Tag Archives: Food

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Friday Favorites

The sights, the sounds, the smells…the free stuff! Here’s our rundown of favorite intangibles from Friday at SXSW 2017.

Shrimp and Grits, Moonshine-style

Shrimp and Grits, Moonshine-style


Its hard to pass up Lambert’s BBQ from our first night in town for this category, but the shrimp and grits, seared rainbow trout and kale and bacon dip at Moonshine completely blew us away.


Its been somewhat of a “Tour de Old Fashioned” for Jim so far. And Lambert’s offering was as smooth as they come.







Grab Bag:

Hey…I recognize that sticker!







“I’m here because I love the Internet – the same reason why you’re here!” ~ A street performer getting down to Sisqo


The Los Pollos Hermanos pop-up restaurant from the TV show Better Call Saul.

The Los Pollos Hermanos pop-up restaurant from the TV show Better Call Saul.

Celebrity-ish Sighting:

The Los Pollos Hermanos is the best chicken in Albuquerque…and now in Austin. #BetterCallSaul






Through the Lens:

Live music at Stubb's, and Austin stronghold.

Live music at Stubb’s, and Austin stronghold.













Number of Steps Taken:

Jim -12,865. Carissa – 11,562.

Hours of Sleep:

Jim – 5.5. Carissa – 6.5

Caffeinated Beverages Consumed:

Jim – 3. Carissa – 1.

Small Idea, Big Movement

bohsw-zcuaavuieI love great ideas! Especially the ones that start out small but then revolutionize an industry. In 2007, a like-minded group of individuals, including Pam Warhurst and Mary Clear, wanted to find a way in which everyone could help improve their own community. Their solution: They taught their local residents to take control of their community through gardening and eating.

“The answer was food,” said Warhurst in her TED Talk. “Everyone understands food. Food gets people talking; even better, it inspires people to take action.” They started with small herb gardens and community plots in a Northern England town called Todmorden. Then they planted corn in front of a police station, fruit trees on the sides of roads, vegetables in front of the senior center, and even planted gardens in the cemetery, where “things grow really well because the soil is really good!” Read more after the jump…

Best Denver Restaurants: A Love Story

Some favorite meals at Denver's Civic Center Eats this summer!

Some of our favorite meals at Denver’s Civic Center Eats this summer! Photo by @jimlicko on Instagram.

On any given day at GFM, you’ll find team members swapping recipes, sharing
homegrown veggies, or enjoying a homemade treat prepared specifically for everyone to share at our center table. But our love of food goes beyond that which we prepare for ourselves – GFMers love to eat out. Whether it’s with friends or family, you’re likely to find one or more team members at a local restaurant any given night of the week.

Last month we shared a list of some of our favorite books. As we enter the season for celebrations and entertaining visiting friends and family, we thought it was the perfect time to share our take on the best Denver restaurants! Read more after the jump…

Friday Favorites: GFM @ SXSW

From kickoff parties to private concerts and recharging suites…we’re off and running with a bang in Austin. Here are our favorites from Friday.

The brussels sprouts at the Salty Sow.

The brussels sprouts at the Salty Sow.

NomNom:  The pork shoulder, pork belly and pork butt at the Salty Sow were all amazing…but the brussels sprouts were the shocker of the meal. Peeled, flaky, and crazy good.

Libations: Cuvee Coffee’s Black & Blue can of iced coffee is pretty amazing when you’re rolling on limited sleep and its 75 degrees outside. Delicious!

Culture Tip: We talked with a few business owners and employees who have an unlimited vacation policy. Essentially, its up to the employee to get his/her work done, and beyond that, its vacation time. Employees love the flexibility, and most end up using the same or even less days of vacation than a typical PTO plan. Very interesting…



#MophieRescue puppies!

#MophieRescue puppies!

Grab Bag: Our favorite gadget-device-batter-saving friends at Mophie had a brilliant #MophieRescue activation including a pop-up shop and street teams with rescued St. Bernards. Everyone was buzzing about the pups down here.

Free Stuff Rules: Our friends at Spredfast are hosting a Social Suite at their headquarters…free BBQ, beers, charging stations, ice cream creations and a candy buffet that was right up Jon’s gummy bear-loving alley!

Overheard: “The problem with the Buffaloes, is that they’re like the slowest, fattest character in a horror movie. They’re only going to be better when another Pac-12 team is slower and fatter.” – Spencer Hall, Editorial Director for SB Nation

It was a beautiful spring day in Austin - here's a shot from Lady Bird Lake that shows a few of the many buildings going up in ATX.

It was a beautiful spring day in Austin – here’s a shot from Lady Bird Lake that shows a few of the many buildings going up in ATX.

Through the Lens: 










Number of Steps Taken: 18,874 – big day!

Hours of Sleep: Jim: 7. Jon: 7.

Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Jim: 3. Jon: 3.

~ Jim and Jon

After NYT lashing, Guy Fieri needs to step up his PR game

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri is many things, but pretentious might not be one of them.

So when the food critic from the vaunted New York Times wrote a deliciously scathing review of Fieri’s Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar restaurant in Times Square last week, it caused an online firestorm of supporters and detractors that continues today.

The review by Times critic Pete Wells was written as a series of questions directed at Fieri. It opened with “GUY FIERI, have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square?”

The review was covered in journalism trade pubs, including Poynter.org, which interviewed other food critics to see if they thought it was fair. Most agreed it was.

But did Fieri appropriately respond or just try to deflect the criticism? Read more at Ragan’s PRDaily.


Favorites From the Fifth Day in Austin (Monday)

Easily our favorite day of SXSW so far, Monday took us from great sessions to amazing food to crazy brand activations to Alexis making a local news appearance to a Jay-Z concert. We had a lot to choose from for our favorites from Monday…here is the list:

Nom nom: Frank is going to get two mentions in in our favorites today, because it’s just that good. As the “Purveyors of Artesian Sausage,” Alexis had the Veggie Jackalope dog (huckleberry compote, sriracha aioli, cheddar) while I had the Texalina (pork and beef sausage, grilled coleslaw, Carolina mustard BBQ sauce, white cheddar), and we both had a corn cup as our side (Grilled corn served off the cob with chili mayonesa, lime juice, cilantro and cotija cheese). We can’t talk enough about how good Frank is.

Libations: As if the dogs weren’t delicious enough, Frank also has an killer drink list including the Plantation (Hendrick’s Gin, fresh basil, fresh-squeezed lime, grapefruit juice) and the Kentucky Peach (Maker’s Mark, fresh basil and peach, house-made lemonade) – both pictured below.

Celebrity-ish Sighting: Walking down 6th Street, post-concert, we ran into actor Matthew Lillard of Scream, Hackers, Scooby Doo, She’s All That and most recently, The Descendants.

Through the lens: Film director Robert Rodriguez discussing his latest projects in the Samsung Blogger Lounge.

Grab Bag: Walking back to the car before the concert, Alexis and I were stopped by a reporter from the local Fox affiliate to comment on the use of homeless people in Austin to promote free wi-fi hotspots. Alexis made the nightly news in Austin…at this point nothing will surprise us.

Free Stuff Rules: You can’t really top being 15 rows deep on the floor of the ACL Live Moody Theater for a free Jay-Z concert. It was fantastic.

Number of steps taken: 15,124

Hours of sleep: Jim: 6. Alexis: 7.

Caffeinated beverages consumed: Jim: 3. Alexis: 1.

Number of connections made: 66 people and counting.

~Jim Licko and Alexis Anderson

Favorites From the Fourth Day in Austin (Sunday)

Nom nom: The Fish Tacos at The Peached Tortilla food truck provided a quick, yet delicious diversion from the convention center crowds.

Libations: You can’t come to Texas without enjoying a crisp, cold Shiner Bock when the weather jumps well into the 70’s. Especially when it was paid for by Google at their Google Places Happy Hour.

Celebrity-ish Sighting: FourSquare CEO Dennis Crowley and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh (see photo below). We were tech-star struck.

Through the lens: Crowley and Hsieh discussing business in the Samsung Blogger Lounge

Grab Bag: Its obviously fun to meet new an interesting people every day, but its also great to run into Colorado friends and colleagues while at SXSW. Big thanks to Ginger Pelz (@gpelz) for setting up an impromptu Colorado meetup via Twitter with @benjaminbacon, @biavio, @kristaflock, and the elusive @pug, to name a few.

Free Stuff Rules: Cool Haus Austin (@CoolhausATX) was not only giving out free Nutella and red velvet ice cream sandwiches for tweeting about them, but Alexis scored a free @charm_charlie bracelet for what was surely the best 2-for-1 tweet of the conference so far.

Number of steps taken: 13,081

Hours of sleep: Jim: 5.75. Alexis: 6.5. (curse you, Daylight Savings Time!)

Caffeinated beverages consumed: Jim: 4. Alexis: 0.5.

Number of connections made: 53 people and counting – and all of them have been interesting.

~Jim Licko and Alexis Anderson

Favorites From the Third Day in Austin (Saturday)

Saturday started the usual way for us, you know, up at 4:30am to make sure we get a spot in line for tickets to the free Jay-Z concert Monday night…and I’m happy to report, we’ll be attending the AmEx Sync Show with Jay-Z on Monday night (you can follow along by checking out the American Express YouTube channel). No doubt, our list of favorites from Saturday are dominated by Jay-Z related info…

Our favorites from the first full day in Austin (Friday):

Nom nom: The bread pudding desert at Peche. They’re mainly known for their prohibition-style cocktails (see below), but the bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream was reminiscent of mom’s monkey bread – amazing…

Libations: After another day of rain, the temperatures warmed up a little, which was perfect for a Corpse Reviver #2 at Peche. Gin, lemon, Cointreau, Lillet Blac and absenthe – so light and refreshing that you’ve got to be really careful.

Celebrity-ish Sighting: Liz Gumbinner, publisher and editor-in-chief of coolmompicks.com, sporting a fedora and knee high boots at Pesche.

Through the lens: Jim and Alexis fairly excited about their free Jay-Z tickets at the ACL Live Moody Theater.

Grab Bag – Its amazing who you might meet while waiting in line in the rain at 5:20am. Behind us were two Starwood Hotel representatives and in front of us was Movember’s Director of Development. The result: pre-concert drinks with our “line buddies” on Monday. There’s always a way to network…

Free Stuff RulesThe other result of waiting in line was Jim scoring a travel mustache trimmer from our friends at Movember. You really can’t top that…

Number of steps taken: 16,432

Hours of sleep – Jim: 5.5. Alexis: 6.5.

Caffeinated beverages consumed: Jim: 6. Alexis: 4.

Number of connections made: We’re up to an even 40 people.

Favorites from the second day in Austin (Friday):

Friday officially kicked off our SXSWi experience in Austin. I’ve never been more thankful to have a “sophomore” SXSWi guide with me than I was yesterday—as we navigated through downpours and stared sympathetically at the people in the 2-3 hour lime to pick up badges (which Jim, thankfully, insisted we do Thursday night). SXSW keeps the “weird” in “keep Austin weird” so there are no shortages of updates to share with you today!

Nom nom: Gotta go with Stubb’s BBQ, an Austin classic. Family style meal with ribs, brisket, and smoked turkey, with fried okra were enjoyed by all. Underneath the restaurant are two live concert venues – one indoors, one out.. So cool.

Libations: “The First Growth” at the Driskill Hotel. Gin, pineapple juice and sage… Questionable name but very refreshing.

Celebrity-ish Sighting: Smokey Bear at the Smokey Bear tweet up. Note: this isn’t like it sounds—the tweet up was about creating a unique and memorable brand voice online.

Through the lens: Our Council of PR Firms colleage WCG created this very cool “SXSW Tracker” to keep tabs on trending conversations, hot spots and influencers. This photo was taken at 9:00 a.m., hence “breakfast tacos” being a popular topic of social conversation.

Grab Bag: Google+ representative subtly using “that other social network” in reference to Facebook. You stay classy, Google.

Number of steps taken: Jim & Alexis: 12,576 each.

Hours of sleep: Jim: 4.75. Alexis: 5.5.

Caffeinated beverages consumed: Jim: 4. Alexis: 3.

Number of connections made: 23 (and counting…)

~ Alexis Anderson

SXSW: The Arrival in Austin

If you’re a person who is passionate about technology and communicating through online and social channels, there’s something special about landing in Austin for SXSW (read: I’m a geek). We spend so much time trying to explain to our friends and family what we do for a living that when you get to Austin, it’s like being around a 30,000-person support group. Bloggers, new media thought leaders, tech venture capitalists, online content developers, social media platform creators…Smokey Bear (or at least his Twitter voice) will even be presenting today.

The conversations I’ve had in the first few hours alone have already been impressive. My personal favorite: metrics of social media. “The old model of paid media will crumble,” said one presenter. “With social data we’re able to look over the past five years, on these 3-4 issues, with these 3-4 competitors, in these 3-4 cities and say, ‘here is what has happened.’ Its up to us to be able to interpret that data and better communicate with our key audiences.” No doubt the first of many huge, interesting, complex and forward thinking conversations over the next five days.

Our favorites from the first night in Austin (Thursday):

Nom nom: If you are looking for good, locally-sourced, farm-to-table grub (especially if you’re a breakfast for dinner guy like Jim), search no further than 24 Diner (600 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin). Consumed: Sweet potato hash (Jim) and the veggie po’ boy (Alexis).

Libations: Harpoon Leviathan Uber Bock. With semi-sweet honey flavor and 11% alcohol…pace yourself.

Celebrity-ish Sighting: We’ve only had a few hours so forgive us if yesterday’s sighting is a place and not a person: The 80,000 sq. ft. Whole Foods Flagship headquarters left Alexis dreaming of new recipes, and Jim wondering how to fit a charcuterie bar in his building.

Through the lens: Rainy Austin, day #1

Grab Bag: Its not every day a Texas State Trooper shows you an iPhone video of himself being tazed for training purposes…don’t ask.

Number of steps taken: Jim & Alexis: 2,458 each.

Hours of sleep: Jim: 6.25. Alexis: 7.

Caffeinated beverages consumed: Jim: 3. Alexis: 2.

Number of connections made: 9 (and counting…)

~ Jim Licko