Thursday, August 31, 2017

Friend or Follow

To reply my Yelper friend's question from awhile back, "Why do I see some people on my feed but they are not my friends?"

Answer: You marked to follow them. Doesn't matter if you are friends or not, anyone you follow will be showing on top of all feed, reviews and tips.

It's good to follow someone on Yelp. It's completely anonymous. They don't know you are following them. Befriend with someone on Yelp will reveal each other's check-in messages. I don't see any harm to follow your friends. Except, the contents from people you follow will go to the top of everything.

I like extremes. Porsche posted over 17k media.

From what I know besides reviews, tips, photo post notifications, you'll receive notifications from your friends' interests in Events and posts on Talks on the feed. It's much easier to read them on the app because they presented in both groups, Friends and Following.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Time for Taiwan at Tainan Bistro

Crawlers, this is the recommended menu for #TimeForTaiwan #ChinatownCrawl event at Tainan Bistro.
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Everything on the menu is single serving, not family style dining. But feel free to share with other Crawlers.

I have carefully selected dishes for those people who is:
  • Vegetarian - steam buns and dumpling may contain eggs
  • Pescetarian - can be vegetarian contain eggs
  • Gluten intolerance or sensitivity
  • Restricted on the consumption of pork
  • Allergic to shell fish - see below, but skip fish and seafood on the name
  • Vegan - Not on the menu, but it can be prepared from the kitchen

Vegetarian and Pescetarian:
凉麵 $5.25 - Cold Noodles (dry) - tell kitchen to hold the shredded chicken
炸醬麵 $5.95 - Bean Paste with minced pork Dry Noodles - tell kitchen to hold the pork
素炒麵 $5.75 - Vegetarian Chow Mein
酥炸魚排飯 - $7.75 - Fried fish steak over rice
綜合素炒飯 $6.00 - Vegetarian fried rice
鮮蝦炒飯 $6.50 - Prawn fried rice
三鮮水餃 (15) $7.00 - Three Seafood dumplings
煎素餃子 (10) $6.50 - Fried vegetarian dumplings
三鮮鍋貼 (10) $6.50 - Three Seafood Pot Stickers
蘿蔔絲煎餃 (1) $1.30 - Shredded Daikon Pot Sticker
海鮮什锦系列 $7.95 - Seafood Combo Series (Rice noodles/Noodles/Rice Cake/Rice)
味佳香熏魚 (Half or Whole)  $11.00 / $21.00 - House Special Smoked Fish

Dumplings & Pot Stickers (3rd panel) and Noodles
Everything on these 2 menus contain wheat.

Non-Pork Dishes - plus dishes from Vegetarian and Pescetarian:
牛肉麵 $6.95 - Beef Soup Noodles
酥炸雞排飯 - $6.95 - Fried chicken steak over rice
紅燒牛肉燴飯 $7.95 - Braised beef over rice
牛肉水餃 (15) $7.00 - Beef dumplings
牛肉鍋貼 (10) $6.50 - Beef Pot Stickers
牛肉湯餃 (12) $6.75 - Beef soup dumplings

Everyone else, check out above listed dishes and below:
上海菜肉餛飩 (10) $6.50 - Shanghai style pork wonton
牛肉湯餃 (12) $6.75 - Beef soup dumplings
酥炸雞排飯 - $6.95 - Fried chicken steak over rice
炸排骨飯 - $6.95 - Fried Pork Chop over rice
麻醬麵 $5.25 - Sesame Paste Dry Noodles 
炸醬麵 $5.95 - Bean Paste with minced pork Dry Noodles 
擔擔面 $5.25 - Spicy oil minced pork noodles
台式炒米粉 $6.50 - Taiwanese style dry rice noodles
滷豬腳拌麵 $6.95 - Spiced pig feet dry noodles
鮮蝦小餛飩麵 $6.75 - Shrimp won ton soup noodles
切仔麵/米粉 $5.50 - Minced Pork Plain Noodles/Rice Noodles
肉焿 $5.75 - Pork Meatball Soup
肉焿米粉/ 麵 $5.75 - Pork Meatball Soup with Rice Noodles or Noodles
雞捲 (2) $7.00 - Tofu wrapped chicken roll



Monday, July 31, 2017

Tainan Bistro Menu Translated

Tainan Bistro serves lots of delicious Taiwanese food. Unless you read Chinese, you can't understand what's on the menu hanging on the wall.

So, let me break it down for you. There are 5 panels:

  1. Side Dishes (check the cooler for availability)
  2. Noodles
  3. Dumplings Pot Stickers
  4. Rice Dishes
  5. Beverage & New Items
Noodles (2nd Panel)
Noodles Panel
牛肉麵 $6.95 - Beef Soup Noodles
牛肉蓋澆陽春麵 $6.95 - Beef Topped Noodles
榨菜肉絲湯麵 $6.00 - Preserved mustard with pork strips soup noodles
雪菜肉絲湯麵 $6.00 - Preserved vegetable with pork strips soup noodles
番茄雞蛋麵 $6.00 - Tomato scramble eggs over noodles
鮮蝦小餛飩麵 $6.75 - Shrimp won ton soup noodles
豬排麵 $6.95 - Pork chop soup noodles
雞排麵 $6.95 - Chicken Steak soup noodles
魚排麵 $7.75 - Fish Steak soup noodles
切仔麵/米粉 $5.50 - Minced Pork Plain Noodles/Rice Noodles
凉麵 $5.25 - Cold Noodles (dry)
全家福 - Family Portrait - Fish, pork
砂鍋牛肉粉絲湯 - Clay pot beef strips rice noodle soup
蝦炒麵 $6.75 - Shrimp Chow Mein
雞炒麵 $6.50 - Chicken Chow Mein
鮮蝦炒麵 $6.75 - Prawn Chow Mein
麻醬麵 $5.25 - Sesame Paste Dry Noodles V
炸醬麵 $5.95 - Bean Paste with minced pork Dry Noodles P
素炒麵 $5.75 - Vegetarian Chow Mein
擔擔面 $5.25 - Spicy oil minced pork noodles
台式炒米粉 $6.50 - Taiwanese style dry rice noodles
滷豬腳拌麵 $6.95 - Spiced pig feet dry noodles

Rice Dishes (4th Panel)

Rice Dishes:
酥炸雞排飯 - $6.95 - Fried chicken steak over rice
炸排骨飯 - $6.95 - Fried Pork Chop over rice
酥炸魚排飯 - $7.75 - Fried fish steak over rice
雞炒飯 $6.00 - Chicken fried rice
鮮蝦炒飯 $6.50 - Prawn fried rice
綜合雞蝦炒飯 $6.50 - Chicken & Shrimp fried rice
綜合素炒飯 $6.00 - Vegetarian fried rice
滷豬腳飯 $6.95 - Spiced pig feet over rice
梅干扣肉飯 $6.95 - Prune pork stew over rice
紅燒牛肉燴飯 $7.95 - Braised beef over rice


Dumpling (3rd Panel)
Dumplings & Pot Stickers:
韭菜豬肉水餃 (15) $6.50 - Chives Pork Dumplings
白菜豬肉水餃 (15) $6.50 - Napa Cabbage Pork Dumplings
三鮮水餃 (15) $7.00 - Three Seafood dumplings
牛肉水餃 (15) $7.00 - Beef dumplings
煎素餃子 (10) $6.50 - Fried vegetarian dumplings
上海菜肉餛飩 (10) $6.50 - Shanghai style pork wonton
牛肉湯餃 (12) $6.75 - Beef soup dumplings
白菜鍋貼 (10) $6.00 - Napa Cabbage Pot Stickers P
三鮮鍋貼 (10) $6.50 - Three Seafood Pot Stickers
牛肉鍋貼 (10) $6.50 - Beef Pot Stickers
鮮蝦鍋貼 (10) $7.00 - Shrimp Pot Stickers
韭菜鍋貼 (10) $6.00 - Chives Pot Stickers
蘿蔔絲煎餃 (1) $1.30 - Shredded Daikon Pot Sticker

Beverage (5th panel)

Beverage:
汽水 $1.00 - Soft Drink
冰糖银耳 $3.00 - Rock Sugar White Fungus Drink
綠豆冰糖银耳 $3.00 - Rock Sugar White Fungus with Mung Beans Drink
酸梅湯 $3.00 - Sour Plum Drink


New Items (5th panel)
New Items:
肉焿 $5.75 - Pork Meatball Soup
肉焿米粉/ 麵 $5.75 - Pork Meatball Soup with Rice Noodles or Noodles
雞捲 (2) $7.00 - Tofu wrapped chicken roll F
味佳香熏魚 (Half or Whole)  $11.00 / $21.00 - House Special Smoked Fish
燙青菜 $5.95 - Hot Vegetables
海鮮什锦系列 $7.95 - Seafood Combo Series:
- 米粉 Rice Noodles
- 麵 Noodles
- 年糕 Rice Cake
- 泡飯 Soaked Rice
雞肉絲飯 $5.50 - Shredded Chicken over Rice
鹽水鴨肉飯 $7.50 - Salty Duck over Rice

Please come to my Time for Taiwan #ChinatownCrawl UYE on Sunday, August 13, 2017. 

Disclaimer:
I don't work for this restaurant. These are my best knowledge of Taiwanese food. Anything pre-made are not likely to be altered, such as dumplings. It's possible to ask for certain ingredients to be or not to be in your order.

Small red alphabet indicates other ingredient might be allergic. Pork, Fish

Monday, July 10, 2017

UYE, Meetup or just Event

For those of you familiar with my #ChinatownCrawl UYE (Unofficial Yelp Event), there is a scenery change. You won't see my UYE on Yelp Event page at the beginning of my announcement. In a perfect world, my Yelper friends receive notification on the app when I create an event and interested in an event. But lately, I don't see any response after the UYE page sitting there for 2 weeks. I guess there are too many notifications on their app.

You may not know this. It's very time consuming to use Yelp Event page to invite my Yelper Friends. On average, it takes about 2 to 3 hours to "share" my event to everyone lives in Houston from Event page. This share actually sends an email to their personal email address. But some people are invisible most of time or they don't check emails as often or get notified with incoming emails. Then, I have to use another method to get their attention - private message, compliments or check-in message. Other than that, they are just not reachable.

When the event gets closer, I begin my response struggle all over again... private messages, compliments or check-in messages. Besides no shows, there are those uninvited guests of no response and suddenly showed up. All these challenges are event organizers' nightmare.

So, here is my solution. My Yelper friends are the last to hear about my Chinatown Crawl event. I've decided to delay posting until my other events pages have reached a desired attendance counts. Here is my order: Facebook, Google and Yelp.

Facebook
You don't have to be my Facebook friend to be the first to know. Follow my non-personal page MiniSites by PortAloha to get notified.

Google
Then, I post it on Google+ Communities page Chinatown Crawl Houston. Because some people don't have Facebook or Yelp, they should at least have Google. You don't have to follow me and be in my circle, just follow my page.

If you are a Local Guide, I stopped posting meetup events on LocalGuidesConnect.com. The site is more difficult to use than Yelp. Here is my blog about my dislikes.

Instagram
I will post suggested images, but not event URL. Instagram is used for post event sharing only.

While there are still too early to post my next Chinatown Crawl Meetup on Yelp, you can find it on Google Events and Facebook.

Note: There are a few event VIP. I message them privately from the start.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Google Meetup Feedback!

I tried to like this Local Guide Houston on Google+ Community. It has over 19k members with too many spam messages and unrelated topics. The worse part was my question on meetup was unanswered. Everyone seems disinterested with everyone else. I felt like it's a bot world.

So I tried localguideconnect.com, a little better but still many unrelated replies. It seems people just want to get badges. I sent a message and never had high hope for a response back. But it has to depend on how they receive notification. For me, I receive updates on gmail. I get instant alert on my phone.

Now, they want to know how my meetup went 

Here are my answers to the survey:

Any other feedback you’d like to share?
  • The meetup event on LGC site is useless. Only 3 out of 9 showed up from there. I would rather use Google+ Events to be my only source for RSVP. 
Please link to a photo album from your meet-up
  • I tried to use Google Photos app. But it uploaded all unrelated photos on my phone without telling me. It used up my data usage. Instead, I asked my guests to upload the photos on my Google+ Event page. (it didn't post)
If you felt unprepared, please explain why and what would help you feel more prepared in the future.
  • The tools provided were not efficient for event hosting. The meetup on local guide uses Google+ handle - can't send private email unless I follow the person. The only way I can communicate to the person is when he replied to my Local Guide Connect post. But it has to rely on another communication tool to deliver this message - Gmail. 
Please link to your recap post on Connect
Please link to a video recap from your meet-up
Overall thoughts on Local Guide:
  • There are too many obstacles to host an event. I can't post a functional URL on Connect. I can't modify meetup info or communicate with my guests on Connect. Next time, I will post a Google+ event first before submit Meetup event on Connect.


Monday, June 19, 2017

HAAPI Films Gave me Good Vibes

Past weekend was the final week of HAAPI Film Festival. It was my pleasure to attend the screening of MELE MURALS and meeting the film director Tadashi Nakamura. I'm a big fan of his work. I watched his earlier film Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings on Xfinity on Demand in April, when it was available from CAAMFest sponsorship.
So glad to pose with my favorite Asian film director, Tad Nakamura
I couldn't believe he is a fourth generation Japanese American lives in LA and never lived in Hawaii. But he was able to bring the best of his ability to help the audience to experience the actors' reality. Both movies are based on true stories with a documentary format. However, it requires more knowledge about Hawaii when you watch Mele Murals. I asked someone after the movie as if she knew certain cultural references. But without those Hawaiian terms, the movie will not make sense.

Tad was at CAAMfest in SF.
So...Same feeling with Kumu Hina from last year's screening. I felt connected immediately with the topic, because I lived in Hawaii and learned something special about Hawaiian culture and customs. I didn't learn how to hula, but I sure learned how to properly pronounce Hawaiian. Hina was the language director for Queen Emma Hawaiian Civic Club Chorus. Under her direction and dedication, we competed at annual Aha Mele in 2001. It was nice to see a friend from the past on the silver screen.


Four Strings was on the cover of Cinemas of Asian American collection

I can't wait to see more Asian Pacific Islander films next year. Here is the page from this year's lineup. ocahouston.org/haapiff

I love this Festival video at the beginning of each screening.
(Mmm... not sure what I was doing here https://youtu.be/xjVc8PQoiLg?t=45s)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Google Local Guides vs Yelp Elites

I've been an Elite Yelper for 6 years. I was curious with a constant popup from Google Maps app to join Local Guides. Here is a quick comparison with Google Local Guides and Yelp Elites.


  • Lack of Connection - There is connections with Google Maps reviewers and the readers. If you are a Local Guide, there is LocalGuidesConnect.com to have some sort of conversation. Most of conversations are fillers - users wants to get badges.
  • Lack of Social Interaction - Unlike Yelp, you can't follow a reviewer and read his/her reviews first. The reviews are sorted chronologically with ratings (non-verbiage review) on the bottom. It's meaningless to write a long review on a popular destination. I normally say a few words with dozen of photos.


It knows you're here. Some biz don't have one.


  • Content Quality - There's no standard with Local Guides. 
  • Level 5 Local Guides - Unlike Yelp Elites, there is no prestige to be recognized. Anything over 500 points is Level 5. Some people just post a sentence to say it's a review. So, one person wrote 500 nonsense reviews and he's a Level 5 Local Guides. 
  • Credibility - I've seen lots of Local Guides don't show their real name and no pictures. How can you be a reliable source to the community?
  • Lack of Community - There are few Local Guides in Houston. Who cares who's who.
  • Local Guides Meetup - I've seen this type of social event is not popular in Houston but overseas locations are common. I hosted  one meetup. Read my other blog.
These are my 2 cents about the Local Guides.