Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Year of the Sheep UYE

This is my 2nd annual UYE to celebrate the Lunar New Year with my Yelper friends at San Dong Noodle House. In 2014, we met at Little Sheep Mongolian BBQ for the Year of the Horse celebration. I decided not to write a review on my own UYE (thanks to Erin). Instead, I use blog to share my Yelpy experience.

A small group of 9 people filled lots of fun in 2 restaurants
This was my 2nd year to share the Chinese culture with my yelp friends to celebrate lunar new year with an UYE.

The format was simple. Let's meet at San Dong Noodle house and have some noodles and dumplings. Then, we move on to Parisian bakery for dessert.

Thanks to Mark W. for  helping me at the last  minute and Tracey S. chiming in. Not all Chinese people have same cultural customs during lunar new year. We also learned Vietnamese cultural from Eddie S. and Pauline T.

I'm sorry Samantha. I failed to check the proper utensil during my planing. I felt so bad that you were struggling with a pair of scissors trying to break the beef chunks and noodles.

For people who missed this UYE, oh so sorry. You were not reminded. Normally, beginning of year is my busiest season with events in Chinatown. We had a perfect crowd for an awesome UYE.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Crosstown Magic Event

I attended a very interesting and meaningful event - Dine Out Fight AIDS on Thursday, April 30, 2015. This is a synchronized event with 60 other cities around the country.

On Yelp, there was no exception. Our Yelp Ambassador, Courtney S. created an "official UYE" to drum up Yelpers' support for the cause. I personally love UYE's, as well as love to support our community. I went to the website and sighed - there isn't any effective way to see where all the restaurants are.

So, I created a list based on Yelp Biz page listing. This made my evening more convenient - just click and go on the Events feature of Yelp app. My goal was to hit 3 supporting restaurants in 3 hours: Jenni's Noodle House in the Heights, Niko Niko Greek and American Cafe and Cafe Piquet Cuban Cuisine.

I used social media - Instagram & Yelp to document my experiences impromptu. I met some energetic volunteers and took some group photos with them. I also mingled with strangers who went for the same reason.
  • At Jenni's, I met a group of softball players. I had few conversations about everyone's noodle choices. Quite interesting group of armature ball players. See my Instagram Post  #JennisNoodle #dineOUTfightAIDS
  • Before leaving the Heights, I stopped by Kroger in hoping to get a cup of coffee to wash down my full stomach, so I could indulge my next meal. But it was unsuccessful.
  • My GPS led me to Niko Niko in Montrose area, the next closest location. I finally got my coffee. It was so dark, cashier warned me about the strong taste. Heck, the darker the better to go with the baklava. I noticed a few volunteers greeted guests as they came through the doors. I introduced myself and showed them the sticker I've got from last location. Not remembering their names, but I know majority of them were from Walgreen's. Very nice to see their commitment to the cause. I took few photos with this energetic group and posted it on Instagram #NikoNiko #dineOUTfightAIDS
  • I lost my way in searching my next destination. I arrived at Cafe Piquet just in time before it closed for the night. I met another supporter with her daughter eating desserts. I praised the owner Lugo for his support in the community. On the way out, I met volunteer Yemoja M. I learned how this event was composed. Here is my photo opp posted on Instagram #CafePiquet  #dineOUTfightAIDS
At the end of night, I felt very good about doing a good deed because we are helping others while enjoying our evening at different restaurants. So, next year, I want to hit 5 restaurants in 4 hours. Anyone wanna join me?

One sticker for each site.
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Note to Yelp Houston:
I would love to host a Crosstown Magic UYE next year. Please let me know in advance. I'm sure there are other Yelpers would be interested to take part on this event.