Last week, the Twin Cities' Elite Squad went down the rabbit hole for Yelp's Very Merry Unbirthday and it was the Cheshire Cat's pajamas!
Elites brought their mad party hats to this whimsical unbirthday party at the new Verdant Tea Bar & Tasting Room in Seward. Owners David and Lily personally hosted educational tea flights at their community table while yelpers roamed the space in a zen-like fashion to try bites and beverages from other fantastic local businesses.
Verdant opened this summer to rave reviews from yelpers, so it was no surprise they impressed with spicy masala chai (sold in growlers), house kombuchas (on tap!) and a bevy of traditional and non-traditional steepery. They also recently launched an Asian street food-inspired menu that includes sweet potato curry soba noodles that must.be.tried.immediately.if.not.sooner.
Birchwood Cafe and Chef Marshall were on hand with a few of their inventive small bites from their current locally sourced menu, including Burr Oak cups with walnut, fig shallot compote and bacon and crostinis with sweet corned garlic chevre mousse and spicy beets. The mini turkey burgers were off-the-charts, served with a maple squash puree, chipotle aioli and sauteed cabbage. Birchwood offers a small cafe and pastry menu at Verdant, and their own cafe nearby is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily!
Sweet Science Ice Cream brought out some of their homerun flavors and a new autumnal recipe for sampling, including berry crumble, toasted coconut and pumpkin five spice. This creamery is based at Verdant so you can pick up a pint of you own any ol' time!
Cocktails? Of course there were some cocktails—it was an unbirthday party, after all. The Easy & Oskey duo manned the bar using their DIY bitters kits and various creative ingredients sourced straight from Verdant. The menu rocked a guava kombucha, gin and five spice bitters concoction as well as a mixer of rooibos chai, spiced rum and cherry vanilla bitters. And last, but never least, they blended up matcha milkshakes with Sweet Science green tea ice cream, bourbon and cacao bitters. Melissa L said "there were some magical forces on hand tonight" in the drink department.
Snap Yourself was back with a new feature—printable photos! So not only were yelpers able to comb the album for profile pics the following day, but they had a memory to take home too. You check out all the pics here. And a special thanks to Jenna Klein Photography for capturing all the eating and drinking and friend-making that was happening all night—those photos live on Flickr!
If you still aren't convinced that this event was the best unbirthday ever, you're welcome to read the rave reviews on Yelp (or write one yourself if you were there—just remember to hold off on your reviews of the participating businesses until you've had a more typical customer experience).
Wanna snag yourself an invitation to future Yelp events? Check out the Yelp Elite Squad to learn about our exclusive monthly Elite events and apply online if you think you have what it takes to be part of this extraordinary league of urban explorers!