philly Community Manager

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