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FAQ: New to the Texas Board? Read this first

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Are you new to Chowhound? Or just to the Texas board? Perhaps visiting from somewhere else? We've got some tips to help you get started.

If you're brand new to the site, you should read our Site Etiquette (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367605) so you don't break any rules or step on any toes.

This board is focused on discussing chow in Texas except Austin, Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston which are covered on other boards:
Austin: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/61
Dallas-Ft. Worth: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/66
Houston: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/67

We've divided up this thread into separate posts, just to make things neater. Please read to the end. The sections are:

WHERE IS THAT?
HAVE A HOT TIP?
HAVE A QUESTION?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THIS BOARD
STILL HAVE A QUESTION?
AFTER YOUR MEAL
FEEDBACK

  1. WHERE IS THAT?

    Because our regional boards can cover a lot of territory, it's important that you clearly indicate which area you're interested in when you start a new thread, whether it's a question or a report on a meal.

    There are a few common ways that this is done:
    Including the name of the city directly in the title of the thread: “Visiting Waco and looking for awesome tacos!”
    Including the name or a clear nickname in brackets at the end of the title: “Best Bar Food? [San Antonio]”
    Including an airport code in brackets at the end of the title. Use this one sparingly unless it's a well-known airport code or the code itself contains a good hint about what city it refers to.

    Please keep in mind that this board covers multiple states. If the town name you're interested in isn't unique, include the state information along with city name, so people know which one you're looking for.

    When you're searching for information, you should also use place names to narrow down the number of threads you get back.

    1. HAVE A HOT TIP?

      If you've got a great tip, a meal report or a recommendation for someone, dive right in and post it. It's great if you can include some details of why you like a place, but even those short tips on where to find a great taco or donut are appreciated.

      To start a new thread, use the "Chowhound Discussions" menu in the navigation bar at the top of the page to go to the index of the board, and then choose the "start new thread" button.

      1. HAVE A QUESTION?

        The Texas board is a pretty active place, and a lot of questions have been covered recently--the Chowhound archives are a great resource.

        Start your quest for an answer with a search of all the great info that's already out there. The search box is in the top right corner of the screen. If you're searching from this board, it should default to searching Texas. Just add your keywords and go. On the search results page, you can change your search criteria to add more keywords, or change your sort order or the dates you're interested in.

        Include the name of the city you're searching for within your search criteria to narrow down the results to a specific area.

        1. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

          Where is the best BBQ / taco / steakhouse / etc in X?
          Search terms to try: the type of food and the name of the place. If you want to narrow it down to very specific threads, put them both in the Title field on the advanced search page. Adding 'best' will narrow the results even further. For BBQ, you may also want to try Bar-B-Que and barbecue to get additional results.

          Where should we go for our special occasion?
          Search terms to try: anniversary, "special occasion", proposal, romantic, birthday
          These might not all apply to your particular occasion, but they generally turn up the same kind of recommendations.

          Where should I plan my group dinner?
          Search terms to try: "private room", corporate, group, "holiday party", "large group"

          1. STILL HAVE A QUESTION?

            Texas chowhounds are a great resource, but help them help you by including some important details. Tell them:
            What part of the region you'll be in -- this board covers a very large area.
            Whether you have a car or will be relying on transit.
            How far or how long you're willing to travel.
            What your budget is. Descriptions such as 'expensive', 'moderate' and 'cheap' mean different things to different people, so use dollar values.
            What types of cuisines you're interested in.
            Which days of the week you're interested in -- lots of restaurants close Mondays, for example.
            Any other special circumstances (traveling with kids? vegetarians? non-chowhounds?) that will help
            If you've done some of your own research, mention what you found so hounds can help fill in the gaps, rather than rehashing what you already know.

            1. AFTER YOUR MEAL

              Most importantly, after your trip or your meal, thank the local hounds for their help by reporting back. Tell people which suggestions you used and how the meals turned out, plus add tips about any great places you discovered on your own. This helps make the board more useful for everyone who visits after you. (Don't forget to include a city in the title of your thread, along with the name of the restaurant.)

              1. FEEDBACK

                If there's something you think is vitally important for new members of the board to know that we've missed, please comment on this Site Talk thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/704997