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Creating a DC/Baltimore Sticky -- Your feedback

We've been trying out a new sticky format on the Manhattan Board for awhile now, and while it hasn't completely eliminated 'Coming to town for the weekend, where should I eat?', it also hasn't caused any problems, so we're going to go ahead and start working on these stickies for some others of the boards, beginning with our most active regional boards. This thread is for feedback on what should go into the sticky for the DC and Baltimore board.

Check out the sticky on the Manhattan board ( http://www.chowhound.com/topics/444453 ) for an example, and then let us know:

1. What are the most repetitive (yet generally on topic) questions that get asked? Are there specific events or attractions people are always asking for recommendations near? Specific restaurants that have been discussed in great detail? We're not trying to totally eliminate these questions, just help people to find the information that already exists. The really general 'Coming to town for the weekend, where should I eat?' questions that are an issue on every board are a given for this list--you don't need to suggest them here.

2. Any board specific vocabulary, abbreviations or habits that people should know? On the multi-state boards, this might be the habit of using airport codes in titles to note the town, locally it might be that putting the airport code in the title means you want to eat near the airport. On Manhattan, we mentioned that prices there are generally higher than average so people should try to use clear cost descriptions if they have budget limits.

3. Are there any off board chowdown lists/groups that people should be aware of? How can they sign up?

If you've got any other feedback about the stickies, let us know that, too.

We probably won't be able to use everything that gets suggested, but we will try to incorporate as much feedback as possible while still keeping the stickies manageable.

-- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

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  1. In Baltimore, the repeat requests w/o bothering to search are generally fo food near Harborplace and Oriole Park and crabs and crabcakes.

    1. I was going to also address the crabs/crabcakes/seafood questions by Inner Harbor, Downtown, Oriole Park, etc.

      In addition, since this board encompasses a large region, people usually put where they are Balto, or DC, or NOVA, etc.

      We also should let people know that while there are definitely good cheap eats in the area, seafood/crabs almost never fits into the category!

      1 Reply
      1. re: baltoellen

        I think the following abbreviations should be included in the explantions:
        NOVA - Northern Virginia
        PG - Prince George's County (not that people discuss good food in PG very often...but still)
        MoCo - Montgomery County

        I'm sure there are several others that come up, but I know those are some that confused me when I first moved to this area (and the board).

      2. What/where to eat in and near the Smithsonian museums and core monuments in DC. Same for the various neighborhoods such as Dupont Circle and Captiol Hill.

        1. In addition to the other abbreviations mentioned, maybe a "new to the board" standing post could ask folks to include either DC or B-More (or Balto or any other Baltimore abbreviation) in the TITLE of their post, so those of us in one place or the other wouldn't have to open a thread to find out where the person is asking about. So "looking for a good cheap happy hour" would become "DC - looking for a good cheap happy hour" or "B-more - looking for a good cheap happy hour.

          1. Best (style) Pizza, Best Chinese in... are threads that are often repeated as is Best Brunch in....

            Other repeated threads as noted above crabs, crabcakes, also, Thanksgiving, New Years, Fourth of July, Restaurant Week (RW), pre-theatre (Shakespeare, Kennedy Center in DC, I don't remember what Baltimore's are).

            People might want to be aware of opentable.com because it lists a lot of Restaurant Week participants, has lists of it's members open for brunch or other holidays, and it provides other useful information.

            Prices are high in DC so reasonable for us certainly may not be reasonable for others. I don't think a $10 glass of wine is unreasonable, or a twenty-ish dollar entree, that is kind of normal around here.

            I agree on posting the area in the Title be it VA (Virginia), NOVA, DC, Balt, etc. I don't think you should have to choose just Baltimore or DC but some area specification would be nice.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ktmoomau

              Where to find Mexican food also comes up pretty often, as do requests for "local" DC food (to which the answer is almost always that there isn't any so try Ben's for something vaguely local, or Ethiopian for something you don't get in lots of other cities).

              +1 on area tagging in titles. Maybe MDC (metro DC) to include DC, NoVA, and close-in MoCo/PG, to distinguish from folks asking for recs in the district proper? Baltimore posters don't seem to be as vehemently tied to the city limits, so I don't think there's a need for a tag for metro Baltimore/HoCo/etc.

              HoCo is probably confusing for newbies, too, although it doesn't get used much on this board.

              (And I second the higher-price warning, even though I do think a $10 glass of wine is unreasonable--it's unreasonable, but not at all uncommon.)

              Maybe a mention of whether Annapolis is fair game? Or should that go on the Mid-Atlantic board's sticky?

              1. re: sweth

                I wouldn't cut Annapolis out as it is both a commuter city for DC and Baltimore. And drawing a line around Severna Park, Columbia, Laurel and etc as to whether it is DC or Baltimore would be very difficult as they are pretty equal. But Annapolis is much less Mid-Atlantic in my view as there are so many commuters. And if you took out Annapolis would you leave in Severna Park for Baltimore... I think the Bay Bridge is generally a nice line...

                1. re: sweth

                  In terms of location, I'd add how far west does the DC area go? I see frequent requests for restaurants near the Shenandoah, Winchester, etc. But, cutting out that area would mean cutting out the Inn at Little Washington which is one of the most well known "DC area" restaurants.

              2. One thing I want to clarify (and I'm posting this in every thread, it's not specific to this one) is that we're not looking to elevate specific topics or answers to sticky status, or even link them within the stickies. Nor are we looking to completely eliminate repetition from the boards. Repetition is still good--it brings out new answers (whether from new posters or about new restaurants) and ensures that things are updated. A single sticky (or otherwise annointed as official) thread for a given popular topic wouldn't do that job as well.

                From the perspective of the new user, we're trying to help them find the information that's already out there, as well as help them craft a good question that will get them the information they need if they can't find it.

                From the perspective of our regulars, we're trying to cut back a moderate amount on the repetitive questions, as well as help to ensure you get the information you need, rather than having to ask a bunch of clarifying questions every time someone new comes along.

                1. It would definitely help to have a "special occasion" recs (in addition to "best seafood" and "near the Inner Harbor") for Baltimore. We get a whole lot of requests, especially around graduation and holidays and the answers are pretty much always the same - or at least they could come up with some options to ask a more specific question.

                  And PLEASE somehow make it so they have to write Balto or DC or other area in the post title.

                  1. This might be too general, but we see a lot of questions about where to eat with kids.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chowser

                      That's true. Especially "where to eat with kids that's not a chain" We could have several options for that as well.

                    2. I think a sticky would be great! As for "somehow make it so" you have to choose DC or Baltimore... perhaps that issue would be better resolved by splitting the two cities? Giving them independent boards would not only help new-users find information, it would also help old-users in their posts. DC and Baltimore are sufficiently separated geographically, it would be nice to see that real-world separation reflected in Chow.

                      I would like to note, that I make this suggestion with the understanding that many people commute from one city to the other, and that many people like to venture out in search of good food to either city. Still- I think "metro-DC" should have a board separate from Baltimore!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: AnneBird

                        There have actually been 2 threads on this recently. It's seems that opinions are definitely divided on actually splitting the boards.

                        Here's one: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/43455...

                        I was just thinking there could be a check box or something simple? Or at least a reminder in bold type right above the title box?

                        1. re: pigtowner

                          It occurs to me that it's easier to recommend in a sticky that people tag their posts by area if there's a precedent for it among regular posters. Perhaps those of us who want location tags could start by doing it on our own posts, and seeing if it catches on...?

                        2. re: AnneBird

                          where would you put Annapolis, Columbia, etc, if you split the two boards?

                        3. This probably could go for any of the CH regional boards, but use of relative, subjective terms such as "inexpensive," "moderately-priced" and "expensive" should be supplemented with a specific dollar limit when requesting (or recommending) a restaurant when budget is a consideration.

                          One person's idea of moderate may be another's idea of expensive or vice-versa--especially since the Washington/Baltimore area draws a lot of inquiries from travelers coming to town from other areas where the price scale might be substantially higher or lower than ours.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: tubman

                            As a regular on the UK/Ireland board, I agree with the sentiments of this post. We often have American tourists posting who, firstly, comment on how expensive Britain is going to be and then want restaurant recommendations without any indication of budget. Not always easy to answer - what is expensive to a visiting American is not necessarily expensive for us Brits.

                          2. Since the Thai, Korean, and Ethiopian are cuisines that the DC area seems to have many more examples of than many other areas, threads about the best examples of those cuisines seem to pop up frequently.

                            1. Hey, any chance for a vegetarian/vegan section for the DC/B-more area? I think it would help many foodies. Thank you!

                              1. I second the Crabs, Crab cakes and seafood suggestion - only don't limit it to just the harbor. Is it possible to do one listing for the harbor and one for in general?

                                Also, I think Brunch and special occassion/ambiance locals should be added.

                                1. Any update on this?? We could definitely use it this "where can I eat crabs in the Inner Harbor" summer season.

                                  1. In response to the first question: you could just improve the search engine, which as of now is completely useless.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: link_930

                                      What do you find useless about the search function - I use it all the time and usually find what I'm looking for: