Yelp! If you are Small Business Using Interactive/Social Media

My new favorite restaurant is a tiny deli tucked into the corner of an old apartment complex. Acme Deli has maybe 4 tables and a 1000 different sandwich combinations. The food is great.

The Acme Deli on St. Clair and Brimhall in St. Paul

I stopped in recently because everyone I knew was talking about it. Everyone. Even the kids at the bus stop. So I knew I had to visit.

The problem with having a favorite sandwich, often, is you only love it at one place. You spend the rest of your dining out time telling everyone how such-and-such restaurant makes a better sandwich.

I love grilled cheese tomato sandwiches. I love them at the dive-diner on the edge of town in Morris, MN and at Haskell’s Port of Excelsior lakeside bar. I grew up with these sandwiches — it’s what I ate in college and graduate school. The Port sandwiches were always greasy and came with awesome fries. The Morris one was Velveeta on WonderBread and totally satisfying. None of the tomatoes were very good.

Back to the Acme Deli. When you enter, you pick up a cool little menu to design your own sandwich. Being totally overwhelmed with a 2 year old in tow, it was an easy decision to go for my old favorite, but on whole wheat with red onions because I knew she’d eat it. I was impressed. In 5 minutes, my perfectly grilled and not-at-all greasy sandwich arrived on 2 plates with 2 pickle spears for easy sharing. The cheese (provolone) was perfectly melted, the bread crisply toasted –perfect for dipping in my tomato basil soup.

So of course I tell my friends about it. But I also “yelped.” Yelp.com is the online way to give a shout out or complain about a local business, ask a question (“Fresh Lemongrass, please?“) and connect with your friends at the same time.

I “yelped” because Acme Deli asked me to with their handwritten sign taped to the register.

How cool is that?

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