Google Places with Hotpot blog

Keep Your Recommendations Weird in Austin

Friday, February 11, 2011 | 7:05 AM

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Editor’s Note: Starting today, we’re kicking off a local marketing campaign in Austin, Texas, to spread the word about Google Places and Hotpot among local business owners and those who live and work in the area. To get the Austin party started, we’ve teamed up with Torchy’s Tacos to give away delicious free tacos to their customers (get ‘em while they’re hot!). We asked Tiffany Harelik, a fourth generation Austinite and member of the Torchy’s team, to write a little something for the blog about working with Google and some of the amazing food Austin has to offer.

Photo courtesy of Jared Tennant Photography

When Google first called me at Torchy’s Tacos, they said they were coming to my hometown to celebrate Austin’s local business community. Hot off the track from launching Hotpot, a new local recommendation engine from Google Places, Google has chosen Austin to promote this fun new technology because of our forward-thinking and love for all things local. And several Austinites had recommended Torchy’s as a great team to partner with when Google hit town. 

Cecelia and Vanessa from the Hotpot team met me at the Trailer Park on South 1st Street to chat about all the delicious food we offer here in Austin, and to talk about all the Google products you can use to help your business (or your favorite Austin business) connect with customers. Cecelia had a clue about Austin’s great food offers, being a UT alumna, but Vanessa was new to the Tex-Mex scene, so we had to order some tacos before we could even proceed.

Photo courtesy of Jared Tennant Photography
We quickly decided we wanted to do something fun for Torchy’s customers, and what’s more fun than free tacos?

Thus, I'm exceptionally excited to announce that we’ll be giving away — on Google — the Hotpot taco (or for those familiar with our menu, the Migas) at all six Torchy's Tacos locations until 2pm today. Keep in mind this is while supplies last and one per customer. Woohoo! Thanks, Google.

Now back to Hotpot. It’s a tool that supports local businesses by allowing users to share the places they love with their friends and discover new places they might like. As both a local Austin business owner and someone who reviews other local businesses, I'm excited about Hotpot and very happy to see big dogs like Google collaborating with unique trendsetters like Torchy's.

One of the fun features of Hotpot is the Best Ever medal, reserved only for the most deserving of favorite local spots. The Google girls asked me about some of my Best Ever trailer food vendors so they could check them out while here in Austin. (This, as you know, is always my most dreaded question. Trailers, you’re all pretty.) But for you, Google and readers, here is just a tiny portion of the awesome trailers not to miss, in addition to our beloved Torchy's:

G'Raj Mahal – fine Indian dining al fresco on Rainey Street
La Boite Cafe – unique local bistro cuisine in an eco-friendly box on S. Lamar
Franklin Barbecue - a must-have mouthwatering bbq experience east of campus
Hey Cupcake! - selling thousands of swanky cupcakes a day in multiple locations
Mighty Cone - gourmet fried chicken from the creators of Hudson's on the Bend on South Congress
Lulu B's Sandwiches - one of the best-kept underground secrets of sandwich teases on S. Lamar
The Flying Carpet – incredible Moroccan food from a loving family on South Congress

Photo courtesy of Jared Tennant Photography
A big thanks again to Google for recognizing Austin for one of the things we love about ourselves: that we vote with our dollars by supporting each others' businesses both on and offline.

Posted by Tiffany Harelik. Tiffany started her company Trailer Food Diaries with nothing more than a blog in February 2010. Attracting the attention of C3 Presents, she partnered with them to create the first annual Gypsy Picnic trailer food festival last fall. Her successes led local trailer food ambassadors Torchy's Tacos to hire her, and she consults with other trailer food vendors across the country. Her trailer food cookbook will be coming out this fall. She remains inspired by the foodie-entrepreneurs she encounters on her trailer food journeys.


Travis said...


Thank you!

In Peterborough said...

Mr Google seems to love his food.

Is this a trend? I think so.

First Portland, now Austin.

Let's see if we can get Mr Google to push his Places in Peterborough, UK.

Vanessa Schneider said...

Travis -- you're very welcome! :)

In Peterborough -- Make your case! What are some of your Best Evers around there?

trish said...

Don't forget about the sushi-a-go-go trailers! So good!

Tiffany said...

We had a blast! Thank you again hotpot!