Happy Hour = Happy Hippo — April 15, 2018

Happy Hour = Happy Hippo

For those who eat a lot or do not like spending a lot of money, would love to see their favorite things on the menu for a special price. This is what we all love and know as Happy Hour.

The fancy, expensive restaurants on Main Street all have some nice deals on their food and alcohol, the only difference is that at some locations you have to sit at the bar. This is a way for restaurants to get people get in the door between lunch and dinner times. You get the best of all worlds, cheaper food and alcohol, and less crowded seating.

Below are some of my favorite places to check out.

  1. Read Seafood Company Monday-Friday 3PM-7PM, Served in the bar area only
    • $6 Chilled Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
      $6 Spice Rubbed Fish Tacos – 2 tacos
      $7 Tuna Tartare
      $7 Steamed Mussels – would recommend!
      $1.50 Blue Pointe Oysters – made me enjoy eating oysters
    • Alcoholic Beverages:
      • $3.50 16oz Draft Beers
        $5 White and Red House Wines by the Glass
      • Specialty Martinis $5:
        • Blueberry Lemon DropPear Pomegranate Martini
          Real Seafood Margarita
          Seabreeze
          Classic Cosmopolitan
  2. Gratzi, Monday – Friday 4PM-6PM
    • Alcoholic Beverages:
      •  $2 Domestic Bottles
      • $3 Draft Beers
      • $5 Select Glasses of Wine
      • $5 Specialty Cocktails
    • Food:
      • $5 Crispy Ravioli
      • $5 Zucchini Fritti
      • $7 Prime Beef Meatball, Burrate, Margherita Pizzette, Funghi Pizzette
      • $9 Calamari, Tuna Bruschetta, Coppa Pizzette, Salmon Pizzetta, Sacchetti
        • The Tuna Bruschetta kind of reminds me of avocado toast with tuna on top but without the avocado haha.
        • The Coppa Pizza reminds me of a flatbread pizza with no sauce. The waiter described coppa as a pork shoulder. The cheese was probably some type of expensive cheese (it was pretty stinky, which means its good right?), but I was not particularly fond of it.
  3. HopCat, Monday-Thursday 2PM-6PM, Late night happy hour is from 10PM-close
    • Half-off all burgers
    • $3.50 of the Local 30 beers and select drafts, well cocktails, and wine
    • Everyone raves about their crack fries, named “crack” for a reason since everyone love them so much.
  4. Bar Louie
    • Tuesdays, they have a great deal for $1 burgers (just the simple ones), then each additional topping is a cost. Still a good deal for cheap burgers!
  5. Frita Batidos, Sunday-Thursday from 4PM-6PM and last hour of the night
    • $5 1 patty beef frita, $8 for a double patty
    • $1.50 fries (these are a must get!)
    • The batidos, unfortunately, never have a deal, but they are AMAZING. My absolute favorite is the “lighter batido,” which is a mango-pineapple flavor, I think it is super refreshing. For the coconut lovers, it has a really strong fresh coconut taste with little coconut bits too.

Check out these articles to see what other happy hours there are!

MLive

The Happy Hour Finder

A2 Happy Hour Club

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Saving that $$ through Apps — April 12, 2018

Saving that $$ through Apps

If you have a lot of memory on your phone, this could be potentially helpful to you. I realized that many places on campus have apps that allow you to save up points and you can eventually save up for a discount or free meal.

Apps that contain discounts for multiple restaurants:

  1. Flocktag
    • It is a loyalty rewards program. Each time you visit a location that is on flocktag, you can scan your card and it will account each item as a point. For each restaurant, they have different amounts of points until you can get something for free. For instance, at Bubble Island, when you buy 5 drinks you get your 6th drink free.
    • But in addition, Flocktag also offered deals every so often for you to buy. These deals are a pretty good deal. For example, Bubble Island offers 5 Medium drinks for $10, which comes to $2 each, whereas if you buy them individually in the store it is almost $4 for one.
  2. Hooked
    • For college students to discover exclusive, short-term offers from restaurants around campus. They offer different deals at different times of the day so it really depends on what time you are looking at the app. Sometimes they even announce places that are giving away free food. It lets you know approximately how much money you are saving by getting “hooked.”

Restaurant-Specific Apps:

  • Starbucks
    • You charge money onto the app and scan it to get stars. When you get 125 stars, you can redeem a free drink. They have double star days, deals, and games pretty often for chances to get more stars. Additionally, you will get emails for when they have special deals and happy hour times. On your birthday you get a free drink too!
  • Potbelly
    • For this app, you accumulate “smiles”. You can link your card to the app and pay that way to collect smiles or just use the app as a rewards card. The first time I used this, the employees were convincing people to download the app as they waited in line and advertised that you get a free cookie (their cookies are BOMB btw). I ended up not paying for my sandwich or my cookie! So you might get your whole meal for free!!
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe
    • Also a rewards app you can link your credit/debit cards to for faster payment. I believe they give you a free smoothie after a certain amount of purchases. They are also on the hooked app and offer BOGO or deals on food+smoothie. TSC also has a great happy hour deal 7-10 AM and PM!
Oysters, the Food of Love? —

Oysters, the Food of Love?

Probably one of the top foods people has a love/hate relationship: oysters.

My experiences of best to worst oysters.

At first, I was too scared to try them because I thought it would have a really fishy flavor like some types of sashimi. My first time trying an oyster was when my friend from another state visited, and they say there was a highly rated Seafood Market near campus in Kerrytown – Monahan’s Seafood Market. They are located in the building as a booth. They have a few small tables, I would not recommend for big parties. I want to say their oysters are pretty $$$. I want to say they had 3 different kinds of oysters, each one is around $2.65 with a $0.25 shucking fee (the only way you’ll be able to eat it unless you have the ability to crack it open yourself). I don’t understand why they don’t just put the amount of the oyster and the shucking fee together, instead of making two separate things to pay for. The oyster itself was really fat and you could taste the meatiness of the oyster.

The second time I tried eating oysters was at the Asia City Buffet, which is slightly off campus. I thought “WOW unlimited oysters for only ~$8-11 dinner buffet”. I’ve always been pretty hesitant about the quality of buffet food, but my boyfriend always eats at least a plate of oysters. I ate one oyster and did not feel good instantly after dinner. I’m pretty sure I had food poisoning or something, and the only difference from when I go to that buffet normally and that specific time was that ONE oyster. Maybe that specific one was a bad one, but it did me wrong.

I decided to give oysters one more time after that horrid experience, and I think I can say it’s the best yet. Real Seafood Buffet is a 10/10 recommend, especially during their Happy Hour it is only $1.50 per oyster! It also comes with lemons, cocktail sauce, some lemon-y sauce with like onions and bell peppers, and horse radish. This place made me really like oysters, so if you are scared to try them, come to this location first!

What are your thoughts on oysters? Let me know in the comments down below!

Featured photo by adamlot / Pixabay

Who doesn’t love free food? — April 6, 2018

Who doesn’t love free food?

On a college campus, the way to get people to show up to events is through free food.

  1. Mass Meetings – During the beginning of the semester, almost all clubs will hold mass meetings with free food to entice people to show up. For at least the first two to three weeks of school, there is a good chance you will not have to buy dinner and it’s a good way to meet new people
  2. UMix – This may seem like a freshman or lame thing to go to, but imo it’s actually pretty awesome. They have some great things offered occasionally. They have a midnight buffet that fits each theme. My friend was able to make personalized license plates which I would is so hard to find (esp for free!). I believe they are held every other week. My fav is when they have the masseuses come; you can get a ~5 min massage. I heard the point of these is to keep people from drinking or getting into trouble situations, but who wouldn’t like a free midnight snack, it’s probs when most college students get hungry too.
  3. Welcome Wednesday – Free bagels and coffee in the morning every Wednesday (hence the name) in the Alumni Center. They also have tables for different housing apartments on campus to set up swag; I’ve gotten a few free tshirts! I would recommend coming around 11:30-noon because that’s when they start to close and they give out 2 bagels instead of 1 to start getting rid of all the bagels.
  4. Food Distribution – It’s like grocery shopping on campus held at Trotter! For this, you have to get there super early to line up. The two times I went the line was insane; the first time the line went from basement all the way to the top floor, the second time, the line went out the front door and reached the sidewalk. They have a good range of foods from vegetables and fruits, loaves of bread, canned goods, and snacks.
  5. Recruiting events – sometimes recruiting events are held in restaurants which gives off a more relaxed vibe for students to get to know recruiters better. Information sessions are also catered sometimes. Great way to get some networking done and with access to some free food.

There are probably a lot more events around campus if you really look. Food is the way to a college student’s heart.

2 For the Price of 1 —

2 For the Price of 1

In a college town, cheap and fast food is essential.

Chipotle is my go-to location if I do not have that much time to eat and it gives me a lot of food. Even though they have raised their prices by 5% late 2017, they still have an unbeatable price. This semester I have gone at least twice a week since I do not have time to cook for myself and I just life really far, so going back to my apartment to eat is a waste of time.

If you eat a lot or enjoy having food for later like me, ordering a bowl is the way to go. In addition, you can ask for some side tortillas. To get the most of your meal, you can go with a friend and have one person order a bowl with two side tortillas. This will allow both people to make their own burritos. If you like burritos, ordering it separately allows you to get more food since the tortillas are thin, they easily rip if you try to load it up. and! you can mix all the ingredients together before you wrap it in the tortilla. I hate it when I eat a chunk of rice and then the next bite is all sour cream. For the bowls, you can ask for as much of the toppings as you want, as long as it’s not meat, queso, or guac. I’ve found that for me, by getting the salsa’s on the side I can get more and control the portions if you are watching what you eat.

Starbucks is also a staple for many students. Since I don’t really drink coffee, I usually stick to their refreshers. I still don’t understand why their prices are so expensive. The hot teas are a dollar cheaper than iced teas simply because they are hot ?? If you like the refreshers like me and have a friend to share it with, or just want two for yourself, I would advise you to order a venti refresher with NO ICE, NO WATER, and one venti water. This will allow you to make yourself two refreshers for the price of 1!

These might not be some super hacks, but every little thing counts.

Where it All Started — March 30, 2018

Where it All Started

I tend to always have random short-term goals I wanted to achieve. Whether it’s trying to get the splits or wanting to reach 500+ connections on LinkedIn so as a college student I look “connected” in the professional world. Over the summer, I went to go visit my boyfriend (he’s from Maryland) but instead of spending time with me, he dropped me off at a Starbucks to study with a friend for an exam. He left me with the task of finding yummy places I wanted to eat while I was there and promised to get me a green tea Haagen Dazs ice cream when he came back (I’ve always wanted to try this specific flavor since grocery stores in Michigan did not sell them).

As an understanding girlfriend, I got myself a green tea frappe and started to keep myself busy by looking up all restaurants on Yelp.

Just for reference, my boyfriend is a really into lifting so there’s bulking season and cutting season, ugh, which makes going out to eat really hard when he’s cutting because he only wants to eat meat, but its expensive and he eats a lot! Without a doubt, every time we go out to eat he will complain about how he only wants to eat meat, but every time he gets it, there is small amounts of meat and not worth the price. I think he turned me into who I am now when it comes food.

Somehow, I came across an acquaintance’s profile and it said “Yelp Elite.” I thought what the heck is that, but after googling it, it sounded so enticing. I saw, “You get a nifty badge next to your Yelp username that says “Elite” and an invitation to parties, which often include free food, drinks and sometimes swag bags.” WHO DOESNT LIKE FREE STUFF? That is how I decided I wanted to start writing reviews and achieve that status.

yelp sticker jar

Yelp 229wtmk / Flickr

I never thought I would be the type of person to write reviews on restaurants because I’ve always seen myself as a horrible writer since I have a hard time putting my thoughts into words. To me, it was either people are extremely passionate food critics or they are just writing a review to complain about the horrible experience they had. 3 months later, I received the exciting news from the Elite Squad. Here I am now, loving being Yelp Elite and all the food I have eaten since. Now my goal is to find the best food for the best prices, because who likes paying more when they can get it for less 🙂

What makes you guys so into food? Don’t you guys wish that food was cheaper, because I am, we gotta eat to live?

The Journey Begins — March 23, 2018