We find it amazing that people keep trying to step to MenuPages as well as our own Nymag.com restaurant listings, and yet, a trio of newish portals has done just that. First, the Onion’s new city guide, Decider, includes a “food finder.” It’s not dish specific, like MPs’ “find-a-food” search, but it does let you search by cuisine. The results are maddeningly incomplete and sometimes completely baffling: Search for “tapas restaurants” and you get Union Hall (??) but not, for instance, Casa Mono. The listings don’t have menus and often don’t include descriptions.
Then there’s Good Food Near You, which, like its name says, aims to offer nearby “healthy” food options when you type in an address. Sounds nice, but the site is pitifully limited to chain restaurants (i.e., the ones required to post calorie counts). When we looked for food around our office, we got suggestions like the garden salad at McDonald’s, the garden salad at Domino’s, and the garden salad at Burger King. Clearly a very loose definition of “good food.”
Finally, Metaflavor claims to let you search amidst 4 million dishes across the country, but is also pretty much limited to “comfort casual” establishments. Search for pasta in New York and one of the few suggestions will be the California Pizza Kitchen. Also, the Olive Garden is listed as a health-food restaurant?? And don’t even try searching for “intestine” — zilch results on Metaflavor compared to 45 results on MenuPages. And yes, folks, the mark of a good site is how many tripe dishes it can offer you.