Social Media Notes (#57) – Links for the Week of January 12- 18

Social Media Notes

Here’s this week’s round-up of social media (& tech) news. Come by each week for what I hope to be a fun & informative blog post on social stories that caught my eye throughout the week!

Thoughts on these stories? Tweet @ me or leave a comment below!

Linda


Review: Gui Lin Noodle House

Gui Lin Noodle House Edmonton

Gui Lin Noodle House at 10626 97 Street.

Every Tuesday for a long time, my dad and I go for lunch. Tuesday’s are a day off at our family restaurant. Back when I worked at CTV we usually went for lunch at Pho Rice Pot, a Vietnamese restaurant across the street from the newsroom. We knew the owner, the food was pretty good, and the location very convenient for quick work lunches. When I started at NAIT we switched our weekly lunch locations to north-central.

One of the places we would regularly try was a Vietnamese place across the road from our own family restaurant (King Noodle House) in Chinatown called Uyen Uong. Their soup wasn’t good but their rice and vermicelli dishes were solid. Sadly Uyen Uong closed a couple weeks ago. (The restaurant business can be so damn tough :()

Almost immediately after closing though, Uyen Uong reopened as Gui Lin Noodle House (10626 97 St.) – a Chinese restaurant that focused solely on noodle dishes.

My dad and I tried Gui Lin this week as part of our weekly lunches and I must say I really enjoyed it!

Gui Lin Noodle House Edmonton

Inside Gui Lin Noodle House.

They don’t have an exterior sign yet. Inside, they basically repainted but if you had been to Uyen Uong prior to closing, it basically looks the same. It’s very clean.

Gui Lin Noodle House Edmonton

The menu at Gui Lin Noodle House.

The menu features three pages of noodle dishes – they really stress the Gui Lin style here. Their meats range from minced pork to pork belly, pork hock, lamb brisket and beef brisket. They had soups as well as dry dishes. Prices are fairly reasonable – between $10-$13 a bowl.

It looked like they had no appetizers but we discovered they do – it’s just listed only in Chinese on small signs on the walls. (I assume this will change to incorporate English in the future, not sure why it doesn’t already).

Gui Lin Noodle House Edmonton

Appetizers apparently, lol.

(Note: after I tweeted this, my friend Lesley translated the appetizer sign for me!)

Service was fast! Only way to describe it. Walk in – boom seated. Menus given. Orders taken. The food came out in less than 10 minutes and it was good.

My dad ordered the Lamb Brisket Lo Vermicelli Gui Lin Style – $12.95.

Gui Lin Noodle House Edmonton

Lamb Brisket Lo Vermicelli Gui Lin Style – $12.95 – at Gui Lin Noodle House.

I ordered the Pork Belly Vermicelli in Soup Gui Lin Style – $10.75.

Gui Lin Noodle House Edmonton

Pork Belly Vermicelli in Soup Gui Lin Style – $10.75 – at Gui Lin Noodle House.

We both really liked our dishes. I thought the flavours were great. Both had great combinations of meat, pickled vegetables and noodles. The noodles are round vermicelli, like what you’d find in a pho bun bo hue. Also, I’m a big fan of the pickled veggies.

Gui Lin Noodle House Edmonton

Not the best side soup to accompany vermicelli at Gui Lin Noodle House.

My dad’s dish came with a side broth palette cleanser that was not good at all. I wondered if it was the same broth base for my soup dish but my soup dish tasted significantly better, perhaps because the mix of meat and vegetables soaked into the broth to create a tasty flavour-splosion.

Gui Lin Noodle House Edmonton

Fried Macaroni with Minced Pork Gui Lin Style – $10.50 – at Gui Lin Noodle House.

We also ordered a Fried Macaroni with Minced Pork Gui Lin Style – $10.50 – to bring home for Mike. I was curious how an Asian take on macaroni pasta would taste and the answer is: good! I liked it more than Mike did (had a few bites). He said there wasn’t enough meat, the macaroni was good but he didn’t like the clumpy vegetables. He’s a picky vegetable guy though.

Gui Lin Noodle House Edmonton

My lunch date!

Overall, I think Gui Lin is a fantastic noodle spot. The food is great, the service was super, super quick, and the space is really bright and clean.

I can tell this is a place I’ll return to! If you’re in the mood for some Asian noodles that isn’t my parent’s delicious pho, I’d recommend checking out Gui Lin! Promising start for this new addition to Chinatown! I’m sorry Uyen Uong didn’t make it but here’s hoping this place does okay.

So have you been to Gui Lin Noodle House? What did you think?!

Linda


Cui Hua Gui Lin Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Social Media Spotlight: Friday Night Meatballs all about community

Social Media Spotlight: Friday Night Meatballs all about community

by Linda Hoang

An Edmonton man is redefining the dinner party, inviting not only friends – but strangers as well into his home for what he’s calling Friday Night Meatballs.

Chris Falconer describes himself as a baker, a butcher, a yogi, a cyclist. But for dozens of Edmontonians, he’s all of that and more – he’s also a community builder.

The 34-year-old man has spent every Friday since November inviting friends – and strangers – into his home to connect over a plate of meatballs and pasta.

Falconer says the weekly dinner party is all about community.

“It allows me, and those in attendance, to get back to the basics of connecting, asking questions, challenging ideas, listening to other perspectives,” Falconer says.

“My favourite part of Friday Night Meatballs is that I get to connect with my community. With people I know really well, with people I only know in passing, or with people I’ve never met.”

Friday Night Meatballs

Chris Falconer, the creator of Friday Night Meatballs.

Here’s how it works:

Falconer whips up a giant bowl of hearty, homemade meatballs using a combination of beef, pine nuts, raisins, and from-scratch bread crumbs. He pairs the meatballs with a giant bowl of sometimes home-made, sometimes store-bought pasta. And he waits to see who shows up at his south Edmonton home.

There’s usually one or two people at the dinner who know Falconer directly but oftentimes the majority of the 8-10 people who can fit around his wooden table made from a reclaimed Vietnamese boat, are strangers – friends of friends. What they all have in common? Intrigue over an evening meeting new people and connecting over damn good food.

At last week’s Friday Night Meatballs, the dining group was made up of nurses, a plumber, a communications specialist, urban planner, entrepreneur, graphic designer and a couple in human resources. Strangers who immediately bonded.

Friday Night Meatballs

Guests arrive and quickly mingle at Friday Night Meatballs.

“I really felt that I was being included in the community being built around the table,” said Friday Night Meatballs attendee Andrea Chan.

“Catching up with familiar faces and connecting with complete strangers over a plate of pasta and meatballs was a fun experience and one that I will always remember. It made me realize how kind Edmontonians really are, and just how tight knit our city is.”

Friday Night Meatballs

Stunning place setting at Friday Night Meatballs.

Laura Lynn Johnston had a similar experience. She was invited to attend Friday Night Meatballs – even as a Vegan who knew she couldn’t eat any of the beef meatballs. That was fine for her, because the biggest appeal of the night was being surrounded by good company.

“It was the best Friday night in long while,” Johnston said. “It exceeded all expectations.”

Friday Night Meatballs

A whole lot of pasta at Friday Night Meatballs.

Each week, Falconer gets the same reviews.

“People have been enthusiastic about the evenings, with most people asking to attend again. It’s heart warming,” he says.

So where do the people come from?

Most who hear about Friday Night Meatballs see it through a tweet, a Facebook post, or an Instagram photo.

Friday Night Meatballs

Meatballs. meatballs. meatballs. Friday Night Meatballs

Falconer started sharing photos of the meatballs he was creating long before the dinners officially began. He made more than 100 meatballs before perfecting the recipe he currently uses. During the holidays, he switched it up by making turkey cranberry meatballs, but since the new year, he’s back to beef.

As he shared photos of his cooking efforts, and teasers about Friday Night Meatballs, more people on social media started to ask if they could come over.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t say that some people have shared a bit of nervousness about the meal; who will be there, what’s it like, is it awkward. I think it’s normal to expect a bit of that, but it’s just another reminder that as we embrace social media with an ever-growing appetite, we still need to take a chance and sit face to face with strangers,” he says.

Friday Night Meatballs

Friday Night Meatballs.

As word spreads – as it has, through various social networks – Falconer plans on capturing photos of guests, documenting what they do, creating a book and sharing it through a Friday Night Meatballs Tumblr blog, to take the connections being made at dinner even further online.

“Friday Night meatballs has continued to show me that we all know people who can help. I figure that if you’re willing to attend Friday Night Meatballs, you’re probably willing to take a call from a stranger who also attended Friday Night Meatballs. This way, every person will be able to share FNM as the connection,” he explains.

Call it a hyper-local six degrees of separation.

“I’ve had students, baristas, lawyers, media, professors, bankers, plumbers, photographers, city planners and so on, attend. Maybe someone needs a wedding photographer and two weeks before, one of the attendees was just that. Every week, the group gets updated and people are only one degree away from a new connection that can potentially help or inspire them.”

Friday Night Meatballs

At Friday Night Meatballs you get the pleasure of meeting Peter, Falconer’s cat.

Falconer doesn’t see his weekly dinner party slowing anytime soon. He’s met and continues to meet exceptional guests, is piquing even more interest through social media, and honestly just looks forward to each Friday – hoping that soon, others will as well.

“It’s Friday night, let’s go to Chris’ for meatballs!” they’ll say.

Friday Night Meatballs

A wonderful meal and great company at Friday Night Meatballs (Jan 9, 2015).