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Bugged by "foodie" questions?


My local board is teeming with vacationers looking for advice from "fellow foodies" or "places to go for foodies". It's completely annoying. Isn't that for another website? The chow.com manifesto (http://www.chow.com/manifesto) specifically defines "foodies" and specifically defines itself as a place that's not for foodies. I'm in complete agreement with chow.com (naturally).

Suffice to say, this is not what I joined chow.com for.

Anybody else annoyed by this? Maybe the manifesto should be on the front page and not buried at the bottom?

  1. "Maybe the manifesto should be on the front page and not buried at the bottom?"
    or maybe we should all just take the [likely] innocent "foodie" references with a grain of salt. the term gets tossed around so casually these days that i'm not so sure people who use it even know what it means anymore...and i doubt any of these vacationers to whom you refer have any idea that they're offending you (or anyone else) by using the term.

    it doesn't matter where the manifesto resides - even if it's on the welcome page, someone who's in a hurry or has a very specific goal when posting on CH isn't likely to take the time to read it, or even notice it if they're just focused on getting the information they need.

    6 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      "i'm not so sure people who use it even know what it means anymore"

      You seem to be suggesting that Chow/Chowhound abandon their own definition of what they are?

      1. re: rubinow

        i said no such thing. for starters, i was referring more to the people you believe *not* to be Chowhounds whos euse of the term offends you. and i also think *everyone* - Chowhounds, non-Chowhounds, "foodies," "non-foodies" - tosses around the term rather cavalierly these days and i think it means different things to different people. same goes for "gourmet" - in fact there was an entire thread about that here on CH a year or two ago.

        besides, one isn't required to adopt the Chow manifesto as their own just to read the boards or post here. i'm not judging anyone or saying it's right or wrong, just that as individuals we're all entitled to accept it or reject it at our own will. in fact, one of the things i love most about this site is the diversity of the population and resulting variety of approaches, opinions, and experiences.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          >>>i was referring more to the people you believe *not* to be Chowhounds whos euse of the term offends you.

          Why do you not think I realize that?

          My point is that Chowhound goes out of its way to *not* be cavalier about what a Chowhound is. It's pretty explicit about it. I also realize that the term "gourmet" doesn't mean the same to everybody either...but on the other hand, and again, this is Chowhound which specifically defines what a Chowhound and a Foodie is. No real need to debate it when the website was set up to cater to a specific group and actually defines what that is.

          >>>one isn't required to adopt the Chow manifesto as their own

          I was implying no such thing. I was only suggesting that Chowhound stick to *their* guns. Otherwise, these boards gets diluted to a point where Chowhound just isn't Chowhound any more.

          >>>one of the things i love most about this site is the diversity of the population and resulting variety of approaches, opinions, and experiences.

          Great! Good for you! My experience is completely different, though. I hear the SAME thing over and over again and it's usually because people are not actually being Chowhounds. Thus, I'm annoyed.

          1. re: rubinow

            FWIW, I misunderstood you to misunderstand goodhealthgourmet re that first point, too.

            Again, I sometimes share your annoyance, but I don't see what the answer is. Close the board, make members have to apply and pass a Chowhound proficiency test? Demand a minimum number of posts before they can ask certain questions? The suggestion that newcomers read before they write is already in the etiquette section; beyond that, I don't know what you can do.

            It's still the best/smartest/most savvy of the food forums, IMO. Easy enough to ignore posts that don't warrant your attention.

            All that said, I liked it when the manifesto was up front too, though in those days the boards themselves (like all early sites) were sure ugly.

            1. re: tatamagouche

              >>> I don't see what the answer is.

              I suggested an answer: put the manifesto (the statement of purpose) where people can read it. Either that or just get rid of the manifesto. Besides, what's the point of the manifesto if they don't follow it.

              I realize that it's sort of a lost cause, though.

            2. re: rubinow

              "My experience is completely different, though. I hear the SAME thing over and over again and it's usually because people are not actually being Chowhounds. Thus, I'm annoyed."
              well then perhaps we're reading different boards and it's a matter of region or topic, because i come cross heated debates on a regular basis here.

      2. In the early days, the manifesto was on the home page.

        I agree with you in principle but can't get too worked up about it in practice–with Chowhound's growth came a broader group of posters. We in Denver get a lot of queries like that too—I assume every board does—and often we just refer them to older threads that cover their question.

        Also, if they're clearly Chowhounds who are coming to my city for a visit and whose questions are specific, I'm less annoyed than if they're newbies who didn't bother to do any research before starting a thread.

        9 Replies
        1. re: tatamagouche

          Even though I just semi-seriously bemoaned the same thing in a post on the chain board, it has been four years since the site was sold and there has been a sea change.

          In fact, the food world in general has changed on the web. As someone said "It's still the best/smartest/most savvy of the food forums, " At least the site is still here and there's no stopping people who want to follow the manifesto.

          To remove the manifesto would remove the last fragile link to the original intent of the site.

          Still, I miss the original energy and direction of the site ... but at least there still is a site. If you have a better place to go, please let me know. I'd be interested.

          1. re: rworange

            "If you have a better place to go, please let me know. I'd be interested."
            as we already know there are numerous food forums on the web (including one called foodforum.com!), but i have yet to find another site with a breadth and scope to rival that of Chowhound. and though we may all occasionally gripe about technical issues with the site, the layout is certainly the most advanced and user-friendly i've seen. now, having said all that, do you ever check out eGullet? in terms of content it's the one i find most useful second to CH.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              eGullet is way too narrow and I hate the format. They almost insist on one thread per restaurant so you have this humoungous thread on French Laundry or some such thing. There is zero interest in ... well ... Chowhound places. Lots of buzz about the latest and greatest foodie places.

              Egullet is an excellent example of why all the Chowhound rules work.

              At first, interacting with restuarants seemed really cool ... talking to the chef and all and gaining insight to the restaurant.

              However, there winds up being a subtle pressure. When you've made a virtual friend of the staff, if something really, really sucks you become more reluctant to post about it.

              eGullet also takes food way too seriously. And if you think there should be a pm system on Chowhound, give egullet a try,. There was alot of backstabbing going on on the pm system.

              It goes on. I'm not an egullet fan in the least

              1. re: rworange

                thanks for your perspective. most of my experience with eGullet was when i was briefly living in North Jersey - a region that really suffered from the way the New York regional boards were arranged up until the recent changes. it was nearly impossible to find any feedback about local spots, so i turned to eGullet for information about local restaurants. but my experience with it was minimal...particularly compared to the time i've spent on CH!

                1. re: rworange

                  CH is participatory democracy in the best sense of the word. It embodies breadth, depth, infinite variety, humor, erudition, angst, passion and community. It's only downside is that it undoubtedly lowers the GDP of the world (as a fairly significant slice of workers in offices across the globe spends the work day noodling on this site).

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I sometimes check out egullet but probably will not be posting on the forum due to their requirements for a 100-word minimum personal statement.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    That requirement has kept me from participating for years! But strangely they began sending PR e-mails to me this last year - perhaps their numbers are down a bit?

                    I find their restaurant info is minimal in most of the areas I spend the most time.
                    Their cooking threads I find very useful!

                    1. re: meatn3

                      Yeah, I've also received those Emails as well. Maybe I would post if they would get rid of the personal statement thing. Personally, I find it off-putting. I have noticed that their NYC board receives a lot less traffic compared to the respective Chowhound boards.

                      The cooking threads are awesome, especially those cook-offs with the pictures embedded into the threads. I think more people would post pics on CH if it was easier to do so. In the past, I've had to resave my pictures in a lower quality format in order for CH to accept them as the file size was too large. Big pain in the ass, if you ask me. I just don't post pics on this site anymore.

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        I agree about the pic issue as well. This is one of the reasons I tend to link my posts to a site, blog or flickr from another source.

            2. I think it comes down to semantics between what "foodie" and "chowhound" mean. If someone came on the board and asked for the most popular/trendy place to eat, that person is looking for the CH definition of "foodie" and that's not what CH is about whether he/she used the word "foodie" or not. But, if the person asked for recommendations for a great place to find xxxx, but used the word "foodie" without realizing the manifesto definition, then the person is looking for CH recommendation. Intent is more important than word choice, especially since the CH manifesto definition isn't the universal definition.

              1. When CHOW offers a 10 best chocolates for Valentine's list my "foodie" hat is on, when a CH starts a thread about how to use that chocolate bar I'm reading along with my "CH" hat on. In other words, manifesto or not, my "take" on the difference btwn these two words which are used throughout the site serves a member like myself.

                When I enter a specialty shop for a precious jar of say, preserved lemons-I'm doing so as both a foodie and a CH. My foodie brain is willing to pay a few duckets for the jar (that my non foodie friends would call impulse crazy) and my CH heart will go home and experiment with those lemons in 5-6 diff ways that grace my table for a few weeks.

                Room for both, that's how I roll.

                1. Honestly, it doesn't bother me at all. It's nice to see the general public looking to get away from chain restaurants and give smaller, indie restaurants some businsess, and I'm happy to make recommendations. There is plenty of room for these threads and other, more typical Chowish topics IMO.

                  1. this discussion has been had numerous times here.

                    speaking only for myself, i think the CH definition of foodie has ZERO to do with the way the term is used in the world. I personally only would use the term CHowhound here, as it is unknown for the most part, and most people use the word foodie to mean what people here mean by chowhound. I am far more likely to call myself a foodie. i just dont think the leffian definition is correct. we can define words to mean what they want, but if you want to be understood you're better off using the words as other understand them

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: thew

                      That's what I meant in my post above, too. "Foodie" as defined by the CH manifesto isn't the universal definition of foodie. Outside of CH, who refers to foodies as those who only follow trends? It's a matter of semantics. At CH, hopefully, people are not looking only to be trendy. That's it.

                      1. re: chowser

                        >>> Outside of CH, who refers to foodies as those who only follow trends?

                        Actually lots of people ... and if not that exact definition ... there has always been controversy about the term.

                        Ruth Reichl said

                        "Well, you know, I used to hate it. I think it was coined by Paul Levy, who cowrote a book, The Official Foodie Handbook, in the ’80s maybe? And in those days it had a pejorative bent"

                        1. re: rworange

                          I have to say I have never liked the term, or most terms that describe people by their likes, eg. anglophile, and it's always odd to hear that in conversation ("Oh, I'm a foodie.", "I'm an Anglophile."). It seems, too, that people who put themselves out like that are often ridiculed. But, as Ruth Reichl then says:

                          "But now the world of food has become so much a part of popular culture, and to me, foodies is the word that embraces that, which says that it has come into the culture, and that there are those of us who see the world 'food first.' Nobody’s ever come up with a better term for people who are obsessed with food."

                          Overall, in non-food populations, I occasionally hear foodie but not in a pejorative way, or at least not more than "gourmet" might be used in that way. As mentioned before, I think it comes down to intent not word choice.

                      2. re: thew

                        Ya know. Even if Chowhound had never existed, the term foodie is like nails on a blackboard to me.

                        That being said, i think chowser is on spot in saying that it is all context.

                        There's a difference between someone looking for the most delicious and those seeking 'must eat' places no matter what term they use to call themselves.

                        I'd would never define myself as a foodir and would probably snarl at anyone who tried to call me that.

                        Maybe it is the cuteness to it that annoys me ... that damn 'eee" ... ewwww. It is like people who use 'delish' or 'sammies' (I really really hate the word 'sammies'.).

                        It calls to mind mindless devotion like trekkies or roadies ... just like I'd rather be called a rock band whore rather than roadie, I'd rather be called a food whore than foodie.

                        It smacks of mindless followers hoping for some glory by association. You can't be Julia Child but you can be a foodie.

                        Now some idiot is trying to coin the word for a kid foodie ... koodie.

                        Serioualy ... really ... seriously? Some kid is going to want to define themsleves with a word so close to cootie?

                        Dan Restione captures almost everything I hate about the word in his funny blog

                        " It's pretentious, childish, and ridiculous. It smacks of foppish, fanboy, frivolous, frou-frou and simply adding the "ee" sound to the end of something is repugnant in so very many ways. You like sports? Oh- you're a sportie. Camping? Campie"

                        So while "Chowhound' may not be the perfect word the anti-establishment tone of the site was refreshing. It was anti-hype. It was personal. It was what was good to you.

                        Don't eat the damn blackened catfish, huckleberries, crudo, arugula ... whatever the trend of the moment was because everyone was on that hayride.

                        But the beauty of Chowhound was that you could delite in those same foods in they met a single criteria ... it tasted good.

                        It also wasn't pedigree dependant. Venison foam made from Bambi who was raised on an organic deer preserve deserved equal accolade with Velveeta cheesecake based on taste and taste alone.

                        It was about thinking and deciding for yourself.

                        The wiki definition of foodie though has given me pause.

                        "Interest by foodies in the 1980s and 1990s gave rise to ... a renaissance in specialized cookbooks, specialized periodicals ... growing popularity of farmers' markets. food-oriented websites..."

                        So in a way, the obsessive interest in food expanded all of our food horizens, foodie or not. We have a dizzying variety of food items to choose from that probably wuldn't have been ther without the demand from the foodie masses.

                        I am still amazed when I read about my hometown that there are Indian, Salvadran, Brazilian, etc markets and restaurants When I grew up there was an uneasy aliance between Europeans. Ethnic meant Italian and few of European ancestry ventured to the Puerto Rican businesses and visa versa.

                        So if the fanatic foodies erased the food borders ... well so much the better.

                        And without foodies, there would be no Chow and the lights of Chowhound would have been turned off years ago.

                        God bless the foodies.

                        I hope tho, that this site can still help some to think for themselves and focus on what is delicious and not just what everyone else is eadting. So instead of being bugged by the the foodie question, maybe we can infect foodies with the bug of seeking out the truly tasty.

                        As Restione, in the link above concludes "Arise, ye prisoners of appelation, arise ye wretched of the word,for You have nothing to lose but your chain-ies!"

                        1. re: rworange

                          having been a hippie and a trekkie being a foodie doesn;t bother me much, i guess

                          1. re: rworange

                            I think you're exactly right, rworange, that part of the annoyance is in the diminutive "ie"! Didn't really consider that until now. It's corny, cheesy, et cetera-y. It evokes "groupie," which evokes mindless fawning.

                            And I also agree with you that the pejorative aspects of the word "foodie" have been greatly debated, not just by Chowhounds. Jon Kessler of the AJC also had a great article about it 2 years or so ago, though I can't seem to find it at the moment.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                " by 1987 the backlash had started. Then New York Times restaurant critic Bryan Miller derided the term as a "fatuous neologism," writing, "

                                Love it. Now how can I work "fatuous neologism," into my conversations.

                                However, though he mentions Chowhound, he must not really read the site since he writes "Chowhounds trll Buford Highway for brain tacos; they don't spend $95 for chef's tasting menus."

                                But he and others are right. No one came up with a better. However maybe in the age of text messaging, it should be an acronym ... DFF Delicious food finder .... different than TFF Trendy food follower

                                1. re: rworange

                                  I think, unless you are smoking a cigarette from a 12 inch, intricately carved ivory cigarette holder and you are sitting in between George S Kaufman and Dorthy Parker trading bon mots at the Algonquin Round Table, phrases such as "fatuous neologism" are best left to the realm of the written word. Word. ;-D>

                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Foodie as "she" is ridiculous. Big words, small pencil.

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    How best to write an enraging article about an annoying term? Check that one out. Furthermore, this CH among most if not all others here does go after the brain taco or its analog and the $95.00 tasting menu.

                              2. re: rworange

                                Koodie? My eyes are watering (preparatory to my head exploding). Cooking with Dexter (NYT) is bad enough, this takes the cake.

                            1. Doesn;t bother jfood at all. He views a foodie as a potential chowhound, almost a chowhound in training. He does not think that someone just wakes up and goes from a non-food enjoyer o a chowhound without the intermediate step.

                              What bothers jfood more are some of the threads about sheer crap on these boards that are not included on the Chains board, where jfood does not tread. Although people criticize the Chains Board, jfood views this as the entry point to the other boards. What is more troubling are threads on foods that cannot possibly get a "yeah" on the chowhound meter, i.e. frozen TV dinners. Jfood is not a health-food-zealot, but how can anyone who claims to be a chowhound believe that a Stouffers or Banquet frozen dinner, blech, be worth the space in the grocer cart. Those threads deserve no space on a site dedicated to deliciousness. Likewise we all know about those threads that are a semi-trailor on black ice...i.e. parenting, children in restaurants, tipping, etc. Keeps the mods on OT for days.

                              So jfood does not mind the word foodie, just a first level division from the general populace, then the graduation to chowhound. Gotta walk before you can run.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: jfood

                                As I see it from jfood's post, we're talking about a spectrum of pretentiousness to non-pretentiousness. It seems to go from "gourmet" to "foodie" to "chowhound," with the "chowhound" being the most dedicated to seeking out delicious food, but unconcerned with the surroundings. In other words, few gourmets rave about the fish tacos found in some hole-in-the-wall place on Maxwell Street in Chicago, while chowhounds do. But chowhounds do cover the gourmet's territory, raving about the French Laundry, when it deserves it. Si?

                                1. re: gfr1111

                                  We had a chowdown at the French Laundry a few years ago, with >10 hounds in attendance. Chowhound is not about low end only. Ambiance being irrelevant means we don't care whether it's beautiful or ugly; high end or low end. If one only went to hole in the wall type places, it would still be expressing a concern about the ambiance.

                                  FWIW, when Ducasse opened his NYC restaurant back in the day, many of the first detailed reports were from chowhounds.

                                  1. re: gfr1111

                                    jfood does not think it is pretentious at all. This site is about finding deliciousness and sharing those experiences. Not about a review of a whopper, disappointment in a frozen dinner or a shamrock shake. That's just jfood's POV. Most of those items belong in a personal food diary, or Twitter-Hound or a blog, not CH

                                2. If that bothers you then don't read those threads. It's pretty easy to do that, ya know. I've been practicing averting my eyes more recently.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    now if many of us can convince our fingers not to hit the "post my reply"...

                                    1. re: jfood

                                      Practice makes perfect and I'm not perfect. But I AM trying which I know the mods appreciate.

                                  2. Personally, I prefer the term "food geek." That says it all, but anyone who gets their knickers in a twist over the use of "foodie" has too much time on their hands.

                                    1. If you are truly bothered by this, consider moving to Detroit. We don't have tourists. Or that many restaurants.

                                      1. Okay, so I just did a quick look at your history and it's obvious that you're more a giver of advice than a taker. Maybe you feel taken advantage of or something. I started on CH about 2-1/2 years ago looking for advice for a trip to NYC. Boy, did I ask questions that should have gotten me whipped with uncooked pasta! But everyone was kind and helpful. Who cares if it's a foodie or a CH or a food lover? There are words and then there's food. Take a deep breath, bubba.

                                        65 Replies
                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          Actually, just to be clear, I take a LOT of advice from the boards. But I also try not to ask questions that are repeatedly asked. I do my own explorations...like a chowhound, bubba.

                                          1. re: rubinow

                                            Rub, I sympathize with your tourist thing. That is about all we ever get where I live,
                                            and said tourists always want to eat in the hip town, which, at least by traditional CH standards,
                                            has never had the most interesting food.
                                            I try gently to point them to more houndlike venues, but alas, often to no avail.
                                            But at least you have local posters. :)

                                            1. re: bbqboy


                                              The tourist thing has been a part of this site from day one.

                                              1. re: bbqboy

                                                I'm not clear where you are from, but I'm guessing somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

                                                Chowhound is not a spectator sport. However, I realize that feedback is what makes the site fun and if you don't have those people in your area it depends on how much work you want to do to attract others.

                                                Post about your own food experiences as much as possible. I know it is no fun if no one responds. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there, does it make noise? Having posts without discussion can be like that.

                                                Encourage those people who do post and look like they have potential.

                                                Chowhound wasn't a case of 'if you build it, they will come" despite what anyone might say. If you look at early Chowhound, Jim Leff was really active i participating in most of the boards that are very active today. He also encouraged people who were good posters and the type that had the ability to attract othres to the board.

                                                I can't really guarantee the effort will work in your area. But it doesn't hurt to try.

                                                1. re: rworange

                                                  Well, keep in mind, that wasn't a complaint.
                                                  I'd say the new board designations have the potential to be a very positive thing, or at least it seems so in the PNW.
                                                  We were smothered by Seattle, and now with the split, there have been posts about locales that never seem to have checked in. I'm hyped.
                                                  Slow steady growth :)

                                              2. re: rubinow

                                                But I also try not to ask questions that are repeatedly asked.
                                                rubinow, the question you are asking here in the OP has been asked by many CH's. Perhaps the CH Team or the Community Mgr. can best answer this for you. Have a great day!

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  I've found the CH Team to be quite helpful when I've emailed them rather than starting a thread. This is not a subject that WE have anything to say about. It's a corporate decision. I doubt there would be any fewer CHs if they did away with the/a manifesto. And how many would even notice? As individuals we have the right to personal manifestos; what else is necessary.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    Chowhounds would notice, if not immediately, eventually.

                                                    Quite seriously. If they did away with the manifesto, that would be it for me. So that would be one less person.

                                                    The original Chowhound ... I almost would have gnawed my leg off to continue posting.

                                                    Over the years, things have changed. The dreadful software has been almost 80% of the problem. Whatever the reason, I still tune in but I no longer have any passion about the site.

                                                    Because hot posts times out, I stopped using that ... a big incentive for me to read the site. I loved seeing what was going on everywhere.

                                                    I've even stopped religiously reading the SF board ... mainly because I just got damn well sick of dealing with the software.

                                                    I'll probably be discontinuing my subscriptions to the Chow Digest this week because there is no there there anymore. I use them for archival and just putting one article in the digest with links to the others ... and the slow, buggy site ... doesn't work for me.

                                                    Lose the manifesto ... the last link to when the site was truly informative and fun ... screw it then.

                                                    I'm not interesting in wasting any of my time on a foodie site.

                                                    While you can follow any damn personal manifesto you or anyone wants to ... and Chowhound has ALWAYS been about that .... following what you think is tasty... what the manifesto says is basically the point is to seek out the most delicious food ... it isn't about the hot restaurant of the moment ... unless it is delicious.

                                                    That is what is different about Chowhound. Every other site is about what is known and popular.

                                                    1. re: rworange

                                                      rwo, you bring up some very valid tipping points for those (like Hill) who have been disappointed by the overall overhaul. I (J) don't have that same history but I would say that your longevity warrants attention. Have you contacted the CHOW Team?

                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                        I've posted enough on site talk. I have registered my strong dislike of the digest revamp there as well. For the most part, I don't believe Chow reads the Site Talk boards and could give a fig about what posters think. In one sense, that has always been part of Chowhound ... if you don't like it ... go elsewhere ... but at least Jim read Site Talk ... for better and sometime for worse.

                                                        I see no point in contacting the Chow team. I've done all I'm willing to do.

                                                        A really big annoying point for me was having spent three years linking posts to restaurants so that it was easier to find significant posts ... since search sucks so much. And then having Chow break everyone of those links when they installed the latest and greatest Restaurant and Bar database.

                                                        My question about what linking does currently has gone unanswered. I see no point to it. The way the links to the boards on that record words is less than intuitive and even I don't understand it. The message from that is that Chow doesn't really care much about the forums except for the traffic it generates.

                                                        If that traffic is from foodies, who cares.

                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                          Back in 07 this ran. Altho the site then went from CNET to CBS, Jane's interview is insight into her approach and perspective. At the time, I found it interesting. Nothing that occurs on this site has an impact on my personal experience, I take full responsibility for finding the good chow, good vibe and interesting "table" talk throughout the pages. If I was getting paid to play here, I would feel differently but as a free part of a large and evolving site on a very evolving topic, I'm chill on issues of this type. Why I respond is because I value the members opinions. Including yours.

                                                      2. re: rworange

                                                        Exactly. That's why the manifesto *does* matter to me and why though I don't entirely agree with rubinow, and have made that clear, I feel he's been a little harshed on in this thread.

                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                          I said "I doubt there would be any fewer CHs" not that some wouldn't quit in a snit but I think they would be replaced and then some. Don't get me wrong. I think some of the things that are allowed to stand are so un-Chow worthy as to be ridiculous. It's a numbers/ratings game. But it gives me far more than any annoyance it causes me, I honestly don't care what the manifesto says. And clearly the corporate body doesn't either. I'm coming to dislike the term "Chowhound" myself and just say "I'm really into food." I don't need labels, I guess.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            Where, there you go. That sort of sums up the change in the site. The bowl is so filled with green M & M;s, not only are they proud of that, they don't want any other color included. So long. Go elswere. Tough. More room for more green M & M's.

                                                            The point is that by doing that ... by not having some sort of direction ... silly as some people consider it or not ... it changes the site ... and it becomes like every other site on the web.

                                                            But as you said, so what. You have enough people whose tastes match your own. A roosting place for foodies. Maybe that is why the OP was distressed by the flood of posts using foodie ... Is it just a dislike for the term Chowhound or Chowhounds themselves? You know, I rarely used that term or identified myself with it from the beginning. I thought it was just fun branding, if a little silly. But the concept behind it was solid and that is what is important.

                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                              ugh the M&M again. Jim really split the bowl w/that one. I will say this respecting the founder(s)-Jim was a co-founder-is one thing, expecting that this site would be sold (twice) and not go thru changes is another. There are days, albeit few, that I'm not 100% crazy for small frustrations on the site but it's not my company to figure out. When the CH Team asks for opinion, we chime in, when Jacq. asked for vol's to move threads recently, CH's raised their hands to help. So it's only so long, go elsewhere, tough if you let it be. I clearly remember CH Team members responding to your insightful recommendations recently, rwo. If it's "hurry up and make the changes I asked for".........well....

                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                The more I read this thread the more I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with bits and pieces of what everybody has to say. And I guess I've said it all here now a million times but once more for good measure:

                                                                1) I do appreciate the distinction between chowhound and foodie, and try to live up to the definition of the former as espoused in the original manifesto, which as the description of a way to live and eat has always resonated with me.

                                                                2) I do think that it's either grow or die, and given the growth of CH vs. the slow death of eGullet, I'll take the former.

                                                                3) I do think it's easy enough to sort the wheat from the chaff.

                                                                4) I do love the passion and principled stances of chowhounds (and yes, I'm calling us all that, because I've known all of the above usernames for some time and believe that whatever you call yourselves, you fit my definition of chowhounds, and that's a compliment) that this very thread reflects, even (sometimes especially) when the conversation gets heated.

                                                                There. Done.

                                                                1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                  tatamag, I agree and that IS the beauty of a community. Gosh, imagine this dialogue in a face to face over wine and cheese..it would be just as heated and just as interesting. So, given this is the best we can do, viral chats, until they find a way to host a bicoastal chowdown...I'm going to keep on, enjoy the site and encourage my fellow CH to uncover the deliciousness in their day and SHARE it.

                                                                2. re: HillJ

                                                                  You know ... the people with the passion such as the mods who put in crazy time for free ... the volunteers moving the thread ... do so for a reason ... that this is a place like no other and they would like to keep it that way ... that means different things to different people which is why Chowhoud works.

                                                                  And actually, Jim was more likely to tell people to hit the road or order them to hit the road than the current management. I don't seen any posts telling people if you don't like the site, start your own.

                                                                  And it is ironically software more than anything else that has weaned me from the site. It isn't a matter of immediate response. It is a matter of months and years of no response.

                                                                  It is one horrible installation after the others. Actually this last cheered me up a bit. I had hunkered down expecting to have to ride out unintentional new bugs and obsticles. Lots of good stuff has happened technically lately that gives me some hope the worst is over.

                                                                  Maybe it doesn't sound it to you, but I roll with it realizing I don't know what's going on behind the curtains.

                                                                  Even though the Digest isn't something I feel works for me anymore, I held off on asking for followup because of the big effort going on with changing the boards. I'll ask how it works for Chow somewhere a long the line. If they are getting the increased hits with the new format, great ... anything that is a help for the site. I personally will lose interest in subscribing. But if it isn't generating more traffic then I wish they'd consider the old format.

                                                                  HillJ ... there's a point where one has to stop saying ... it's ok ... better something than nothing.

                                                                  And I have no illusion that my lack of participation will mean a thing. It just may not be for me anymore.

                                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                                    "I don't seen any posts telling people if you don't like the site, start your own. "

                                                                    You may not see it in posts but I can assure you it happens in emails from mods.

                                                                    1. re: rworange


                                                                      rwo, since we don't know each other and I have nothing but kind things to offer you, I (again) encourage you to dip your feet in other pools of delicious thought. Case in point "food curated"

                                                                      Enjoy the rest of your day!

                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                        the volunteers moving the thread ... do so for a reason ... that this is a place like no other and they would like to keep it that way ... that means different things to different people which is why Chowhoud works.
                                                                        And, I'm happy to have been one of those volunteers who helped move threads to new Board, it gave me a renewed appreciation for the words, ideas and passions of the CH's who take the time to participate here.

                                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                                          Your lack of participation might not mean anything to the number crunchers, but it would leave a big vast emptiness with those who read regularly. I ,for one, get such a kick out of following your mad scientist jaunts into so many areas. And I come away with good, useful information as the result of you sharing your interests, passion and inquiring mind. Posts like yours are why I am here.

                                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                                            Not to mention rwo's priceless $3.00 a day thread that kept my family following along for weeks!


                                                                3. re: c oliver

                                                                  CO, I too read and believe in THE MANIFESTO and have gotten in trouble on this site for it. But one must ask oneself if there is no belief in or adherence to THE MANIFESTO, how is this site any different from Yelp, which, I feel can't hold a candle to Chowhound. If you have a personal manifesto, start a blog, this site already has one.

                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                    P-keg, I think whether you call us Chowhounds or foodies and just people who love food we won't fall far from the guiding light. I was a Chowhound for a long, long time before I ever read the manifesto. I was already practicing what they were preaching and didn't even know they were preaching.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      Yes, I know you are a Hound (even if you still do have your Mac binges), but why then do you insist on a "personal manifesto"?
                                                                      Yeah though I walk through the valley of Mc Chains, I will fear no evil, because I have The Manifesto to guide me.
                                                                      I just got back from a week in LA and the closest we got to corporate food was Chronic Tacos (great pool table and Modelos on tap.).

                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                        Sigh. If you'll reread what I wrote there was no "insistence." My point is that you will be a CH or not be a CH based upon your own personal "manifesto."

                                                                        While you were eating crab and other great things in LA, we were eating chicken feet in SF. Life is truly good, kid.

                                                                    2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                      jfood thinks there are two questions on the table. (1) The use of the word foodie or chowhound and (2) the adherence to the manifesto on this site.

                                                                      (1) - Jfood could not care less what others call him, and when he is speaking of his love of good flavors, he usually uses the word foodie versus chowhound. Why? Many do not know about this site and given number (2) below it has lost its separation from the middle of the bell curve. "Hi, I'm a Chowhound" not only sounds silly, but according to the rules, you cannot post about places that now you. Almost a self policing policy.
                                                                      (2) Jfood thinks that the site itself has moved from the search for deliciousness to main stream in many aspects. The idea that there is a "Chains" Board drives jfood nuts, but if that is entry level to real food then he can understand and he totally avoids. But when he sees full threads based on absolute crap he scratches his head on the site's direction (oh yeah eyeballs on the site). Finding deliciousness in frozen pizza, disappointed by Banquet frozen dinners, discussions on where to get the best McDonald's special flavor shakes, etc. That is NOT Chowhound, that is for other sites. How do you modirate something like this? Good question.

                                                                      Does it sound elitist, absolutely yes and no. Jfood loves double cheese whoppers, no onion, thinks MD fries are great, really enjoys a frozen Mystic Pepperoni pizza at times and will take to task others that criticize White Castle. But do those items belong on this site? Others may disagree but jfood does not think so. Or if they do, create a separate board for them, i.e. "Frozen Foods in the Grocer" along with the Chains Board.

                                                                      Although jfood guesses he has only contrubuted for 3-4 years, he has learned so much from people on the boards, but he also misses so many who are no longer allowed to post. He wishes many were back who knew what they were speaking about versus many posters who only take and not give. There needs to be more acceptance of the volunteers on the posting side as well as the protection of the volunteers on the moderation side. They are both volunteers, should not lose sight of that.

                                                                      Just jfood's 2-cents.

                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                        "There needs to be more acceptance of the volunteers on the posting side as well as the protection of the volunteers on the moderation side. They are both volunteers, should not lose sight of that."

                                                                        It is my understanding that all volunteer mod's started as posters and that the mod's continue to post on topics/restaurants that interest them. So it's really not a partition down the middle at all.

                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                          Sorry for the confusion.

                                                                          Jfood's point is that there are two sets of volunteers. The first group are the posters, i.e. the customers. Without the customers we are out of business. The second group are the mods. Without the mods we get total chaos. So both groups are needed to keep this site at the level required.

                                                                          Both groups contribute their personal time to this site. But there have been many in the former group, who were outstanding contributors, yet had a little rough edges and are no longer here. Jfood misses many of them, especially in the FFD County area of CT. Jfood is just looking for a little more balance in his neck of the woods. We have lost lots of great posters, our eating buddies in Westchester County have been relocated to another board, it has been a tough few weeks out here in the snowy CT Tundra.

                                                                          Will we re-group and figure out the new configuration and embrace looking Northeast versus Southwest? Sure, we want good food and a burger in Westchester will be replaced by a burger in Newtown, maybe after just one visit. But lost posters who you trusted for great advice, that takes a little longer to replace.

                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            My personal feelings about posting to CH stem from my understanding that I do it because I enjoy it. I never think about my posts as customer content or the like. I'm grateful to have a site. It's changed, but life is change. Reading how close Jim and Bob were to turning out the lights here and locking the virtual door after hanging the "out of business" sign in the window make me tolerant to the point of endless forgiveness to the quibbles and quakes that come with change. People come and people go, but I hope that the site continues on for many years to come. After all, you never know what new blood will show up tomorrow with great chow tips.

                                                                            1. re: Servorg


                                                                              Yup, everyone posts because they love it, jfood included. And yes life does change and sites change and one only hopes that the changes occur such that it is an improvement for both. When they do not serve a mutual purpose then posters leave on their own as we have seen over the years. Jfood's comment was the other side of the perspective, from that of CH looking out. There are people that "buy" the service, i.e. the readers, and the volunteer posters, who are the "suppliers". Very interesting business model, where the site acts as an intermediary between the two. Neither the supplier nor the customers are paid or pay, respectively. This comes from third party advertisers. Then there are the Mods, also volunteers. So there are two groups of volunteers, posters and mods, one group of "free-users", and paid advertisers. It appears that the pecking order has shifted over the years whereby the poster volunteers are under the most scrutiny up to and including expulsion. When an advertiser causes all sorts of "errors" jfood doubts they are fired, likewise with the non-posting readers. Then there are the mods. No one knows who they are, they operate with the paid professionals at CBS and there is no recourse by any of the other groups. Just seems weird. Not being critical of any group, just a POV on the facts as seen by Jfood.

                                                                              Just a view from someone who has analyzed business models and made recommendations over a fairly long career.

                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                Analyzing the site dynamics is just not something I spend much, if anytime doing. It doesn't add to my enjoyment if I do so, and it certainly doesn't detract from the enjoyment of my hobby of posting here to ignore the dynamics.

                                                                                Finally, as far as posters being "expulsed" - I have read enough comments on site talk over the years to know that it's not an easy status to achieve. One must be totally unwilling to play by the rules as set out by our hosts. So, in the final "analysis" (which I'm willing to do for the sake of this post) whether one lives to continue to post here, or one is "Exiled from Chow Street", the choice seems to be firmly in the hands of the poster.

                                                                                Some people just can't seem to come to terms with moderation and will chafe against it until they chafe right out of CH. Unfortunate? Perhaps. But you can't keep bashing your head against the wall and not expect to get a headache.

                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                  I've seen many leave CH (voluntarily or otherwise) to start their own sites. It's great, as what we need is diversity on the internet. If one doesn't like this model, there are other models to choose from. If none of the models are suitable, one can always start a new site -- it's been done several times.

                                                                                  1. re: limster

                                                                                    Very true. And then they get to see the "moderated board" debate from the other side of the table. Not that easy to get "right" - especially for every single disgruntled poster...

                                                                                2. re: jfood

                                                                                  Jfood must have started on Chowhound after Chow took over. Otherwise you would be absolutely clear that posters are not volunteers in any sense of the word (not counting user testing, moving threads, etc). It was sort of hiliarious reading posts about why YOU didn't deserve any thanks.

                                                                                  The old analogy was that posters were invited guests to a party. Your participation and behaviour should fit that of a guest. You might contribute by bringing something to the pot luck ... but you are still a guest.

                                                                                  If you got drunk (with self-importance) and rowdy, well, you were invited to leave the party.

                                                                                  To think of it any other way will make you unhappy and everyone else unhappy.

                                                                                  If you ever start patting yourself on the back for being a giver ... well, wrong viewpoit.

                                                                                  These days it is a kinder, gentler Chowhound. You don't see the mods being called Nazis these days ... and that isn't just because those types of posts are deleted.

                                                                                  There was an old pattern on Chowhound. Person falls crazy in love with Chowhound., person catches the attention of moderators in a negative way and lots of posts get deleted, person gets more and more pissed off until either they get banned or leave disgruntled.

                                                                                  The trick was to fly under Chowhound radar. And for me I think it all boiled down to one thing ... don't cause extra work for the mods.

                                                                                  If they were always having to monitor your posts, deleting stuff ... probably with email confronations ... you were more work than they could handle. You didn't want to get in the, uh, high maintenance category.

                                                                                  So people getting bounced is nothing new and happens less in these days of corporate customer service ... though along with that, some of the passion is gone.

                                                                                  If you are dealing with people offline and hear their tale of woe ... there are two sides to every story.

                                                                                  There was on eccentric poster greatly loved by Chowhounds who got bounced. At first, communicating through emails I felt empathy. Then the emails got ... well, nuts. I could see the point of the mods.

                                                                                  Then again, there were two sides to that. I gotta think that just ignoring people who are having a hissy fit is a better stragegy than trying to soothe the savage beast. If there's no back and forth, nothing fans the flames.

                                                                                  It is the Supernanny model. A child who won't go to sleep, the first time you say "Darling, it is time to go to sleep". The second time there's less conversation and you say "Good night". Any time after that, no communication. So Chowhound seems to have stopped endless back and forth and just doesn't respond. I think that works better.

                                                                                  The way I look at Chowhound is that they don't owe me a thing. It is my personal blog. On my own I could never gain the audience that Chowhound does with its loud microphone.

                                                                                  That works out well for places I love ... usually. You win some. You lose some. Places I've done major cheerleading for have long closed and I miss them to this day. .

                                                                                  I've been happy to see others embraced and prosper. I don't take credit for that. But if posting on Chowhound got a few people to try the joint ... and they tell their friends ... etc, etc. Well, that is more than I could have done on some low-profile blog.

                                                                                  Also, I love the give and take. And I love learning something new.

                                                                                  Not to pile on another topic ... but I think every delicious thing is chowworthy, even if it is from a chain. Face it. We all eat at chains .It is nice to know what is the best of a sad opton. Unless you live in a vacuum, the job, family, friends will take you to chains.

                                                                                  My thought is ... well, why do people eat certain things at certain chains? Why are these places making megabucks? It isn't just about convenience.

                                                                                  So I'll tell you WHY I love the McDonalds doublecheeseburger or the Shamrock shake rings my bells (though not this year).

                                                                                  As to the shake, my posting got others to try it. Most liked it a lot. Some wrote to McDonald's asking why it was so hard to find. McDonald's responded that unless they heard back from customers, it wasn't an item they were going to continue.

                                                                                  So maybe those few letters had an impact. The last two years the Shamrock shake was not easy to find. This year in my area, everyone is carrying it. I hope it sells well. I love that shake ... well, I did in the past.

                                                                                  Yes, I'll even tell you what my devotion is to that scorned, ridiculed, unloved food product ... the McRib .... a holy grail to me.

                                                                                  Funny thing about the McRib, I recently ate at a bbq joint and I highly suspect the McRib was based on the classic Memphis BBQ rag bologna sandwich ... same odd texture ... same idea with the sauce.When I bit into it all I could thing was ... McRib ... but better.

                                                                                  I also believe that people should post about icky food and places, if only to warn people off icky food and places and save someone a wasted meal.

                                                                                  Though people should be careful about that. Places I've avoided for years because Chowhounds hated it ... turns out when I did a visit, I liked it, I really liked it. Still. I believe an opposing vviewpoint is critical.

                                                                                  That backfires. Sometimes you can make something sound so repugnant that they MUST eat it ... Well, back to the chains board where my disgust for the McNuggets chili sauce seems to have egged people into trying it ... and had me re-trying the classic McSweet and sour sauce to compare.

                                                                            2. re: Servorg

                                                                              and how does one separate the advertisers paying for this site, which includes mainstream fast food & chains, from the community who posts & discusses it. We all benefit directly & indirectly from the very nature of mainstream that keeps this site live. If there isn't a place for both the manifesto isn't the only message getting ignored.

                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                Exactly, the advertisers are looking for eyeballs and if the "cost" jfood has to pay is ignoring the Chains Board and the stuff on the right column, small price to pay for admission.

                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                  Ding, ding, ding! Now I'm off to the China Boards!

                                                                            3. re: jfood

                                                                              Great post, j, couldn't agree more.

                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                re:Chains -- a highly regarded French chef operates a chain with branches in various major cities, and those various branches have been praised by many including those on this board. Chains, like restaurants, can be good or bad.

                                                                                1. re: limster

                                                                                  if you are referring to the Puck chains, they are what they are, better than McDs but surely not Chow-worthy in jfood's opinion.

                                                                                  Heck, people praise Whoppers, including jfood, but that does not fit within the Manifesto, as that is the topic of this thread.

                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                    I don't think calling oneself a chowhound sounds silly at all. Certainly no more than that (to me) grating "ie" on "foodie."

                                                                                      1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                        It does to anyone who is not familiar with this site, chowie '-)

                                                                                      2. re: jfood

                                                                                        Puck isn't French. Limster is probably referring to either Laurent Tourondel with his BLT places, or Joel Robuchon -- both decidedly chow-worthy.

                                                                                        "The Manifesto." Ugh.

                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                          You are hereby condemned to a life sentence of curry dogs!

                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                            Oh nooooo! Not the curry dogs!!!! '-)

                                                                                            I actually found a pretty delicious one in Berlin a couple summers ago -- housemade sauce that has a real nice kick to it. That doesn't mean I'd want to eat them every day of my life.

                                                                                          2. re: linguafood

                                                                                            Your right, oops, he's Austrian with significant French training

                                                                                            Jfood would not call the BLT group a chain, by any stretch, any more than he would call Boulud's restuarnts a chain.

                                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                                              Yah, but I think that might be what Limster is referring to. And I guess it's difficult to define when a group becomes a chain.... after 10? 50? 100?

                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                Yeah, we always get back to that wonderful analogy from the US Supreme Court on defining Pornography.

                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                  As much as I would love to hear about that, we're getting wahay OT. Perhaps save that one for the NAF board.

                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                    No, just responding to how to you define "Chain."

                                                                                                    In Jacobellis v Ohio, Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain "hard-core" pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . [b]ut I know it when I see it . . . "

                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                      My question for all the anti-chain folks, if they were blindfolded would they know it when they tasted it? ;-D>

                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                        jfood would know a whopper, a mcd burger and a white castle, even blindfolded.

                                                                                                      2. re: jfood

                                                                                                        I didn't define chain, I asked how we define chain. Not that I really give a rat's butt. BK sees me every other year or so if I happen to be on a road trip. I've had worse burgers, and I most definitely had better burgers. But I'm not gonna get my panties all tied up in a bunch or feel like I can't be on this website anymore b/c there are people who love that shit. Plenty of space here.

                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                          And jfood tried to give an answer that subjectivity trumps objectivity in his analysis. And if this site were foodforall.com, or if they removed the "manifesto" for whatever that is currently worth, then jfood would agree about plenty of space. But then you have yelp (which in jfood's home town is worse than crap).

                                                                                                          Whatever floats your boat and keeps you knickers untied...

                                                                                            2. re: jfood

                                                                                              Was thinking about Robuchon, but can also include guys like Alain Ducasse. And there's plenty of branches of Nobu.

                                                                                              1. re: limster

                                                                                                But those guys ain't no Billy Ingram

                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                  Doesn't matter -- they are still running chains. And I'm not even including the chains of restaurants in various parts of Asia, some of which have American branches that are highly praised on these boards.

                                                                                                  Point is chowhound is about exploration and drawing conclusions based on empirical experience. Trying stuff out, especially unknown stuff adds to the collective wisdom. Making decisions on where to eat based on assumptions or generalisations that are not robust or rigourously tested is not part of the CH ethos.

                                                                                                  1. re: limster

                                                                                                    Hear, hear, Limster. Said by one of my fave Chowhounds of all time, the depth and breadth of whose knowledge is not to be dismissed.

                                                                                                    As for the claim upthread that we all eat at chains: not true. With the exception of the Wine Loft and Oceanaire due to their selection of oysters (unmatched in Denver), I haven't set foot in a chain in well over a decade. I just don't want to support them.

                                                                                                    Edit: that's not to sound self-congratulatory, I hope. It's simply to point out that one can, in fact, avoid McD's and Chili's, should one choose to. I do.

                                                                                                    1. re: limster


                                                                                                      everyone has desires to try foods. If you wish to call BLT a chain, no prob for jfood. and jfood is very comfortable with his definition of what a chain is and he may eat in his definitional chain less than a handful of times a year. Are they worthy of inclusion on a site dedicated to deliciousness, he guesses you and he will just have to a gree to disagree on whether it is a part of the CH ethos. No biggie.

                                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                                        If they are delicious, then they are worth talking about on a site dedicated to deliciousness. If not, then not. Whether they are part of a chain, or what one defines as a chain, are irrelevant.

                                                                                                        1. re: limster

                                                                                                          And to really cut to the chase, what is delicious to some is not delicious to others. Some have a much wider definition of the word than others. Just who is going to be the ruling taste maker on CH which says "This is delicious and no other?" People take the manifesto or the word chowhound and attempt to exclude those whose taste they find unworthy. I say that is a pure, unadulterated power play. This is a truly democratic site. The Chain board was created to give people who enjoy food at all manner of chain restaurants a place to safely talk about the food, without fear of condemnation. Although that hasn't worked out exactly as planned it is still far better than it was in the old days.

                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                            You know S, that is a great point that jfood did not see in Limster's posts. Jfood has come to the aid of Rachel Ray bashing on several posts as the entry point to cooking at home. And he has stated that the Chains my be the intro to the Boards for some as well. Jfood's favorite hamburger growing up was a cheese whopper, then he graduated to a Mikes Burger and his world favorite currently is a Wagyu at a local place. But without that Whopper, it may have been a different burger-journey.

                                                                                2. If you head over to Canada to the BC board there are tourists galore looking for eats near the Olympic sites. Instead of thumbing their collective noses at the tourists the regulars created a thread to answer many of the incoming questions...hopefully these visitors will come away from their experience knowing more about local food/restaurants and take that experience and go home and explore their own area.

                                                                                  If we ignore newbies/tourists how does the community grow? I see people griping all the time about how their friends only like to eat at <fill in big chain name here> I think coming to chowhound helps educate and hopefully creates more hounds, which is better for the community in the long term.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                    maplesugar, that's a terrific point!

                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                      Hear, hear...

                                                                                      Been to New Orleans pre-Chowhound and been back (many times) since. My culinary adventures, there, have been greatly enhanced by Hounds and their willingness to steer me to the great local establishments and away from the tourist traps.

                                                                                      Fodors, Frommers....didn't come close.