From what philosophers and ancient Mayans tell us, it seems the world is maybe gonna end in 2012. Maybe, guys… it's a big maybe. Whether those rumors are true or false, the Twin Cities Elite Squad kicked the end of the world off right in downtown Minneapolis this week at the very first event of the year—Yelpocalypse!
Our gracious hosts at Hell's Kitchen are celebrating their 10-year anniversary this year and invited the Elites in for an inside-look at this legendary dining destination. They provided a hellishly delicious spread of savory menu items including huevos rancheros, lengua chips and more. Breanne K says, "Since the party I have been raving to every Tom, Dick, and Harry about those huevos rancheros bites. It was love at first bite. The black beans, the salsa, the hash. It all had such flavor and zest!"
Rumor has it (and these rumors are actually true) that Hell's Kitchen is opening a new bakery upstairs later this year, so their impeccable pastry chef gave the yelpers a preview of her devilish desserts. Between fudge brownies, peanut butter cupcakes (yep, their homemade peanut butter) and other treats, all we can say is O.M.G. More tactfully, Lea S breaks down the life-changing experience she had with her cupcake: "I was worried I was going to get thrown out of Hell's Kitchen for indecent behavior because of what I did to that blueberry cupcake. And if anyone is wondering what happened to the last cupcake… the cupcake everyone was being too polite to take because it was the last one… I took it, and I would do it again!" Her survival tactics have clearly kicked in.
These little zombies didn't go thirsty either. No sir. In addition to some classic Schell's Pilsner, the Hell's Kitchen bartenders showed off some absolutely off-the-charts drinks for the evening. Summer L could survive doomsday on the Jack Daniels' Manhattan Projects, available in blackberry spice, apple and pumpkin infusions (all done in-house!): "By far this was the best drink menu of any Yelp event I've seen. THREE VARIETIES OF INFUSED WHISKEY FOR MANHATTANS??? What is this madness? The pumpkin was the winner, and the brandied cherries were the greatest touch."
And Anna M couldn't get enough of the Foxy Fosse: "I'll never look at basil the same way again! I had dreams about the ginger-infused Finlandia Vodka with homemade basil lemonade. Luckily, it's on the happy hour menu for when I return!"
It wouldn't be a zombie apocalypse without zombies, so Deborah from All About Fun gave the yelpers scary-good macabre makeovers—Dustin G deserves extra props for going to a work meeting after the event in full makeup. And, if you're wondering who took all these smashing photos here and on Flickr, it was Emmerlee Photography!
A million thanks to the staff at Hell's Kitchen, Finlandia Vodka, Schell's Brewery, Jack Daniels, Intern Liz W and everybody that made this party so memorable. And a big virtual high five to all of the 2012 Elites—congratulations on your new badges!
Twin Cities Yelp Community Manager