Chowhound

by Lisa Rosen on January 20, 2011

I’ve rewritten this post three times trying to figure out a way to make it amusing or entertaining, or even just not-boring.  Couldn’t make it work–sorry about that.  So I’ll just go with plain old boring transmission of information.

Important life rule:

Don’t go out of town and eat the same boring stuff you can eat at home.

Important life rule number two:

Life is short; don’t go to mediocre restaurants.

These two rules have held me in good stead for many years.  When I go to New York (Washington, London, Miami, Chicago–or that tiny little crossroads in the middle of nowhere) I refuse to eat in a restaurant that I can eat in at home.  That would just be stupid.  And boring.  And a wasted opportunity.

Chowhound.com is the best place I know of to get useful local restaurant reviews, written by ordinary people, most of whom happen to be as obsessed with food as I am.  You go to the board that represents your corner of the country (or world), and you can search for the name of your town (or the town you’re visiting), or just read back through the latest posts.

If you get into the habit of checking in on your local board with some regularity/frequency, you’ll start to recognize the names of regular posters.  You’ll learn to recognize whose opinions you can trust.  You’ll stay up-to-date with restaurant news and events in your area.  It’s a community, like this (or any other) blog, built on the notion of reciprocity–you’ll get more out of it if you contribute information and opinions–but it’s also really useful for doing a quick check to see if there’s anything good in the small town you’re passing through on the interstate.

The other beautiful thing about Chowhound is that the standard is good food, not fancy food.  An excellent barbecue shack out in the hinterlands is just as likely to get rave reviews as the latest celebrity chef hot spot.

I love Chowhound.  That is all.

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