Cocktober and Aphrodisiac Ice Cream: Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Week in Florida

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By Carlos Acosta
Andrew Zimmern at Cobaya Azul
I have to thank Bizarre Food's Andrew Zimmern for making it to Miami. I'd originally dropped a grapevine hint that he'd soon be in town only because I recently noticed his Twitter conversation with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian about visiting Tudor House.

But I didn't actually think he was serious!

Our Zimmern in Miami Twitter Tour starts five days ago (December 8) at approximately 5:22 p.m. His first tweet from the Sunshine State came from a gas station in Central Florida. It was a photo of Boone's Farm Apple Wines... about a dozen of them to be exact. Classy, Zimmern.

Anyway, upward and onward!

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McDonald's Hoax Trends on Twitter, We Wonder Why

Categories: Tweeterrific
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Courtesy of McServed
​Since when did the place that promises $1 double burgers for all get so un-American? Apparently it hasn't.

Over the weekend, a photo circulated through the Twittersphere of a "McDonald's sign" that read, "As an insurance measure due in part to a recent string of robberies, African-American customers are now required to pay an additional fee of $1.50 per transaction. Thank you for your cooperation."

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Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race Filming Finale in Miami

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David Garcia
Hodge Podge and Lime -- about to engage in combat.
Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race is filming a big finale this weekend all over the streets of Miami and we all get to participate!

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Latin Burger Tops in Twitter Followers, GastroPod #2, Fish Box #3

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Jefe's owner Jack Garabedian tweets to attract customers.
Food truck owners in Miami are an entrepreneurial breed. These men and women don't really have a typical profile. Some are chefs looking to start their own kitchen. Others are restaurant owners looking to start a supplemental mobile operation. Others are just plain foodies who want to ride the wave.

The one thing most have in common is their use of Twitter and Facebook as serious marketing tools.

Once the avenue for college kids to accumulate friends, social networking is now a part of a lot of company marketing strategies. For instance, Coca-Cola has more than 25 million Facebook friends, and Starbucks has more than 1 million Twitter followers. That means you can potentially share new product information with thousands or millions of people without traditional advertising campaigns.

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Red The Steakhouse Gives Away Free Dinners on Twitter

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Think you know your spices? Starting on Monday, Red The Steakhouse will test the knowledge of its Twitter followers with daily questions about spices used in chef Peter Vauthy's dishes. Those who answer correctly will be entered into a weekly drawing to win a free Miami Spice dinner for two.More »

Behind Restaurant Tweets, Part Two

Categories: Tweeterrific
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Since it opened in Midtown Miami, Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill has been well known in the local "twitterverse" for its interaction with followers and diners. Responses are so immediate and personalized you have to wonder if someone's hiding somewhere in the restaurant monitoring it all. No one is. The person behind the tweets, Joanna Cisowska, is based in New York at the corporate offices of SushiSamba and Sugarcane. And she makes it no secret that she's a little crazy about Twitter, a tool she hadn't used much before she started tweeting for Sugarcane.

Cisowska credits Lee Schrager with helping popularity on Twitter. "He came to the restaurant the second or third night we were open and he tweeted about the chicken. That started a huge conversation about the chicken on Twitter. So a big thank you to him."

Here's what she told Short Order about her Twitter responsibilities and why she won't give up tweeting for Sugarcane. She made sure to specify that she does have a life.

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Behind Restaurant Tweets, Part One

Categories: Tweeterrific
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You're having a great dinner at a restaurant and you decide to share it with your friends on Twitter. Next thing you know, you receive a response from the restaurant's Twitter account. It's not an uncommon experience these days, but have you ever wondered who sits on the other side? Is it a full-time "twitterer"? A group of people? The chef?

Short Order decided two find out who's behind the tweets at two restaurants with pretty active  accounts -- Sugarcane Raw Bar and Bourbon Steak Miami -- and ask them about their Twitter functions. No, their full-time job is not tweeting. Let's just say they're good at multi-tasking.

First, we spoke with Stephen Mills, the person behind the tweets at Bourbon Steak Miami. Here's what he had to say about how he became the Twitter person, the benefits of using Twitter and how he handles all those tweets.

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Pain in Transit? Tweating Up at NAOE Provides a Potent Antidote

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Jackie Sayet
Aoriika: Japanese big fin reef squid meets Chef Cory's Samurai sword, a high carbon steel knife (preferred over a ceramic blade.)
You know a destination restaurant is worth the effort when not a drawbridge, cargo train, nor interstate construction can come between you and your meal.

Such was the case when a gaggle of Grove- and Gables-based Tweeters severed the data stream for a few hours to taste real life in the skilled hands of NAOE Chef Kevin Cory.  The hike up to Sunny Isles Beach was never more worth it, despite the City of Miami's valiant effort to the contrary.

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Tweet-Watching Reality: Top Chef Masters

Categories: Tweeterrific
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Twitter
In it together
Back in prehistoric times, you'd call up a friend and watch your favorite TV show together.  You'd laugh, maybe you'd both call out one of the characters for doing something stupid -- or each other for disagreeing on that assessment.  Maybe you'd give your undivided attention to the screen and save the commentary for commercial break.  Boy, have times changed with Twitter.

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Miami on the Cheap Talks Food Freebies: Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act, Chick-Fil-A's Cow Appreciation Day and Free Dunkin' Donuts

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Penny-pincher! Cheapo! This kind of name-calling is welcomed by Teresa Mears. Caught in the Miami Herald downsizing crossfire last summer, she made lemonade out of lemons and launched a web destination for all things frugal: Miami FL on the Cheap

"Everyone -- including me -- is looking for deals now. I'm just trying to make it easy for people to find them," says Mears, a local of 30 years who has made it her job to help both residents and tourists alike find daily deals on things like dining, events and activities. "The national companies always do a better job about getting the word out, but it's harder to find out what local businesses are offering."

We follow her on Twitter @miamicheap, and if you like finding out about free stuff, fast, so should you!

"In South Florida, the winter is more about events," adds Mears, who also edits and publishes editions for Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Florida Keys and Florida.  "Summer is all about the food discounts."

With that in mind, here are some ways to score free food over the next 24 hours, courtesy of our favorite mistress of thrift in town.

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