In July, Yelp BPB community manager Blue Arauz announced he's bringing back one of his most popular local community-organized events, a monthlong promotion he's dubbed Order the Yelp. Starting July 1, patrons who visit any participating restaurants will be able to try something new for half-price.
Arauz says he first created Order the Yelp as a way to encourage South Florida foodies discover new restaurants while simultaneously highlighting local chef creativity. The inaugural Broward-Palm Beach 2014 event was so successful, both Orlando and Toronto Yelp communities hosted similar events.
"The idea started when I found out that the doughnut burger was actually named the Luther Burger after Luther Vandross," recalls Arauz. "I thought, 'How cool it would be to have the Blue Burger?' And that immediately switched to, 'Well, what if we had the Yelp Burger?' It snowballed from there."
When you Order the Yelp, you're actually getting a specialty off-menu dish available only during the month of July. Best of all, the limited-availability menu item is offered at a 50 percent discount when diners check in using the Yelp app.
This year, more than 15 restaurants have already signed on to participate in Order the Yelp 2016, a solid list featuring a number of well-known Palm Beach and Broward County establishments. A full roster can be found on the Yelp website, along with a description of each restaurant's dish created especially for this year's promotion.
"Order the Yelp" specialty dishes include Agave Taco Bar's Blue Yelp Taco (a made-to-order blue corn tortilla stuffed with chorizo, melted chihuahua cheese, and poblano peppers and topped with cilantro, onion, and salsa verde), Pincho Factory's 4.5 Star Yelp Burger (a beef patty topped with citrus caramelized onions, vaca frita, mixed greens, and smoked pepper mayo), Flash Fire Pizza's Yelpizza (red sauce, raining lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber tossed in truffle oil and finished with freshly grated Parmesan), and Deck 84's Yelp! Yelp! Shrimp (crispy fried shrimp smothered in a sriracha glaze, topped with toasted sesame seeds, and served with a sweet mango slaw).
"It's amazing to see these chefs and business owners create something unique and add it to their menu just for this event," says Arauz. "Every large promotion is fun, from Yelp's Food Fight — a taco battle to crown the best taco in BPB — to last year's Summer of Steak that focused on the best area steak dishes, or Yelp's Local Beer Week which celebrated all the great local breweries. But Order the Yelp is about all sorts of food and getting creative with the cuisine. I love that."
A craft beer enthusiast, Arauz says he is most excited about Boca Raton-based Barrel of Monks Brewing's Pinky's Swear, a passion fruit single named after Yelp BPB's unofficial mascot, Pinky — a pink plastic flamingo.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.