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tasting, tasting. 1, 2, 3.

Hello Yelp Elite badge 2021! We’re already more than a third of the way through 2021 so I best recap some tasty Yelp events! So far I’ve been able to participate in a virtual beer and snack pairing, yogurt tasting, coffee run, and sushi take out! All the Yelp Elite events, though still virtual, are still deliciously fun! Here’s what I’ve been snacking on…

Anaviv’s Table and East Brother Beer

One of the first Yelp Elite events of the year was a virtual beer and food pairing with Anaviv’s Table and East Brother Beer, both located in Richmond, California. Anaviv’s Table, pre-pandemic, was a communal dining experience (they sat 12 max per seating) that focused on featuring local food from nearby farms. Today, they sell goods market style and a select nosh offering. East Brother Beer is a local favorite brewery (I enjoy their house stout!) among many of my friends, and it’s a family friendly spot, too.

This was the first event with a delivery option for the tasting menu and if I have learned anything during this pandemic it is that I love me some food delivery. Our tasting kits came with slow roasted almonds, crispy sage and rosemary chickpeas, soft pretzels with a creamy mustard dipping sauce, and three beer selections, plus a Yelp mug!

The almonds were paired with the pilsner, chickpeas with the IPA, and pretzel with the red lager.

As we noshed, we chatted about tasting notes, listened to business stories, and learned all the snack secrets!

SAGA Kitchen

Every now and then businesses offer Elite Perks where you can stop in over the course of a few days and pick up a treat. SAGA Kitchen in Alameda, California, hosted an Elite Week during Lunar New Year celebrations. SAGA kitchen is a shared kitchen and a platform for food start-ups that provides support in business consulting, accounting, marketing, and social media management. As part of the perk, Elites got to choose a set menu item from one of four restaurants: Koharu, Sachi Sushi, Wok Chi, or Yue Club. I chose Sachi Sushi and it came in a cute bento box – I had a ‘eating a bento under a sakura tree’ flashback.

Red Bay Coffee

This Elite Perk was mega! Elites were treated to a charcoal latte, a trio of coffee beans, and a Yelp mug (now I have a set!). I also picked up an extra charcoal latte for the Hubs and a mocha for me in case the charcoal latte was not a hit. Oh, but it was! Have you ever had one?

Red Bay Coffee also sells pantry items and they have a little parklet spot across the street so you can stay awhile.

I love visiting local coffee shops, and now that I’m much more of a caffeine drinker (hello momhood!), I can enjoy said cups of caffeine without the jitters.

Ellenos

The Ellenos yogurt scoop shop (yes, a yogurt scoop shop!) is located in Pike Place. This virtual yogurt tasting took us on a trip to Seattle! One of the owner’s gave us a tour of the shop, shared his coming to America to sell yogurt story (he was previously in Australia with Greek roots), and then we learned and enjoyed the proper way to consume Ellenos yogurt – scooped, not stirred!

We picked up our goody bags from the Ellenos set up at Dracenos Park in Oakland. Each goody bag came with a handwritten note, Ellenos swag, and four flavors of yogurt: marionberry, passionfruit, vanilla bean, and brownie batter. All the yogurts start with the same base: milk, honey, and cane sugar – Grandma’s recipe! I enjoyed all of the yogurts, but of course my favorite was the one with chocolate.

Ellenos sources their ingredients locally; they even source their milk from a small dairy farm. And everything about their flavors is thoughtfully put together, even down to how the vanilla bean flecks look like in the yogurt. Have you tried Ellenos? Their yogurt is available at Costco, Whole Foods, and other select retailers throughout California.

I love being part of the Yelp Elite Squad because I get to discover places and eats that I might not otherwise discover on my own. What are some of your most recent tasty local finds? Share below!

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