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September 30, 2008

Austin Yelpers Kick the ACL Jams!

This time of year the stars lurk behind every corner in Austin, and recently ATX yelpers proved that all too true, as they cranked things up and kicked off the Austin City Limits Fest in style. Birds Barbershop provided the vintage rock n roll hairstyling backdrop, and Karaoke Apocalypse jacked the tunes in searing fashion. Whether we were discovering a new side of Don P or watching Javier or Anna or Edison blast out the tracks most of us never knew we always wanted to hear. It was an epic start to a musical weekend few of us will ever forget. Or is that remember?

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Yelp Elite Modern Masquerade Ball in San Francisco

Posted by Jessica T

A masked San Francisco Yelp Elite crowd descended on the chic RF80 event space this past Saturday for a night full of mystery, laughs, dancing and plenty of costume-filled pictures. Checking people in became an exciting venture, as yelpers peered beneath their decorated mask eye-holes and whispered the secret password to enter. Once inside, yelpers were met with a delicious array of Cups and Cakes miniature cupcakes with flavors ranging from root beer to red velvet (definitely a standout!) and South's much-loved cheese. Haamonii served up intoxicating strawberry soju and cucumber cocktails throughout the night, helping ease the masked crowd onto the dance floor to get down to DJ Inexplicable's happening beats. At 11:00 p.m. the unveiling occurred, and Yelp Elites revealed their true identities and were treated to an incredible performance by "The Trinity of the House of Salvation," comprised of Grace M, Joshua L and Maya S. "Voguing" and brushing off their shoulders, in their modernized Victorian wear, they dazzled the crowd with their wowing moves. As the night progressed, yelpers flocked to Richard T's Project Photobooth to immortalize the night of revelry with sexy mask-filled shots.

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September 29, 2008

Get Plastered with Yelp... In Wallpapers

Posted by Michael Ernst

Alright, I think you've had your old desktop wallpaper up for way too long now. Jenny in accounting is tired of walking by your desk and seeing that Lolcat wanting a cheezburger. So impress Jenny with some cool Yelp graphics, not only will it show that you have good taste, but that you're in the know on all the local hotspots. So download these now, get them on your phone or your computer and express your Yelp love via digitized graphics.

                                           
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September 26, 2008

Yelp Gets Bowled Over at Bryant Lake Bowl! (MSP)

Posted by Sarah Peterson

On Wednesday the Minneapolis/St. Paul Yelp Elite Squad had it's first party at the iconic Bryant Lake Bowl! And what a turnout --  nearly 50 elite yelpers and their guests gathered to mingle, rock and bowl the night away! It certainly was a great start to what is sure to become all yelpers' monthly highlight -- the Elite Event! 

Bryant Lake Bowl was a gracious host and our server Ericka was one hard-working, awesome babe! A huge thanks goes out to the BLB for providing complimentary bowling, yummy appetizers (I'm still craving that cheesy bread and spinach dip, btw!), and drink tickets! Gilbert A and Ericka A certainly enjoyed their Cape Cods! Keith S's guest, Dave, was the only turkey in town that evening, and he walked away with a mighty fine wine from Sinful Wines for his efforts. Ann S was also the lucky recipient of another of Sinful's bottles through the Yelp raffle. And Camille Lee, Kevin M, Beth F, and Ralph M were also lucky winners of the ten free entree gift cards from Qdoba! That's a lot of Mexican, y'all!!

It was great seeing everyone get into the event -- even Zachary S, who didn't think he was going to bowl, endedup playing the alleys! I overheard knitting discussion, so hopefully that knitting club will get underway soon! Afterall, I might be needing some baby hats this winter! And I'm really happy that Jennifer L made it in one peice, even if her boot didn't!

A big thanks to Andrea R, who came all the way from Chicago to help out with the event, and Per P, who ran some last minute errands to make sure all went smoothly. Another big shout out to Sinful Wines for dontating the 10% off cards and two fabulous wines, Qdoba for the gift certificates, and, of course Bryant Lake Bowl for hosting us and showing us Yelpers how cool their place is.

Be on the lookout for the Elite Event on Tuesday, October 28th at Club Jager from 7:30 - 9:30. There will be a DJ, pumkin carving competition, complimentary drinks, and other ghoulish fun! Invites will be sent soon!!

-Sarah PBlb5 Blb3 Blb1 

September 22, 2008

Yelp DC Celebrates Sweet September at Co Co Sala

Posted by Kevin L

Dsc_0084 DC yelpers descended en masse upon Co Co Sala, the hot new dessert bar and lounge in Penn Quarter.  Flooding in to enjoy the posh ambiance and delicious bites offered up by our gracious hosts, Elites like Heather M sampled dishes ranging from mini classic mac 'n' cheese and crab cakes to sliders and goat cheese salad.  Thuy L tasted some of the tantalizing lesser-known desserts here, like the Baileys white parfait and the strawberry tiramisu.

Washington Wholesale brought in the good times with Patron XO Cafe and Pyrat Rum.  Who knew that tequila could be so decadent?  Not to be outdone, Billington Wines kicked the stylish event up a notch with their famed Catena Malbec and Alamos Pinot Noir wines.  Classy enough to please even winos like Justin C.

Thanks to the lovely ladies who lent helping hands: our beloved Miriam W from NYC and Maria A from Miami.  As usual, our phenomenal photographers, Jane K and Lillian C were on hand to capture the sweet and sultry action.  Don't forget to scope out the photos on flickr!

Don't forget to mark you calendars for Yelp DC's Vote for Yelp! election night event.  There's no better time to be a yelper in the District than on such an historic evening.  Until then, SYOY!
-Kevin L

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Yelping ACL with WMMF: The Extended Interview

Proof positive that the Austin music scene continues to churn breakout acts, What Made Milwaukee Famous have been busy: in the last few years the band has signed a deal with Barsuk, opened shows for the Arcade Fire and the Black Keys, played ACL and Lollapalooza, and made time to create their sophomore effort What Doesn't Kill Us. Recently, Yelp's own Kevin N caught up with lead singer Michael Kingcaid on the eve of their visit to Austin City Limits Fest this week.

Kevin N: So you guys have come a long way since the first time I caught a set of yours at the late, great Tambaleo (remember Tambaleo?). How have things changed for you in the past few years?

Michael Kingcaid - geez! Tambaleo. That was forever ago. Quite a bit has changed since then. We've got a new drummer, another guitar player, another album (and a half). And we barely fit on that size stage anymore, though we still end up playing on that size stage from time to time on tour. We've since been lucky enough to upgrade to a few bigger venues here in Austin, like Stubb's outside and La Zona Rosa. Room to move!


KN: Ok, I'm sure you get this question all the time, but...it's *beer*, isn't it? It sure seems like beer made Milwaukee famous. Here in Austin , where do you go to find your favorite brew?

MK - Technically, yeah, it's beer I guess. But this year, it's George Carlin. I, myself, am not much of a beer drinker. Makers (rocks) is my drink. And the Belmont's the place.


KN: Obviously you can't interview a local band and not ask about the music venues around town. Do you have some places that you prefer to play? Any place that you don't often perform that you enjoy catching shows?

MK - well, we love playing Stubb's outdoors when we get the chance to. And Emo's is always an experience in and of itself. We'd love to eventually play the Austin Music Hall. Hopefully, that's around the corner sometime soon. The Parish is also a great room.


KN: My guess is that the tough part of touring is that some of the places you love aren't readily accessible. When you're on the road, what are the places you miss most at home?

MK - umm.... my bed. And Polvo's margaritas. Most of all, I guess, it's the Mexican food. Initially (after several bad Mexican food experiences on the road), we vowed to never have Mexican food above the Mason Dixon line. But we've since had some atrocious, sorry excuses for Mexican "meals" in the last couple of years in other states (Omaha and your dumpling enchiladas and Julio Verdes! We're looking in your direction! A Julio Verde is kind of like an Orange Julius. But green. And a lot more gross), so we don't even mess with Mexican food anywhere except for Austin. We've got enough great places here to make up for all the places that the rest of the US lacks (POLVO'S!!!, Guero's, Torchy's, Matt's). And I often miss Waterloo. And KUT.


KN: What's one thing people should know about the new album?

MK - that they need it. And even if they don't like all of it (which they should), they'll like SOMETHING on it.

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September 20, 2008

Silicon Valley Elite Be Clubbin'!

Posted by Connie Chang

2869784672_7ed9ef9820 Silicon Valley Yelp Elite packed the house at Vinyl Room in Burlingame on Thursday night!

Everyone had a great time meeting fellow yelpers and getting down on the dance floor to DJ Mad Myke. There were definitely countless "You've got served" moments between yelpers Betty N and Joon Y! Check out the talk thread to hear what people are saying and to see photos by yelpers, including our official photos taken by Henry L.

Thanks to Batiste Rhum who provided specialty rum cocktails, and special thanks to Coconut Bay who provided tasty South East Asian bites throughout the evening!

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September 18, 2008

NY's Elite Squad gets their relax on at Aura

Posted by Sam Perwin

2867270449_cd11382a45 The NYC Elite rolled up in full force to K-Town last night for a taste of its most fabulous spa, Aura.  And I mean, who wouldn't want to roll up to free mini-massages, sparkling sake, cookies, sushi, and whole lotta NYC's finest yelpers!? And while the weather's finally starting to cool off, the Elite squad kept it hot hot hot (and we mean hot!) for an awesome time.

We met Chi N, Jason P, and Sarah M hitting up their first Yelp Elite Event, and saw some old familiar faces like Mariana L, Heather H, and Jason H back for a touch of Eliteness once more.  And speaking of touch - ask Nina C, Jack N or any of the other lucky yelpers to receive a mini massage from the awesome Aura staff how they felt after getting their backs walked on!  From the looks of sheer bliss and relief, we it seemed like those guys needed a massage.
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Many thanks to Sake2Me, Insomnia Cookies, Amber Sushi, Mighy Leaf Tea, the folks from LifeBooker.com, the fabulous Leighann F of Boston, and the rest of Team Yelp NYC for all their yelpy help.

Check out the reviews and the rest of the pics, and I'll see you crazy cats at the next one!

Over and out,
~Sam P.

September 11, 2008

Chicago's YelptoberFest at The Berghoff!

Prost!

The Berghoff Restaurant was the scene for YelptoberFest, a dynamic blend of Yelp and the time honored German tradition, Oktoberfest! A beautiful autumn day set the tone, and as yelpers spilled into the historic Century Room at the Berghoff, it became apparent that the celebration was going to be a stellar way to jump start the Fall of '08!

Chicago's Yelp Elite Squad came out in full force to celebrate all things German, and were greeted by the sounds of an upbeat German orchestra and a decadent spread of traditional delicacies; bratwurst with sauerkraut, mini rueben sandwiches, potato pancakes with spiced applesauce, mushroom caps stuffed with spinach dip, and soft pretzels with spicy mustard. Couple that with a bevy of tasty beverages (mmm, cucumber vodka cocktails!), Oktoberfest beer offerings, a Berghoff beer sampling station and conclude with cheesecake lollipops and apple streudel, and well...you've got a feast fit for the Yelp Elite queens and kings!

Regan B was the lucky winner of the Big Berghoff Raffle, and and Julie E and Jordan B polka'ed their little yelps out, much to the enjoyment of the crowd! On hand to catch all the "oompah" action was the lovely Victoria S of Sprung Photo...check out the snapshots here!

So, y'all better be recovered for the Halloween Bash....word on the street is Yelp's prepping up something special...start planning!

Danke, you beautiful people!
Colleen C
Yelp Chicago Community Manager


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September 10, 2008

Phoenix Yelp Elite Squad Spends an "Evening in Italy" at Radio Milano!

The Arcadia neighborhood is where it was at on Monday night, September 8th. Phoenix yelpers and guests enjoyed an Italian inspired evening at LGO Hospitality's Radio Milano! In addition to great company and service, there was plenty of RM's signature Celery Caesar Salad and Spaghetti with Meatballs for all. The featured drinks (Ginger Press and Pomme 40) went down easy, and eased some of us into getting caricatures done to add to the fun and remember the night.

Among some of the new faces at the event were Lindsay B, Mark D, Sunny B, Jennifer W, Jane A and Tori B. Jenn H and Sarah K made appearances as well - great to see you both! And we can't forget to mention that Colleen C came all the way from Chicago hang with the cool crowd (that would be us), and help out. Nathan S is right - she is "sweet as marmalade!"

Many thanks to Daniel and staff at Radio Milano for taking amazing care of us, and to the Valet for taking care of our vehicles. Major props to Sheila B and Gary Millard of Four White Walls for capturing the evening with photos!

Read the reviews and see even more pictures for a full recap.

Until next time, Cheers and SYOY!

~Gabi K
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September 09, 2008

Yelp Mash Up Bash

Posted by Laura Nestler

WhoDaThunk that these phonebooks could turn into this? Apparently 300 Portland yelpers did, and last Friday they were shakin' up Olympic Mills harder than a box of cereal with a coveted prize!
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Yelpers10_2In one room yelpers found DJ RNA pumping out sweet, sweet jams. Continue to the next room for the mad mixology skills of bartender Brian, serving up Mason Jars of DRY Soda with Crater Lake Vodka and Cascade Mountain Gin.Dry_stand_2

Gallery_viewing_1Passing art by Chris Haberman and Yelp's Local Art Mission, the next room proved to pop tops off Sake2Me, select FireStation5 and Metolius beers, and Belgique Ales of Belgium.

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Photobooth_2Making the rounds to the fourth and final room, Portland yelpers were tantalized by Portland Photobooth's promise of privacy, and naturally, brilliant artistic renderings ensued.


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50_plates_2Executive chef Randal St. Clair and the charming 50 Plates staff passed a wide array of appetizers throughout the space, serving up mouthwatering morsels like the "Lousy Hunter" (sliders with fried green tomatoes and goat cheese,) "Media Noche" (sammies with slow roasted mojo pork, ham, gruyere, and jalapeno pickle relish,) and "Mac'N'Cheese ('N'Chicken'N'Fennel)" (chicken-fennel stuffed pasta in parmesan cream). And these are just a few of their foodie takes on classic American faves that they spoiled us with! The kicker was the dark-chocolate-covered peanut butter-crispy treat, which could legitimately stop crime and bring world peace upon first bite.

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The entire space, gorgeous in its own right, was filled with stunning art -- ranging from Portland's most accomplished artists to first time exhibitors, including 30 yelpers who participated in a Yelp Local Photo Mission. It was a truly beautiful sight to behold both new and old yelpers meeting and mingling with the artists, and even voting on their favorites with recycled nuts and bolts from the Rebuilding Center. Chalk this one up as a night to remember!

The behind the scenes effort by dozens of people was invaluable. A HUGE thank you to all of the participating artists, Adrienne Fritze, Rachel Novak and their team of volunteers and staff from Working Artists Network who worked around the clock to pull this opening off. Special thanks to the folks at Olympic Mills and Chris Haberman for letting us use and abuse their space. And of course, Yelp's finest Michelle B, Katie S, and Stephy S for doin' it and doin' it and doin' it well, Nikki, Jason, and Jonny our volunteer workhorses, all of our fabulous food and beverage sponsors, and Stu Mullenberg representing Newspace Center for Photography for beautifully and unobtrusively capturing the evening.

Speaking of capturing the evening, check out the reviews and photos!

Until next time, Peace from PDX~
Laura N
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September 05, 2008

Yelp loves a Bacon Salt Bloody Mary!

Posted by Katie Scharer

Seattle Yelpers and Bumbershoot attendees alike celebrated the final day of the long weekend by kickin' it Bacon Salt Bloody Mary style at Mainstage Comedy Club. Bacon Salt Bloody Marys, a la Vox Vodka made for some tasty libations.. and with the 'DIY Bloody Mary Bar', Yelpers were able to doctor their drinks however they saw fit.

Sake2Me was flowing like water, as were the Mitch Morgans: Shots of Maker's Mark, rimmed with Bacon Salt. It buuurns... but in a very, very good way. Bacon Salt provided Seasonings for the masses with samples of the good stuff... Who knew that the perfect meal consists of Cheddar popcorn, Bacon Salt, and an ounce of Maker's Mark?

If all this wasn't enough, Seattle Superstar Dan T donned the Bacon Costume and provided people with some seriously meaty entertainment!

Yelp definitely brought the bacon to Mainstage that night... And we've got the pictures to prove it!

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September 03, 2008

Denver's Elite Yelp 'N Roll!

Even though Denver had just braved the DNC and Labor Day, our Yelp Elite Squad was out in full force on Tuesday night for the Elite Event at Elitch Lanes! We saw plenty of familiar faces, some new ones and Denver's best bowler on the lanes. Of course no round of bowling could be complete without cheap beer and fried food and that's exactly what the gracious people over at Elitch's gave us. Many thanks go out to the alley for hosting us in their old school digs and playing a fantastic bowling soundtrack. ; )

As all of you were that were there know, the highest score on each lane was awarded a prize. What was it you ask? A golden trophy and 10, yes 10, free entrees at Qdoba. Thanks to the restaurant for providing us with the gift cards. I'm still looking for someone to offer to take me to lunch with one of them, though...

And even though you may not have realized it, Jesse and Kevin B were sneaking around all night long taking action shots of the rest of you yelpers in your most glorious and not so glorious moments. : ) Endless thanks to the both of them for the fantastic pictures you can see here.

So, until next time Denver...

SYOY (See You On Yelp!)

Tiffany C

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Yelpin' backstage with Anthony Rapp!

Posted by Sam Perwin

Rapp_anthony How do you measure a great Broadway run? Maybe by talking to one of its stars! If you haven't heard, after 10 years on the Great White Way, legendary rock musical Rent will play its final show this Sunday. Yelp's own Sam P sat down for a chat with Anthony Rapp, who created the role of Mark Cohen in the Off-Broadway, Broadway, and film versions of Rent, for a chat about cheap haircuts, pre-show rituals, and living La Vie Bohéme...

SP: So where did you live when you first moved to the City?

AR: I was in and out of the city for shows my whole childhood, but I first moved here for real to go to NYU, so I lived on Washington Square Park. When I left there, I moved to the East Village on 10th Street and 1st Avenue.

SP: And what were some of your favorite haunts around there?

AR: Believe it or not, I actually hung out at The Life Cafe quite a lot -- I mean, it was right there! There was also a bar on 10th between A & B called The Crow that had an awesome '80s night; I'm a child of the '80s. I think that closed though and the night moved to Pyramid Club.

SP: Living there must have been great inspiration for Rent -- did you guys hang out down there much as a cast?

AR: Well, before we got to Broadway, when the show was at The New York Theater Workshop on East 4th, we were down there all the time. We'd have lunch at Cafe Orlin, and there's Winebar right there on 2nd Avenue; we were there a lot..

SP: What about when you moved to Broadway? Any spots in the theater district where you could go to avoid the tourists?

AR: We'd head over to 9th Ave for lunch to get away from Times Square, but back then it was nothing like it is now! Honestly, after a show we were so exhausted we just wanted to go home!

SP: That show must have taken a lot of energy!  Any pre-show rituals?  Double-shot of espresso? Tequila? Yoga? What got you ready to rock?

AR: I'm not much of a coffee drinker, so definitely not espresso! We started doing a lot of yoga at the theater to get warmed up, but I've totally stopped now. I took these amazing classes at a place called Yoga Tree that I don't think is around anymore. And at the Crunch on Lafayette.
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SP:
Rent had such a particular (and much imitated) sense of style. Where would you go to get a Mark stripey scarf or Mimi's turquoise pants.

AR: You know, those pants were actually Daphne [Rubin-Vega]'s! I'm pretty sure she got them at Patricia Fields.  My sweater in the show was made my Free People - I'm pretty sure they got it for me at Urban Outfitters - then when the show got popular and got to Broadway, they had to buy them all up for replacements!

SP: That must have bummed out a lot of Rent-heads! So where do you live now?

AR: NoHo - so basically the East Village North.

SP:
What are your go-to spots around there?

AR: My favorite restaurant is Five Points. I love Temple Bar - it's the perfect place to just sit and catch up with friends or take out-of-towners. It's quiet but in a good way.  And my new favorite is Gemma in The Bowery Hotel - that place is fantastic!  Also, Corner Shop on Bleecker and Broadway.  Mostly I love to just wander around the neighborhood and explore new places.

SP: Sounds like you'd make a great yelper, then, Anthony! Any tips for young starving artists moving to the city looking to save a buck? Cheap haircuts? Lunch deals?

AR: For a cheap haircut, you've gotta go to Astor Place Hair. They've got all those great Eastern European barbers. I remember Avenue A Japanese was always a good deal for lunch.

For more of Anthony's tales, check out his book: Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent