Her Voz

Your table is ready!

When its time to celebrate—my friends and I do it with taste. When its time to travel—my agenda is filled dates. When it’s sadly boring—my stomach hungers for it. Food that is! From back–alley, home–classic, or even high–end: there is always a time for tasteful criticism.

My hobby is amateur restaurant critique.

It’s not just the taste, but the interesting reviews—lead by diverse palettes—and conversations that come out of food recommendations. Its almost a sport for my friends and I. After we venture out to restaurants we use an adapted version of the Good Food Guide rating, just for laughs and to draw–out the goodtimes we just had.

A web site my pals and I find ourselves referring back to is devoted to restaurant and hotel reviews: Guy-Oh—www.guyot.com and the guyot blog. A leader in the food review industry, it has a review for almost any restaurant possible. The site was created by Andre Guyot and his family.

Unsurprisingly, there are tons of sites dedicated to food tasting reviews. Even a general search of “food review” results in 364,000,000. An even slightly more specific search of “restaurant review” results in 72,900,000 Web Sites.

Zagat is another leader. Similar in setting to Guyot.com, Zagat allows individual commentary and ratings. The major difference from guyot.com, is the consumers—and only the consumers—provide/share personal ratings and commentary. There isn’t one true leader. The web site states, “Zagat Survey has empowered consumers by providing them with a vehicle to express their opinions,” which it hopes is empowering people and providing a collective voice for smart decision makers.

Another site that comes top of my research list is urbanspoon.com, which has five contributors in every major city in the U.S. It also collects consumer reviews, but also major critique reviews from New York Post Magazine, LA.com, etc.

A lot of the other sites—like dine.com or fodors.com—fall short. They seem more like a restaurant registry than a site for other amateur restaurant critiques like myself.

Indeed there are tons, like mycity.com, which host business mixers and local events or my personal favorite seriouseats.com/eatingout—this site is good when you just want to read about unique experiences and restaurants/eateries you wouldn’t find on your own.

I found grabyourfork.com, which was officially rewarded Best Food Blog in 2007, memoirs of a chocaholic, the passionfruit, and foodbuzz. All but foodbuzz are personal blogs that seem to share my same personal hobby. Eating good food and sharing their experiences.

Foodbuzz.com is one of the most interesting sites I found. It is a social networking site for food bloggers. Currently it hosts over 10,302 food blogs. The purpose of the site is to connect bloggers by restaurant experience and create a linking/networking system. One can search blogs or see whose “buzzing,” in which restaurant bloggers are linked to a specific restaurant. Just search for a restaurant, any restaurant, and there you will find similar bloggers and their commentary.

Food has always been a vehicle for experience. Whether its traveling to New York to prove guyot.com’s poor rating of Sofrito’s restaurant wrong or just kicking back and reading about other people’s experiences, the table is always set!