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Social Media Is About Friends January 25, 2014

Remembering Gordo

My Uncle Gordon “Gordo” passed away on Monday. Our family knew he was not doing well, but the undeniable event landed right in our lap Monday around 3 p.m. When my Cousin asked me “what do we do? We have 30 people coming into town and I have to handle the funeral arrangements. Can you get the food together? I said yes, and without a thought I messaged my friend Russ . Inside info on Russ, he’s an awesome guy, his wife Kate are completely adorable.

All I did was message Russ that I needed his help, I needed this to be a seamless, low key, no problem type of deal, Russ delivered in a huge way, for that my family that we will be forever grateful.

The ceremony was truly beautiful, but the execution at Thr3e Wish Men was as good as it gets. Everyone had what they wanted, food was awesome, drinks were full, it felt like there was nothing else that could have possibly been done.  http://www.thr3ewisemen.com

Thanks Russ, you came through for us when we really needed it!   gordo3

mjk

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It’s Serious Business People February 22, 2013

Tuna Salad. I take it very seriously.

Until today I had one true love, one location, no other tuna salad existed. I’ve had others and always felt guilty afterwards.

Today…. A new tuna salad rocked my world and I’m not ashamed to say it.

My friend Jenn Lisak invited me to lunch at SoBro Cafe yesterday. I’ve never been to SoBro before so like any good food lover I checked out their menu before I went.

The first thing I noticed on their menu was their claim to have “Impeccable Chai” for a sorta spiffy price. I said out-loud (to myself) “they must be pretty damn proud of that tea.” When I arrived at the cozy spot I ordered the Impeccable Chai straight away. I think the server could sense a hint of sarcasm when I ordered it, she just smiled sweetly as to say, yeah, you’ll see. So.. I’m an ass because it truly is impeccable. Perfectly creamy and the right hint of warm spices. I was almost transported to another place when she asked if I “liked it?” I said “yes” sheepishly, and took another sip.

The lunch menu has a wide variety of sandwiches, soups, and such to nosh on (lots and lots of Gluten Free and Vegan options here my friends.) My eye went directly to the Tunisian Salad which I noticed after perusing the menu the night before. The Tunisian Salad is tuna salad with potatoes, lemon caper dill sauce on texas toast with harissa, boiled egg, and melted cheddar cheese. Ordering this meant I was going out of my tuna salad comfort zone. I’ve only been out maybe half a dozen times and have always been disappointed. Then I thought, if the Chai is that damn good, the sandwich has to be good. I asked the server if the sandwich was good, she said it was “excellent” – that’s a done deal. Chips came with it, but I opted for a kale salad. The kale salad was dressed nicely with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

When the sandwich arrived it looked so delicious. So much so that I lost my head and didn’t take of picture of it before taking a bite! Wow, that’s all I can say. There is some love in that tuna salad. Salty from capers, acid from the lemon, sweetness from the mayo, and heat which must have been from the harissa. It’s safe to say a changing of the guard happened in my tuna salad world. I’ll have fond memories of my old tuna salad, our times together, as I drive past it to go back to SoBro Cafe.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s more. After we finished our lunch the owner brought out a piece of cake for us. It was a slice of banana (thanks Gwen Stefani) cake with peanut butter icing.  It had the consistency of a carrot cake, it was sweet but not too sweet. I really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t typically order a piece of banana cake, it was a very nice surprise.

I’ll definitely go back to SoBro Cafe. They have brunch on Saturday and Sunday which always perks Mr. D’s ears up. If you’re not a fan of tuna salad, get the Chai and thank me later.

SoBro Cafe

SoBro Cafe – Menu, Hours, Etc.

SoBro Cafe on Facebook

SoBro Cafe on Twitter

 

Spook-tacular Dinner Cerulean Style November 5, 2012

When Duncan Alney of Firebelly Marketing  asked if I would like to attend a pop up dinner under the City Market on Halloween, how long do you think it took me to say yes? I think the look on my face was enough. A new restaurant Cerulean Indianapolis was hosting the event. He could have told me I was going to eat dirt and I would have been there. I did, by the way eat some delicious dirt.

There were 20 of us. Some social media foodies and great mix of people that won the restaurant’s pop up dinner sweepstakes. Everyone met at the Tomlinson Tap Room. Some of us whispering about actually eating in the catacombs beneath the City Market. Tales of ghost and haunting filled the room when our gracious hostess said it was time to head down.

Not knowing what to expect, I didn’t expect the dirt floor, or the hair on the back of my arms raising up and we shuffled down the old stairs. Through the dim lights we arrived at our destination.  Awesome right?

Speaking of awesome, the food, was absolutely delicious!  Chef Caleb France was very gracious and described his restaurant and the dishes we would be enjoying and that they would be paired with a wine sample.

They started us out with a seared scallop, which was not on the already prepared menu. It looked as beautiful as it tasted. Cooked to perfection, perfect start!

Our next small plate was kale, carrot, radish, caramelized onion, dirt. You read it right, edible dirt. It was paired with a Branborg Estate wine (Umpqua Valley, OR.) Everything was crisp and fresh, another delight!

My favorite option of the night was the yellow perch, sweet pepper, fennel, mushroom corn. The yellow perch melted in my mouth, the peppers were sweet, with the right amount of fennel. It was paired with a Overstone (Hawke’s Bay, New Zeland.)

I would have been satisfied with that dish alone but then they brought out the pork dish. It took me to Thanksgiving. Pork Loin, cranberry, fresh sage, apple, ginger, with a hint of bourbon. The loin was so tender you could cut it with a fork, the cranberries were just the right amount of tartness.  It was paired with Domain de Servana Cotes due Rhone Grenache Blend (Rhone Valley, France.)

Our next taste was of the smoske, beef, bone marrow, stout, mustard braised greens. The beef was well seasoned and tender, the greens were amazing! It was paired with Burgess Syrah (Napa Valley, CA.)

Usually I’m not much of a desert person but when presented with white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate that looked like a magician put it together I was all in. Surprisingly light and fluffy! I thought it would be impolite the lick the plate in front of the other guests. It was paired with Bodegas Dios Baco Amontillado Sherry (Jerez, Spain.)

What a perfect night! I asked Chef Caleb why he chose Indianapolis for his next venture? “I love that Indy has been transformed into a dinning destination by many great chefs and now, the stage is set to begin to redefine what it means to cook and eat in Indianapolis.”

Isn’t that delicious?

Cerulean Indianapolis opens Friday, November 23, Black Friday. Which I think is spectacular!

Find them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ceruleanindy?fref=ts

Follow them on Twitter @ceruleanindy

 

You Need Some “OPA!” February 2, 2012

Doesn’t it just make you feel good to say it?  OPA!

If you’re in the mood for the tastiest Greek food in Indianapolis?  You don’t have to leave Downtown!  Greek Islands is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Lucas Oil!

At Greek Islands family is #1, and that is exactly how you will feel, right at home.  You will have a blast enjoying the atmosphere, the food, and you might even smash a plate or two!

The Food, Oh The Food!  You will feel like you’re sitting at Momma’s table with the generous portions, devouring the recipes that only Momma shares with “family.”

Are we talking Gyros? Um, yeah we are!  The best Gyros this side of Astoria!  Tasty strips of gyro meat topped with onions, tomatoes, and tzaziki – served on hot pita bread…Mamma!  If you feel like a Chicken Gyro, they can do that too!  If you love Spanakotiropita, like I love it, you must have it.  This flakey spinach and cheese pie will transport you straight to Greece!

But really, who wants to go to a Greek Restaurant without the thrill and deliciousness of Saganaki!  For those of you that don’t know what Saganaki is, let me explain it to you.  You server will come out with a sizzling plate, with a big smile, and light the tangy Graviera Cheese on fire and shout “OPA” with enthusiasm!  You’ll never forget the experience or how delicious the cheese is!

Have you tired Souvlaki?  No?  You haven’t lived!  Skewered, hearty bites of grilled, marinated pork, green peppers, tomatoes, and onions served with tzaziki sauce!  You’ll always get a Greek Salad, Bread, Rice Pilaf, and Olympian Beans!  Did I mention you’re not going to leave hungry?

Did I also mention that Greek Islands wants to take care of their Gluten Free Friends.  Please visit their website to check out their Gluten-Free Menu.  http://www.greekislandsrestaurant.com/

A few other things you might want to file away in your deliciousness file…

Moussaka:  Layers of Eggplant, potatoes, ground beef and a savory bechamel sauce topped with tomato sauce and a sprinkle of grated graviera cheese.

Pasticchio:  Layers of macaroni, ground beef and a savory bechamel sauce finished with tomato sauce and a sprinkle of grated graviera cheese.

Dolmades:  Tender grape leaves stuffed with ground beef and rice, topped with a special lemon sauce.

Triopita:  Hand-rolled triangles of phyllo dough generously filled with Momma’s special Feta cheese mixture.

All of those sound good?  Try them all, plus Gyros, and Spanakotiropita – order the Greek Islands Combination!

Greek Islands is located at 906 South Meridian Street.  Their phone number is 317-636-0700.  Open Thursday 10 am – 9 pm.  Friday 10 am – 11 pm.  Saturday 4 pm – 11 pm.  Sunday 4 pm – 10 pm.  You can make a reservation online, just visit their website at http://www.greekislandsrestaurant.com/

Enjoy!  Opa!

 

Four Gems with a Extra Point February 1, 2012

While dining in Indianapolis during the week of the Super Bowl we want you to have a great experience.  We have several “heavy hitters” in town when it comes to restaurants.  You might have heard if you’re in Indianapolis, you must go to ____________.  Certainly true, and each of those restaurants deserve all the hype they get.  If you’re here all week, or part of it, I thought about suggesting a few places within walking distance of the Super Bowl Village that deserve some local love.

Cafe Patachou:  225 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana   “A student union since 1989”  know for their killer breakfasts, Cafe Patachou will leave you filled with Hoosier Hospitality!  Nominated for the “Super 46” sandwich contest their Broken Yolk sandwiches are an Indy favorite.  My suggestion would be the Broken Yolk Sandwich with Ham* Two fried eggs, Swiss cheese, ham and grainy mustard on your choice of buttered toast.  One word – Yum.  With an array of other soup, salad, and sandwich choices, Patachou is a first down winner!  *Breakfast, Lunch, (Dinner – during Super Bowl – Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until 5 p.m.)

Tata Cuban Cafe:  137 West Market Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.  “Our cafe offers all the right ingredients to create the magic food, atmosphere, and rhythms of Cuba in Indiana.”  Tata’s Sweet Plantains are worth the short walk over alone!  Sweet, light, and salty, these little devils will transport your taste buds straight to a warmer climate.  The Cuban Pressed sandwiches will make your mouth water just looking at the steam rolling off the fresh bread.  If you’re in the mood for something heartier may I suggest the Pernil Guantanamero, *Pork leg seasoned with tropical spices roasted to perfection.  Be sure not to miss this Quarterback sneak!  *Lunch, and Dinner service.

King David Dogs:  135 North Pennsylvania, Indianapolis, Indiana   “An Indy Original since 1941” King David Dogs has that “snap” that you crave when you want a good hot dog.  It all starts with their signature all beef 1/4 lb. hot dog.  With 30+ options, you can build the hot dog of your dreams.  My suggestion would be the “Indy Dog” of course, *topped with onions, yellow mustard, sport peppers, and french fries.  Or perhaps you might fancy the Boom Boom Dog *with a fried egg, and cheddar cheese.  If you like a little heat in your condiments you won’t want to miss the Jalapeno Mustard made fresh daily.  *Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Tavern on South:  423 West South Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.    With “starters” like a Blue Crab Pot Pie, and “Hoosier” Cheese Fondue, you will look around this gorgeous setting and think “WOW.”  Known for their delicious and savory food, and gracious service, this is Hoosier Hospitality at it’s best.  For lunch, I suggest the Tavern Tenderloin Sliders *two hand cut pork tenderloins, panko crusted, with mustard aioli, lettuce, pickle, and shaved red onion, on  fresh pretzel rolls – seriously!  A dinner favorite is the Lobster Stuffer Flounder *Holland flounder, Maine lobster, with boursin cheese potato puree, and citrus buerre blanc.  Tavern on South also has a note worthy wine list with nightly drink specials.  Touchdown!  *Lunch, and Dinner service.

The Libertine:  38 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana  One word – Phenomenal.  Specialty Drinks, small plates, a perfect way to end your evening in Indianapolis.  You will fall in love with everything here, I suggest the Bacon Flight, that’s right, you read that right!  Artichoke Puffs that you would run over a defensive tackle to get to. Popcorn infused with bacon grease gives a new twist to a classic favorite snack.  Described as “Tall Dark and Handsome”  you won’t want to miss this calling card at the end of the night.    *Tuesday – Thursday 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.  Friday – Saturday 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Enjoy your time in Indy!

 

46 December 21, 2011

46 Days is all you got left before the Superbowl hits Indianapolis.

So what are you going to do “Business People?”

I’m mainly taking to restaurants.  I see all of you whining and bitching about how business is down on the news.

So what are you going to do?

I’ll tell you who isn’t whining and bitching, Scott Wise of “Scotty’s Brewhouse.”

“We’re in the business of forethought. You’re always trying to foresee, ‘What do I need?’ Multiply that by 1,000, and that is the Super Bowl.”

So if you’re thinking, wow, this might be a good time to create a Facebook Fan page, or gosh, maybe we should add that  Twitter account we’ve been talking about.  Do you want the truth?   You’re probably too late.

It’s so frustrating for me to see establishments that claim they need more business yet won’t embrace Social Media.  Are you “half -in” on Social Media and do a really bad job?  Did you have someone working for you and didn’t see the financial payoff after 3  months?  Right when the uphill battle was going to begin to be fun, and I mean a lot of fun, you quit. You’re going to do Social Media on your own, how’s that working out for you?  Ends up you don’t do it, or do it poorly, and the account created and nurtured lays stagnate.

So where does that leave you with the Super Bowl coming to town in 46 days?  PANIC is a word that comes to mind.

I just Googled “restaurants near Indianapolis, Indiana”

1.   St. Elmo Steak House (Your SEO Company needs a bonus.)

2.  Oceanaire (Really?)

3.  Rock Bottom ( Your SEO Company DEFINITELY deserves a bonus.)

4.  The Rathskeller

5.  Barcelona Tapas (Not even on my radar)

That’s the top 5, in Indy.  There are Gems, GEMS, I tell you that will not get visited because you haven’t put yourself “out there” as far as Social Media goes.

There are hotel rooms that cost $45.00 in Brownsburg that now cost $450.00 A NIGHT for the Super Bowl.  People are not going to spend a week here and just go to downtown establishments.  Get your voice heard, get customers in your door, get your place on the Super Bowl map!

Start yesterday.  Establish a presence on Facebook and Twitter.  Add your location to Yelp, 4Square, Urban Spoon, etc.  Now is not the time to be shy folks, it’s game time.

If you want some help, give me a call.

 

Why do Restaurants need to use Social Media? September 10, 2010

Filed under: Restaurants — stepheppichdaily @ 12:10 am

Restaurants need Social Media – period.

As the economy has taken a downturn over the last several years people are being more picky where they spend their money.  Going out to dinner for some people is a luxury that just can’t be afforded.  For others, going out is a special occasion with family and friends.  The question is where do you go?  Where do you want to go to have a great experience, great food, and a reasonable price?  A lot of restaurants shake their heads wondering why their establishment isn’t packed like it was five years ago on a Friday Night.  If they paid attention, just a little, they would find out what their customers want.  Their customers want a Voice, and through Social Media, restaurants can have that voice.  Just ask Scott Wise of Scotty’s Brewhouse or the guys at West Coast Tacos.

I don’t care who you are in Indiana, I’d be willing to bet that you’ve been to Scotty’s Brewhouse.  If you haven’t been there, you’ve heard of it.  Scott attributes part of his success because of Social Media.  Scotty’s is on Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter.  Not only does he utilize these tools, but he is a complete master marketer.  Scott runs contests like the “Stick your tongue to a frozen flagpole” or the “Jump into the canal on St Patrick’s Day” for gift cards.  Of course, visual evidence of said act has to be produced, and Scott, like the genius he is, posts the pictures, to his Facebook and Twitter pages.  What might seem crazy to the average joe, I see as brilliant.  First, the puts the contest out there for his 5,113 followers on Twitter and his 6,509 Facebook Fans to hear about.   What makes me laugh and shake my head,  people actually do stick their tongues on flagpoles, and jump into the canal for gift cards.  He had several people post pictures for both contests.  He announced the winners, again on Twitter and Facebook – giving recognition to the winners.  Everyone else, green with envy.  Brilliant.  Any restaurant could do something similar, but they don’t.  Their tables are half full, and there is a wait at Scotty’s.  I swear there is a Scotty’s cult running around here in Indianapolis.

Not only does Scott run fun contests, he engages with his customers.  I’ve personally been at a Brewhouse, had a question about a discount or a problem with service.  Scott addressed my question/problem WHILE I was at the restaurant.  That’s service folks.  His staff are all responsive and active on Social Media as well.

One story that I will leave you with about Scotty’s Brewhouse.  I was on Twitter on a Sunday.  Scotty’s has a Sunday Brunch.  Someone tweeted that they were enjoying a Mo Fo Bloody Mary at the Brewhouse downtown location, took a picture of it, and posted it on Twitter.  About 5 minutes later, Scott tweeted that customer back and said “tell your bartender that the  garnish on your drink is wrong.”  That’s powerful stuff.

Onto West Coast Tacos, where did these guys come from?  I mean it’s like they dropped out of the sky and almost instantaneously became a big gun in Indianapolis.  If you haven’t heard of them, which I find hard to believe, you will.  They run their operation out of a mobile truck.  Serving west coast style tacos featuring steak, chicken, pork and fish.  Served on a warm tortilla with fresh cilantro, these things are yummy.  All out of a truck!  The most interesting thing about these guys is you never know where they’re going to be unless you are on Twitter or Facebook.  They post their locations daily, and you – the customer go to them.  I remember the first time I went to the truck, there was a line.  I’m not kidding, a line.  Parked right next to Acapulco Joe’s  (which was a staple in Indy for many years).  A line at the truck, Joe’s dead.  These guys depend totally on their product and Social Media.  There isn’t anywhere to sit, they only accept cash, still there is a line.  They have 3,617 followers on Facebook and 2,439 on Twitter.  Remember, they’ve only been in Indy for a couple of months.  You have to follow them on a Social Media site to know where they are going to be.  They mostly stay in Broad Ripple or Downtown, but I’ve seen people ask (almost beg) them to come to their side of town.

The problem is with restaurants is it’s a hard business.  I grew up in a restaurant and I remember how hard my family worked day in and day out to get customers in the door and build a solid reputation.  Social Media can help you establish a solid base of devout customers.  Customers that know if you have a compliment or a problem, it will be appreciated or taken care of.   The problem is the time factor.  Most restaurants don’t have time to dedicate to being as responsive as they would like on Social Media.  That’s where I can help.  I’ve helped several establishments here in Indianapolis grow their following, be more responsive, and show some appreciation for their customers.  New and repeat.

Check out my Ghost Tweeting website  at http://www.seppichdaily.com

I would be happy to chat with you about how to utilize Social Media as a tool to grow your business.

Cheers!