Free Wine and Food, if You Know the Secret Password

Anyone who's involved with the culinary industry knows what a mysterious, often cutthroat, world it can be. But it seems we patrons are finally being let in on some of the secrets.

No, chefs aren't going to start palling around with customers (at least, not most of them) or dishing industry gossip to anyone who'll listen. But some local restaurants are now offering "Secret Password" days where guests who are in the know can score cheap -- or even free! -- food and wine.

  • Today, tomorrow and Saturday at Ko'Sin Restaurant at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, say the words "Wine Not" and you'll get a free wine pairing with any entree you, your date or your buddies order.
  • Every week, Postino Wine Cafe offers a "Word Wednesday" special. Find out the secret password of the day through word of mouth or on their Twitter/Facebook pages and say it to your server for $5 wine specials. Even if you're not in a Cabernet mood come Wednesday night, it's worth it to follow Postino just to see what the word is. During the holidays it was "mistletoe." This week's word was "electric," and one time, diners could write the name Jack Spicoli on the back of a business card to get EVERY glass of wine for $5 that night.
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes already has a mysterious allure (perhaps because we still wonder why any sane person would spend $3 for a cupcake), so it's no shock that they have a secret word special near-daily. Theirs involves some sleuthing, e.g. "What cupcake am I?," or a whispered password ala the entry door at some Prohibition-era speakeasy. Be one of the first X number of people in any Sprinkles store to whisper "penguin" or "2010" or whatever crazy word of the day corporate comes up with and you'll score a free cupcake -- leaving a couple of extra bucks in your pocket to buy some coffee to go with.       
  • District American Kitchen's a little less frequent with their word specials, but every once in a while they'll have a day where you can score a free shot or a cheap grub special if you mention Twitter. Follow District to get first dibs on any freebies.
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