HOME > Chowhound > Site Talk >


What brought you to Chowhound?

One night, after watching a particularly infuriating episode of Top Chef (Season 1), I googled around looking for people who were as outraged as myself.

I stumbled upon Chowhound. For a few days, I avidly read each and every comment regarding Top Chef, sometimes checking the site every hour to see if anyone else had something new to say. After that season, I started searching around the rest of the site and found a huge trove of awesomeness.

So my strange addiction to reality TV really paid off! :o)

So what brought you all here?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I arrived here looking for restaurants prior to visiting America on holiday.

    I post fairly regularly on a couple of the topical boards here but find my home board (UK & Ireland) pretty useless unless I'm planning to visit the main tourist centre of London, so use another board for my restaurant reviews and exchanges about the rest of the two countries.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      I find that my home board (Pac NW) is pretty dead so I also find restaurant reviews elsewhere. But the info I do find on these boards is invaluable.

      1. re: soypower

        The wonderful software brought me here. It amazes me daily.

        Seriously, your reply is sad. That you go elsewhere to to find restaurant recommendations.

        This isn't the reason the site started ... to rag on food tv.

        The reason was to seek out delicious food. I can only hopefully suggest you post about where you eat. If more people do then this site would be more useful for all.

        1. re: rworange

          I do post pretty frequently on my local boards, but there are only about 7 different threads a day, so it doesn't lend itself to much 'discussion'. I definitely trust opinions shared on chowhound more than those of other sites, but sometimes those other sites are the only ones with any discussion of our local restaurants.

          I don't find it sad that my search for something so lame (venting about top chef) resulted in finding something so great (you all).

          1. re: soypower

            Nice answer. Nice to know food star madness isn't the only attraction

            I actually found the site thru a need to vent.

            Around 2002 before the proliferation of restaurant websites, I was massively disappointed in a retaurant a local reviewer raved about. I googled to see if there was anyone else out there who thought the place was a dud. I found kindred spirits at Chowhound and kind of hung out.

            Though my second post almost scared me off. I asked where I could buy the best frozen pie crust and got jumped on that they were all swill, I should make my own because it was easy as .... well, pie.

            These days a few aritsan joints sell upscale frozen pie crusts. I was just ahead of my time.

            1. re: rworange

              I lurked for a long time before posting on here for exactly that reason. I had seen a lot of those types of posts - anti-chain restaurant outrage, why would you buy bottled salsa, etc. and proceeded with caution. Luckily there are lots of nice people on here that outweigh the occasional bad apple.

    2. That was so long ago, I don't remember, but for sure it was some sort of Internet search.

      1. Calvin Trillin's book 'Feeding a Yen' & we're really happy he mentioned it. The book is highly recommended.


        1. I had seen something on tv about drinking chocolate so I googled where to get it in Toronto. It brought up a thread about it and just started reading from there. Ironically, I never went to get the chocolate but have found hundreds of other great tips on here ever since!

          1. A Facebook friend posts from articles from here so I checked it out. :-)

            1. it's been so long -- well over ten years -- but i still recall being tipped off to the site by a friend who was a fellow chowhound (in those days, the site had a home page explaining how chowhounds differed from foodies, who were thought to be silly sheeplike creatures). it was small and intimate, not snobby at all, and the focus was purely on food, not ambience and *especially* not notions of "what's hot."

              times change. that's life.

              4 Replies
              1. re: david sprague

                Same for me in terms of length. I found out about Chowhound through Stephen Shaw's fat-guy site (which is now egullet). Don't remember how I found fat-guy.

                There are a lot of differences from the old Chowhound and the new one. It was definitely small and intimate, and I didn't really participate until years later -- probably because I found it a bit intimidating breaking into a small and intimate group. I would agree that the folks (at least on my local boards) weren't very snobby with the exception of one poster that I recall. She may be a lovely person in real life but she sure rubbed me the wrong way on the boards. She would probably say it's about being passionate rather than being snobby. Shows how some things don't change as I'm sure many posters today would think the same.

                One thing I will say that I love about the new Chowhound is that we can see a complete thread without hitting the backspace button, waiting for the humongous page to load and clicking on a new response.

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  I felt the same way, too, years ago (decade almost?) when I first came across CH. I read about it in a blurb in a local Bay Area paper. I lurked some but never posted. It wasn't until years later that I came back, found it so different (although I've read grumblings from the original CHs). I like how much quicker the new CH is--I couldn't read threads that were over 100 posts before because it locked up my computer. I think there are CHs who are passionate and sharing and then there are CHs who can be snobby and decide who is worth their while and who isn't but it's a big place with room for everyone. What impresses me are the venerable old CHs ("old" by CH age which would be 1/9th human age...?) who take the time to answer questions about places to eat, techniques, etc. from any newbies.

                  1. re: chowser

                    Oh yeah. My computer froze a lot as well. This new software really makes reading threads so much easier!

                    And there are some wonderful old timers here as well as newer posters. The majority of posters here are great. However, I do see myself getting frustrated from time to time from the know-it-alls, the trolls, snobs, "passionate" posters, etc. I try not to get sucked into it but occasionally find myself responding to them in spite of my mind commanding my fingers not to type. But overall, Chowhound has definitely enriched my life and am grateful that we are able to have this resource for free.

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      " I try not to get sucked into it but occasionally find myself responding to them in spite of my mind commanding my fingers not to type."

                      LOL, BTDT. And I have to keep in mind that I shouldn't post if I've had a glass of wine.

                      I agree, my life is better for CH, even beyond eating better.

              2. I have a weird hobby.I love to read restaurant reviews.It doesn't matter that this small town gal from Fla will more than likely never pass the threshold of the places that I read about,I just enjoy taking a trip with the writer.

                I googled "rest reviews" about 5 yrs ago and came upon CH.What a lovely surprise.I have been a lurker and sometime poster since.

                One of the reasons that I continue to come back is in this very thread.The reply from rworange to soypower and vice-versa.Just simple back and forth responses without vitriol.You can't say that about some review/food sites.(not naming names) :-)

                Take care,Robin

                1. Found Chowhound off MSN . . .Wish I would have found it when I was doing vegetarian and bought lavosh that languished in my kitchen when I finally threw part of it out. I'm not as skilled as most of the cooks / chefs here but it's one of the first sites that I check into every day (too funny, cuz' my days consist of construction sites)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: JerryMe

                    Strangest thing..I dunno how I got here. WOW! That is scary.

                    1. re: SIMIHOUND

                      Don't feel bad, I can't remember either. I think it was a mention of the site in some article I read somewhere but I'm not really sure. I don't even remember exactly when I first started posting - more than five years ago, less than ten. Somewhere in there. Close enough.

                  2. I was looking for an anniversary dinner in DC (I live in MA). Hooked ever since.

                    1. I used to participate in usenet groups. Most of the food related ones, cooking and restaurants. Then someone mentioned CH for reviews, I checked it out and was hooked right away.

                      Although it was rather intimidating that first year. The Los Angeles board was very small and there was a fair amount of one upsmanship. I got shot down a few times for my suggestions because they weren't worthy enough. Luckily, I persisted. But I'm still nowhere as prolific as some and now tend to stick to informational type postings.

                      1. I found it while searching for Chicago restaurants for my 40th birthday trip...that was 5 years ago.

                        1. i came for the fame and glory. i stay for the big bucks

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: thew

                            I think I discovered this magical place after a large tornado gently set me down here some 3 or 4 years ago. I'm still waiting on the hot air balloon (no snarky comments....) to ferry me home. adam

                          2. Four years ago a couple of friends mentioned that this was a pretty good site to find restaurant reviews and tips about cooking so I investigated, lurked for the better part of a year till I felt less intimidated, then held my nose and jumped into the deep end. Plus, I heard that Veggo and Dr. Sam were here. How could I resist??

                            1. Always looking for great new recipes and planning an outing for one thing or another. I am new at this and am not quite sure how this all works. I am looking right now for a suggestion for great easy restaurant, good food to take a group out for Christmas in Chicago.

                              1. Looking back in my history, my first post was looking for a new and different restaurant for my birthday (one of those vague, "where should I go " newbie posts that I now cringe at). Probably stumbled upon Chowhound during a Google search. I was fortunate that the Bmore/DC board was welcoming and my opinions didn't differ too much so I stuck around. Now that I have moved to the Boston board I read more than I post and use yelp to cross reference restaurants. I have now gotten my mother to read Chowhound (Bmore/DC Board and Homecooking) and my BF will read posts on the Beer and Spirits boards.

                                1. Well. Yet another reason to love my man -- he had heard about CHOW and thought of his food-obsessed lady. I haven't looked back since. I am also getting a lot less done spending hours here '-)

                                  1. Playboy.
                                    I think it was 2000, give or take a couple years. They had a websites worth visiting section, and Chowhound was there.
                                    Pays to read the articles.