We all know the pains of scrolling through pages of extensive elegiac prose on sites like Yelp when all one wants to know is if the burgers are actually good there. When it comes to restaurant recommendations there are thankfully a whole new slew of apps that go beyond the likes of Zagat, Urbanspoon,and Open Table. These apps help users filter through the incredible amount of restaurants and information out there to answer the ever plaguing question of – where the hell should I eat?
1) Pizza Compass
For just under a dollar and with the help of a spinning slice of piece, you can find the nearest pizza joints no matter where in the world you are. The app uses Four Square’s API and an overlay from Google Maps to show users the nearest pizza spots along with their hours of operation. The slice of pizza acts as a compass and will start steaming as you get closer to your destination, which makes satisfying the drunchies that much easier. The promo video is also definitely worth a watch. It’s only available for iOS at the moment but an Android version is in the works.
2) Where Chef’s Eat
Based off of the book with the same title, this app is a verified compendium of favorite dishes and restaurants around the world from a collection of over 400 well-respected (and well-traveled) chefs including the likes of David Chang and Sean Brock . The price tag comes at just under $16 but it is still cheaper than buying the book itself. The app has a very global focus which is especially great if you find yourself in a foreign city looking for the best eats. It’s currently available for iPhone and iPad only.
The emerging food tech world is an exciting and very unique industry. As an amalgamation of the food world and the tech world, it is brimming with start-ups and applications that change the way the world interacts with food. Here are three food apps and companies that that have caught our eye, while also doing some serious good, this week.
Give Your Calories
Developed by Belgian communications agency Happiness Brussels, this app helps feed those in need as other people feed their need to photograph everything they eat. Free for iOS, the app “converts the caloric value of a food item into dollar values” that can be donated to Action Against Hunger, an international humanitarian organization that works to feed severely undernourished children around the world. The app does calorie calculations by either image recognition or the scanning of a barcode and then converts the calories into an optional monetary donation via Paypal. Food that is around 300 to 400 calories equate to a $5 donation. Now people have a legitimate excuse to take a picture of every hamburger that arrives on their plate.
Another application that is free for iOS, Farmstand helps you to eat more locally. The app tracks your location and then reveals the closest farmers’ markets and their hours of operation. Once a market has been selected, users can scroll through photos of what’s available that are posted by friends and other users of the application. Eating seasonally has never been easier.
If farmers’ markets aren’t your thing, or you always happen to be busy during their limited hours of business, or half the vegetables in your CSA delivery never get used, Farmigo is your saving grace. It aggregates what is available from local farmers and allows you to place an order online for the goods in the amounts you want. Within 48 hours it’s delivered by farmers to your selected drop-off point. Over 3,500 local food communities through Farmigo already exist, and the number is rapidly growing. Free to download, you can now bring the farmers’ market to you.
…How are whiskey barrels made?
Brought to you by the wondrous world of The Internet, this YouTube video offers a five minute behind-the-scenes look at how modern whiskey barrels are made. Next time you sip and savor that beautiful caramel-colored Kentucky booze, take a moment and raise your glass to those tireless machines crafting the perfect wooden barrels for your perfectly aged whiskey.
Eddie Huang seems to be everywhere these days. The food blogger and Baohaus chef/owner who took New York by storm in 2009 when he opened his Tawainese-style steamed bun restaurant is now hitting the web series scene with his new show on vice.com. The show, named after his blog, “Fresh Off The Boat,” will follow Huang as he travels to cities in search of the deep underground food haunts of bikers, gangs, drug dealers, and other dark and dangerous crowds. View the trailer here.
Another chef is jumping on the web series band wagon. Tom Colicchio, in between filming seasons of Top Chef, is launching his own YouTube series. The show will feature fishing trips with Colicchio and other chef friends as they bring the catch of the day. The show, “Hooked Up,” will air on the Reserve Channel. And guess who will be a guest on his first episode? None other than, Mr. Eddie Huang.
Celebrity chef and world traveler, Anthony Bourdain, is testing out new media and technology channels with an app based on his new show, “Layover“, on the Travel Channel. The app will help you make the best of a quick stay in a number of cities around the world. Features will include TV show clips, maps, guides, timelines, and dos and don’ts of each city. Learn more or purchase the app here.
Hip-hop lifestyle magazine, Complex, has just launched a new food-centric website called First We Feast. The site will feature stories, photos, and blogs that circulate the latest trends, names, faces, and places in the culinary scene. So far, we like what we see.