Oops… Yelp did it again. They hosted an awesome event at one of my favorite restaurants in Tampa AND opened the event to EVERYONE on Yelp (not just Elites!), score!
I gotta give it to Yelp, they sure know how to spoil their Yelpers! Last night’s event was a once-a-year opportunity for non-Elite Yelpers to experience the perks of being Elite and I have to say they did it up right. You can read more details on what it takes to be Yelp Elite in THIS POST. Yelp doesn’t pay me to write about them, nor am I given any extra perks that other Yelp Elite would not receive, I just truly enjoy their website and the amazing community that comes with it.
The open Yelp event was held at Datz Delicatessan off of MacDill. LOVE this restaurant, HATE the parking situation. I arrived 15 minutes before the event was supposed to start and still struggled finding a good spot. Honestly, the fear of parking is what stops me from eating at Datz more than I do, which is sad because it really is a great place to eat or drink at. I love me some Datz!
Even though I was early, the crowds were already there ready to get the Yelping party started. The lines were a decent length, but they moved quickly and I was able to check in and get my name badge in less than 5 minutes.
I ran into Caroline, snagged some of the truffle popcorn (sooo good)
And took the obligatory photo in front of the Yelp wall.
At 6 o’clock on the nose, they ceremoniously opened the doors and welcomed everyone inside with offerings of Bacon Bloody Mary’s (I had a sip and it was good, but more of a brunch drink) and white cosmos (I didn’t have a chance to try one, but I heard good things about the lightly sweetened drink). I more or less beelined it to the back for Cigar City Beer (then switched to soda water for the rest of the night).
HELLO CROWDS!! It didn’t take long for the restaurant to fill up. Since the event had filled up quickly online, I was expecting a good amount of people, but was still a little surprised with the amount of people who rushed in. Kudos to Yelp for ramping up this event!
We immediately spotted some sort of waffle cone station to the right and made a pit stop to see it what it was.
Do you get it?
Chicken and waffles!! hehe I was probably the only one who ate her cone – I <3 waffle cones!
We were only downstairs for a few minutes before realizing the crowds upstairs were a little less crazy. We headed upstairs, picked a spot at the bar (right next to the kitchen area where all the food was coming out 😉 ) and decided to stay put – let the food come to us, right?
The mini ruben I’m holding up above was one of my favorite items from the evening. I love a good ruben, especially with really tender, salty corn beef – yum!
When we checked in, we were handed a menu of everything being passed around.
I had a chance to try a little of everything, but the crowds and poor lighting made it a little difficult to photograph everything as we went along. I will say that the flatbreads were delicious (loved the bacon!) and I liked the hummus, but thought the hummus/veggie ratio was a little off – there was too much hummus and not enough veggies! I was tempted to ask the kitchen for more veggies to polish the hummus off with.
The meatloaf was another favorite, pictured below.
It was just a bite, but I enjoyed the slight sweetness the bite had to it. The sweetness came from the tomato sauce coating that brought everything together. Also, please take note of Marcus and Chuck in the background. 🙂
I don’t have a photo of the AMAZING peanut butter gelato I had, but I do have one of the toffee I added to it.
Peanut butter gelato + dark chocolate toffee with pecans = DELICIOUS.
Oh, and just as I was complaining about the lighting situation, I found this little number downstairs.
You know you’re at a food blogger/yelper event when there’s a lightbox set up for photos of the food. Well done, Datz. Well done.
The pork slider is on the left, I was a little pork-ed out after my pork shank lunch, but everyone else raved about it. There’s also the hummus and veggies I referred to earlier and the vegetable bunny chow on the right. Unfortunately the bunny chow wasn’t my favorite of the night. The filling was okay, but the pastry crust was dry and flavorless.
THANK YOU Yelp for another awesome event and THANK YOU Datz for hosting all the foodies!! I can’t wait to return for more peanut butter gelato and meatloaf.
(p.s. you get a free dessert for your first check-in at Datz on Yelp!)