Ever wonder what makes being Yelp Elite so neat? As a treat to you, oh curious one, we will be spotlighting outstanding Elites from all around the world, giving you a feel for what being a part of the squad means to these tuned-in locals. We’re kicking things off with an Elite who is, according to Portland Community Director Don B., “the quintessential Yelp Elite member.” Ladies and gentlemen, meet Melvin T.!
Don affirms that Melvin not only has a passion for local businesses and delicious food, but also displays that passion day in, day out by writing great reviews based on his adventures. Melvin is also constantly planning Unofficial Yelp Events, or “UYEs” (activities organized by Yelpers to bring the local community together), like a recent lunch meetup at his current favorite pasta joint, and bringing his A-game to Yelp Elite events and Secret Suppers. He truly is a Yelp role model.
With that, we turn it over to the man himself to tell us about his experience as a Yelp Elite. Take it away, Melvin!
Q: What does it mean to you to be part of the Yelp Elite Squad?
A: I love Yelp and being Elite because of the sense of community it creates. I live 30 minutes away, in a suburb, and Yelp shrinks Portland down to a manageable community of awesome bars and fantastic restaurants. Yelp helps me filter the sea of choices down to the best of the best…Yelp also builds a sense of community among its members. I have met so many new people. Once I had categorized Yelpers as "Yelp friends." Now I have removed the Yelp part. They are friends, PERIOD. These Yelpers have become some of my closest friends.
Q: What are the top three local spots you’re loving in your city right now?
A: 1) Screen Door is undoubtedly on the Portland Mt. Rushmore of restaurants. Southern comfort food executed perfectly every single time. I gladly waited an hour and 40 minutes for Father's Day brunch. I'm not sure there's anywhere else people were happy to wait 100 minutes for a table.
2) Grassa is killing it right now! Affordable handcrafted pasta with simply amazing sauces and ingredients. Pasta of this quality is unheard of, with no entree more than $12.
3) White Owl Social Club is taking over with its super local vibe. They feature a lot of local, Portland-made spirits. The happy hour is fantastic. $2 craft brews and $5 burgers.
Q: Yelp is more than just a restaurant review site. What else have you discovered on Yelp?
A: Yelp is also great for finding cool events in the Portland community. I have found UYEs and grand festivals including beer festivals, liquor festivals, wine festivals and sake festivals. There's never a boring minute when you click on that Events tab.