It’s obvious that I love Yelp. I am part of the Yelp Tampa Bay Elite squad, which is pretty much just as fabulous as it sounds. Every month we are invited to special events hosted by local businesses where we are wined and dined and generally given the royal treatment. If you have a Yelp account and write lots of reviews, you could be a Yelp Elite as well (ask me and I’ll nominate you!). But even if you do not want to take the time to become a Yelp Elite, you can still see what all the fuss is about by attending monthly Community Manager Yelp Events, or special events such as Yelp’s Passport to Downtown St. Pete!
For weeks Yelp Tampa Bay has been posting on their Facebook page about this event. It was open to RSVP’s by anyone with a Yelp account, Elite or not. The Yelp Tampa Bay geographical area is very large, so I get excited whenever there is an event close to home in St. Pete. And now there were going to be eight of them in a row! I wanted to go to all of them and RSVP’d for all of them as soon as I could.
Well, the first event was Monday night at Bella Brava, and I got waitlisted. They only had room for 30 Yelpers, and I didn’t make the cut. Sadness. I need to write more reviews! Yelp uses an algorithm to determine who gets in via the RSVP system. Those with the most recent reviews and photos get priority. Also, if you ever RSVP to an event and get a confirmation but then don’t show up, you get dinged for future events and may not get in. I’ve never not shown up! But I have been slipping on writing reviews. It’s a good reminder to me because I always want to get in if I RSVP.
So I will be attending seven of the eight events that are part of this Yelp PASSPORT extravaganza, and last night was my first at MacDinton’s at Jannus Landing in downtown St. Pete.
From glancing at the Yelp reviews of MacDinton’s, I was expecting it to be crowded and full of 20-somethings. I brought along my own 20-something (my friend Kate of Craving Change) to help me blend in.
We checked in at the Yelp table…
and I got my Yelp PASSPORT with it’s first stamp from MacDinton’s.
I’m kind of bummed that it will only get seven stamps instead of eight. Oh well. You can’t always do everything.
Apparently 20-somethings don’t flock downtown on a random Tuesday night because it was not crowded at all and the people who were there seemed to be of all ages.
We passed the live music stage…
and headed to the area that was designated for us Yelpers…tables laden with food.
(Irish Egg Rolls: Crispy rolls filled with corned beef, savory cabbage, and Swiss accompanied with Irish dipping sauce)
(Donegal Baked Goat Cheese: Imported goat cheese crusted with toasted pistachio and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil)
(Sliders: Snack sized burgers topped with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and Russian dressing served on a mini brioche bun)
(Sushi variety platter)
Kate and I are both NSNG’rs (no sugar, no grains), so we strategically scavenged the food tables for things we thought would not have sugar or grains.
We both ate the sliders without the buns, dug the corn beef and cabbage out of the egg roll, and piled our plates with the greens and goat cheese. I’m pretty sure we were eating the garnish, but we were fine with that. Everything was delicious!
Yelpers were given options of MillerCoors beers or some wine, but I ordered a NorCal margarita on my own dime (tequila, club soda, lime).
Kate and I had fun chatting and collecting Yelp swag (always in abundance at Yelp events). I met some new-to-me fellow Yelpers and watched Brett, the Yelp Tampa Bay Community Manager, show off his ping pong skills.
As always at Yelp events, we had a great time. Thanks MacDinton’s for a fun evening! See you tonight at the next PASSPORT event Brett!