Tag Archives: food

Berry Sweet Taste

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The Funky Food Shop sent me something new to try since my review of the Space food went over so well. I was a little nervous about these mBerry tablets. You’re supposed to dissolve them on your tongue and then eat something that is normally bitter or sour tasting. According to the package, whatever you’re eating will completely change in taste and end up being sweet. I’ll try anything once!

There’s no fats or anything crazy like that inside of these all-natural tablets. They contain a natural protein that will bind with the flavor receptors on your tongue. This is what makes sour things taste sweet. It also brings out the natural sweetness of things such as peppers or tomatoes. The miracle berries have been found helpful for people who must limit sugar in their diets, as well as those who have a diminished sense of taste. Dissolving an mBerry tablet on their tongue prior to eating can greatly enhance the flavors of the foods.

The tablets are made from compressed, freeze-dried miracle berries. They’re much more convenient than buying and eating the berries themselves, and less expensive. The effects of just one tablet will last for about an hour, so you don’t have to keep using them each time you take a few bites. Dissolve one on your tongue and enjoy your entire meal.

I have to admit they work. I would have never imagined myself sitting here eating an actual lemon until now. It’s really sweet tasting, and was delicious!

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We Don't Want To Play: When Businesses Say "No" To Social Media Tools

This guest post was crafted by by B. Imei Hsu (@HipsForHire) after a recent experience with me.

Recently, I was hired to perform belly dance at a nice restaurant in Seattle. The hirer assured me the restaurant’s food was delicious, the previous show had good attendance and walk-in traffic, and the owner was on-board with having live entertainment at his establishment to increase his business. The week previous to the performance, I saw the hirer’s invitation to her community to patronize the business and advertise me as their dancer, and I also put a couple of “in kind” tweets and Facebook profile updates to let friends and fans know about this one-time performance slot.

Was it any surprise that a mid-size restaurant with excellent food and really nice staff and ownership was nearly empty on the night of my performance?

If I were a younger, less experienced dancer, I could beat myself up and say that people didn’t come because I wasn’t a “banner name” dancer. But restaurants around the city of Seattle with world-class and award-winning dancers have been crying about low attendance for months. Several venues even closed their businesses to live entertainment, claiming that the economy forced them to do so.

Chris came to see my show, cooed over the delicious food, and then attempted to give the hirer a few tips on how to help the owners enter the 21st century when it comes to promoting a restaurant. Considering that the restaurant is not new, we were both dumbfounded as to why this restaurant, and so many others we have encountered in the Seattle area, are resistant to using Social Media to build a consistent following of loyal patrons.

The three suggestions Chris gave to the hirer were:

  1. Get on Foursquare, and empower people to play for you. With Foursquare, the power of one satisfied customer reverberates through his or her community, creating more customers faster than you can get a coupon to their front door.
  2. Start a Twitter account for the restaurant, and create Tweetups that allow people to do what they love: eat great food and meet new people. I recently used Twtvite to create a one-time event involving world food and Tweetups, and thanks to friends and interest, we had a sizeable gathering for a last-minute idea.
  3. Start a Facebook Fanpage for the show with the name of the restaurant in the Fanpage title. You can add more aps as it grows, send out group ads, or attach a paid ad for special events. Better yet, you can target your audience to local people, so the fans represent people who are truly interested in your events and have a higher likelihood of attending.

These are straightforward suggestions. But as Chris was sharing this information, I couldn’t help but feel for the hirer. She’s in the same position I am in with other establishments, only I’m convinced that if these things were done, they’d stand a better chance of success than without it. As for this hirer, she declined the suggestions for her own reasons, but thanked us for them. As a friend, I support her autonomy, but frankly I still puzzle over what looks a sure-fire way to send customers looking elsewhere for a place to eat.

Ultimately, the problem does not lie with the hirers and schedulers of events at restaurants. It’s the owners who remain unconvinced. They have as yet to see why they should spend hours doing any of these actions foreign to their usual practices, or pay someone else to do it for them. As the “n00b of Social Media” still within her 365-1/4 days of her first year of immersion, I can tell you, it does feel like you’re learning a new language and culture. Anyone new to using these tools would be looking at investing hours of unpaid time learning the ropes, managing multiple accounts, and chasing important local connections before getting the kind of attention that translates into increased repeat business.

Compound that with the complexity and challenge of cultural gaps that exist when the restaurant carries workers, owners, and practices of another ethnic group and/or business ethos. If managers and owners are unfamiliar with digital advertisement and Social Media, the way it often shows up is a simple website that looks like it was designed by someone’s 11-year old son or daughter as a school project, or a static website that was purchased once and never updated since its inception.

The picture is not completely dismal. A few months ago, I was invited to a wine tasting event hosted by Seattle wine darling Barb (@SeattleWineGal). While Chris Pirillo tweeted some of the most unusual descriptions of wine on my left, Annie (@BlackPearlSea) of Black Pearl Restaurant (and resident Chinese proverb goddess on Twitter) introduced herself on my right. Finally, I met someone who is actually working with a restaurant to help them do what I fail to see so many others do. Annie could probably tell you a lot more of the industry from the inside, but it was encouraging to see someone do this successfully. Imagine my delight when she hosted a Black Pearl tweetup, with the likes of Seattle Wine Gal and Chris Pirillo at the same table. That’s powerful!

Another opportunity to start live entertainment in a restaurant has come across my radar? What do you think I’m going to do? If I’ve learned anything, I’m going to see who’s in charge of their Social Media and marketing. If they are resistant to using the tools that will get them noticed, I’m going to pass. My time is better spent with a business who is willing to play with the new rules. Besides, the bump on my forehead from thumping it against my desk in the previous scenarios doesn’t need any to be there anymore.

Can you think of other reasons why restaurants might not want to try Social Media tools to increase their business? Do you know of a business near you that you would be sad to see fold in an unstable economy? Share with us your thoughts.

Corn Kills More People Than Terrorists Do

Don’t squint; you can view and embed the full High Fructose Resolution infographic, too:

Corn Terrorism

It’s no laughing matter, my friends. Corn kills more people than terrorists do – and it’s attacking us largely in the form of high fructose corn syrup. For further insight, I recommend watching:

“Eating better” isn’t always cost effective, but the long-term costs associated with your general health far outweigh the short-term benefits of cheaper foodstuffs. It’s not just about “moderation,” as any amount of junk is junk nonetheless.

Your life may very well depend on understanding the problem and taking some personal responsibility for what you’re sticking into your mouth. Turning a blind eye to the situation will not make it go away, either.

I’m grateful that @Kristin was able to help me better visualize the situation by crafting this infographic, using conservative public statistics and open records. Make no mistake: you have a greater chance of dying from too much corn than you do by a terrorist plot.

Ramen Noodles for Bachelors

Being a single guy living alone, I’m able to eat anything I want for dinner. I admit to eating some strange things now and then, but this stuff takes the cake.

Someone suggested I try Ramen Noodles. Okay, fine! I headed to the store and found out that you can buy like a case of these little packets of food stuffs for around a dollar. I only bought one, though, to see if I would even like it.

After opening the package and taking a bite, I couldn’t figure out why they tasted so plain. It says “Chicken Flavor” right on the front! Thank goodness the chat room pointed the way to the little packet of flavoring still inside the original package.

Dumping half of that in my mouth didn’t really make it taste like chicken, though. It just tasted like I licked a big block of salt. What’s up with that?

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong here, but I don’t think I’ll be crunching on these again any time soon.

Seattle Dinner at Black Pearl

Dinner Entry

@chrispirillo going in for some delicious @BlackPearlSEA pot ... on Twitpic

It’s another Seattle Tweetup! Thought I’d show you a snapshot of what’s on the menu for tonight.

This particular event is being hosted by BlackPearlSEA, NorthESea and Seattle_Events. I was too busy eating to write much, but Northeast Seattle Life has a nom-nopsis. Contributions for the event were provided by: BlackPearlSEA, NWTotemCellars and GRLakeWine.

Also in attendance:

  • @tarynmiller
  • @JenKMiller
  • @MyPartini
  • @bananablossom
  • @posiegirl
  • @colbyjn
  • @hnlmark
  • @chefamadeus
  • @belvoir

Have You Ever Had Ostrich?

Have You Ever Had Ostrich?

Imei cooked an Easter meal with ostrich on the plate. Of course, there’s broccoli, rice, and mustard as well – but that’s just standard fare.

The toughest part was catching the bird! It kept running and running and running. Darn near lost a finger trying to wrangle that sucker. Ostriches are mean! Of course, you could say we were equally as mean to eat it for dinner.

Just kidding (about the catching part, not the eating part – that really is ostrich on our plate). It tasted a bit gamey, but that’s par for the course with ostrich meat. Can’t say it’s my favorite food in the world. Probably ranks somewhere after spaghetti but definitely before Brussels sprouts.