Saturday, October 25, 2014

Puerto Rican Festival 2014

Who is not excited with street festivals or block parties in Houston? For a city of 40% Hispanic population, you ought to love Puerto Rican and Cuban Festival in late September.

I'm all about cultural festivals. This festival covered 5 spokes: 2 music stages, food vendors, porta potties and kids playground. The entrance fee $13 was well worth it. I was very glad that they expended ticket vendors to include all Fiesta stores. As previous years, there were only selected few.

Just like any outdoor events, we need good weather and mild temperature to draw the crowd. Lucky us. The sky cleared out right before the first day of festival. This event was held at Tranquility Park for many years. I think it was the renovation caused them to move to the streets.

Non-stop entertainment and delicious regional foods from local restaurants were the main focus of Puerto Rican & Cuban Festival. Watch a short video on Instagram to see salsa dancers everywhere.

Parking wasn't a problem for me. I found parking just a short walking distance to the site. I just had to rely on GPS to find my way back.

I posted this on Yelp's event page. Since there were no Yelpers interested, I didn't create a festival page for reviews. However, I encourage you to explore other festivals at

Monday, October 20, 2014

Check-in Meter on Yelp App

This is one of my favorite feature - Yelp Royalty but I call it "Check-in Meter". I had the opportunity to see both Android and iOS to choose my next Smartphone.

As for Android, you can see when you last checked in, but you can't see the dukedom status.
For iOS, you can see the dukedom crowns and regular icons.

Uh... I like both versions. I know it's too much to ask to combine them.
Android (left) vs iOS (right) 
According to an article on TechCrunch in 2010, "iPhone app (4.2.1) includes a feature called Yelp Royalty. It rewards users with the most check-ins at a venue the title of 'Duke' or 'Duchess.' Those with the most titles in their neighborhood become the 'Baron.' Those with the most it the city become the 'King.'"

To my understanding, check-in is a way to quantify how often you patronize a business. Yelp created a way to compete. Among the regulars, the most frequent visitor wins a duke or duchess badge. At the end, businesses win customers and Yelp app users win with social media recognition.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Personal Expressions

Once I asked HQ if "ass hole" was appropriate in a review.

I got a reply from Yelp HQ, "We realize that different people have different tolerances for strong language, but our bar is pretty high so that we can allow reviewers to tell their story in their own words even when things get colorful."

I found this review helpful, even with F-words. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Yogurt to da Max

When you want all-natural homemade yogurt, I have to brag about my discovery. But you have to be in Houston to enjoy it.

There are many yogurts in supermarkets that contain lots of sugar and corn starch. Only few of them contain the active cultures or Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. However, they are too sweet for me.

One day, I ran into a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that made my dream of eating real yogurt come true. Viola, I found Eatwell Bakery Cafe. I go to Eatwell almost monthly to fulfill my crave for enzymes.

I buy the half-gallon container, which lasts about 4-6 weeks. This is far cheaper than White Mountain of Austin, which has additives and inconsistent flavors. According to the owner Ziad, Eatwell uses only the freshest milk from a local farm that meets his high standards. The flavor of its freshness is indescribable.
Only the natural ingredients

Mmm... you've got to sample it. When you go, mention Lou sent you. I eat 4-6 oz a day plain or with agave nectar. If you can't take it plain, add some honey or fruit jams.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Called it a Name Change

Do you ever wonder what happens when a business changed hands on Yelp? Here is an example of Before and After.

I submitted the update on the app as "the owner sold it and new owner changed its name."
Here is how Yelp called it "renovated" on the app and "moved" on the full site.