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  • alannamichaelweddi

First Watch -Brooklyn

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Welcome to the World of Free Feasting.

Swag! Including a gift card and syrup!

The Venue: The Brand New First Watch in Brooklyn Riverside. The occasion. A pre-opening Elite event.

I received my nomination and acceptance to the Elite Yelpee would last a year. After making sure I had plenty of reviews left, the fearless Matthew C, who ran the Jacksonville Elite squad, sent me the glorious welcome letter. Then, an event popped up in the app and I quickly clicked RSVP so that I could join the evening of fun and feasting at the New First Watch in Brooklyn Riverside. The restaurant wasn’t even opened to the public yet!

Step 1: Grab a Cocktail.

To get into the event, you must show your official party pass which is sent to you prior to the big day. Everyone lines up, so the place is spilling people out the door.

Then your file in to find food. This First Watch actually has a full bar. The event was kicked off by passing out two free drink vouchers to each attendee. The restaurant provided these pre-made adorable little bottles that had their featured drinks for the evening.

Drink in hand, I went in search of my table. This event had assigned seating, so it was time to meet some other yelpers! I navigated my way toward the table to find my new friends and some serious yelpie swag – no event is complete without it! My table had 3 other yelpers and we all shared our yelping experience (or lack thereof) and apologized for the amount of food pics we would be taking with our phones.

Not So Basic Avocado Toast

After a welcome from Matt, an introduction to the chef, and a brief history of First Watch evolution, it was time to dig in. The servers hit ready, set, go, and came out in a flurry of breakfast smells. The first course was Millionaire’s Bacon. This bacon was so thick and rich and perfectly decadent. We had one mini platter with 4 bacon strips – one for each of us.

Avacado Toast

Breakfast for Dinner Never Tasted So Good.

The next course was lightly crisped toast topped with piles of fresh avocado. Already we were starting to fill up, especially with one boozy kale beverage down and the satisfaction of bacon bites that were a precursor to this basic girl favorite. This toast had just the amount of avocado that made you feel absolutely fine about paying (or being) extra.

We crowded our hovering phones over each dish and fed the tiny camera screen with memories.

We crowded our hovering phones over each dish and fed the tiny camera screen with memories.
Pork Belly

Get in My Pork Belly.

Meanwhile, the food kept coming. Now I had only had pork belly once before. At Hawkers. It was tasty then, but I was starving so I didn’t know for sure how much I liked it.

Once again the rich flavors took me back to that bacon place. And I sat there savoring and savoring. As everyone at my table grew comfortable with the dizzying tastes of new dishes, we got to know each other a little.

The first Yelp skill we learned from the seasoned members was how to Yelp friend each other on the app. I would later find out it’s great to do this during the event and not after when you are trying to remember people’s names but just keep remembering the dishes you tried.

Say Cheers to the Next Round of Food. I could have left then. Happy, full, satisfied. But there was more.

Ending on a Sweet Note: Pancakes & Waffles for Dessert.

We finalized our hours of feasting with some sweet sensations. Friends, Lemon Rocotta Pancakes are divine. Now rarely would I be in the mood for such a sugary treat, but somehow the tinge of tartness made this dinner flourish and hit the spot.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

I found at Yelp events it’s tough. You just keep eating. It’s so good. It’s all there. It’s free.

And their official photographer Nate just keeps snapping pictures of you as you start Violet Beaugarding with every dish. (Remember the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka? This happens to everyone by course 5).

At the end of the eating, I surveyed the damage, the carnage, the leftover waffles. I took it all in amid the loud hubbub of the kitchen and excited diners.

At the end of the eating, I surveyed the damage, the carnage, the leftover waffles.

Who Could Ask for More?

I had my new Yelp wristband and other swag. THEN. We even got goodie bags to take home which included a gift card to come back to First Watch with a friend. That’s right. MORE free food.

Giftcard Buys Secrets

It's not what you think. When I returned to the restaurant to spend my gift card, I took my future husband with me. Our server that day had contacted me on Yelp and encouraged me to come to the store. I got my 2 seconds of Yelp fame, as she remembered me and was excited to serve us.

Our meals that day were delicious once again. And it was there at that table at that First Watch across the street from the Saint Johns River that I told my husband my deepest, darkest secrets. And he still married me!

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