HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
What have you made lately?
TELL US

Does Yelp carry any weight with you? [moved from San Diego board]

y
yanks26dmb Jan 4, 2011 11:11 AM

For a while, I have used Yelp to help me decide where to eat. I will admit, I realize many times, bad places are rated rather highly. Yelp has been good in introducing me to some hole in the wall places I've never heard of, but has often missed the mark on restaurant quality. Does it carry any weight with any of you? Aside from this website, what other sources do you use to evaluate prospective restaurants?

  1. j
    jessicheese Jan 24, 2011 12:36 PM

    I post equally on both. I like Yelp because I like the search features and because I can see what dishes people selected. It's also easier to find information on mid to lower priced places. I like CH because I can ask pointed questions and I like to browse the topics.

    If I'm posting a review or an opinion I will more likely post on Yelp instead of CH. I live in Delaware and constantly read about how there are no good restaurants in DE. Really? None in the state? The whole state? When I posted a pointed thread asking for take out options and where to get decent Chinese delivery or pizza I sparked a 100+ thread so obviously that isn't the case. I hear the same thing about my former town. It just gets on my nerves and I get tired of having my yum yucked.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jessicheese
      b
      Breezychow Jan 24, 2011 03:25 PM

      Yelp just lost my vote of confidence. Apparently whoever runs the place is sitting around with his thumb up his ass.

      For the past 3 days, some yahoo who owns a chain of locksmiths has apparently hired a bunch of idiots to post 5-star reviews for all his sites. This has resulted in about 10-12 pages of 5-star locksmith reviews. The scam has been reported to Yelp up the wazoo by a number of people, but the Yelp folks are apparently too busy with other tasks to recognize 10-12 pages of locksmith reviews as a scam.

      So sad.

      So folks - do take Yelp with a HUGE grain of salt. That 5-star review you may be eyeing could very well have been posted by the owner.

      1. re: Breezychow
        JasmineG Jan 24, 2011 03:36 PM

        The site is enormous, and they get a ton of scam reports every day. They didn't have time to take the reports of a locksmith down over the weekend, and they lost your confidence forever? You want the employees to prioritize a locksmith over everything else?

        1. re: Breezychow
          thew Jan 24, 2011 03:51 PM

          actually this locksmith thing has happened before. it took time to verify, but once done all the reviews vanished. as they will again

          1. re: Breezychow
            rworange Jan 24, 2011 05:45 PM

            They are not as quick as Chowhound, but if you report something like that, they do take it down. It just takes a while.

            1. re: Breezychow
              b
              bobbert Jan 25, 2011 07:25 PM

              I use Yelp like I use EBay. Until someone has more than a couple reviews, I'm suspicious as to their trustworthyness. If I see several first time reviewers in a row giving a place 5 stars or 1 star for that matter, I basically discount them. They have to have a track record. Too many 1 star reviews from someone, I get the feeling they only write about bad experiences. I just read a 1 star review where the reviewer said that she had had several great meals there in the past (never thought to write a review I guess) but this time was terrible and felt she needed to warn others. My personal reviews tend to average higher because I use CH and Yelp and spend my money in places where I'm likely to get a good meal to begin with.

          2. m
            mvi Jan 13, 2011 03:44 PM

            I do use Yelp but find many of the reviews to be about the writer and not about the place. In addition, many people write after only one experience, which can't really give the depth of information I am looking for. Many of the reviews are trying very, very hard to be Useful, Funny or Cute so the writer's ratings go up. In Boston, there is a very active group and many of them seem to spend much of the day on the message boards, which are not always friendly. They seem to be a lot younger than the average Chowhound user. None the less, Yelp is a good resource when combined with others and can be very useful for finding new places.

            4 Replies
            1. re: mvi
              jgg13 Jan 14, 2011 07:40 AM

              I've always felt that the only vote anyone should strive for is "useful".

              Btw it is 'Cool', not 'Cute'.

              1. re: jgg13
                m
                mvi Jan 14, 2011 03:53 PM

                Sorry, jgg13. You are so right. It is cool, not cute. My apologies. Having never, ever been cool OR cute, I do not strive for those particular categories, myself. Hopeless.

                1. re: mvi
                  jgg13 Jan 15, 2011 05:45 AM

                  Don't worry, you're both cool & cute in my book!

              2. re: mvi
                sagerussell Jan 24, 2011 11:50 AM

                I always follow up YELP or Tripadvisor research with a Google search for "reviews" of the specific "restaurant name" you've narrowed down too. This allows you to dig down to see if anyone's blogs (like mine) have a more in depth, narrative experiential review. This has steered me towards some cool finds.
                Sage

              3. r
                RoxyGrl Jan 11, 2011 03:58 PM

                I find that I use CH when I'm at home pre-planning where to go (with maybe a detour to Yelp just for comparison/extra info) and I use Yelp when I'm out and about and looking for a place to eat.

                While I find CH reviews invaluable and, ultimately, often closer to what I really want to know about a restaurant, Yelp's mobile app on my iPhone is great in that it allows me to do a search for, say, Thai or Mexican or Breakfast and it will return the map view of all the places near wherever I happen to be at that moment. From there I can read reviews or perhaps see a place that I've previously seen reviewed on CH but had forgotten about. I have discovered some pretty good places this way and it has saved me from taking the path of least resistance and just hitting a chain or whatever I was driving past because I had no idea what other options might be in the area.

                1. a
                  AdamD Jan 10, 2011 03:12 PM

                  I absorb as much info as possible--from all sources. Review it all and make an educated decision.
                  It seems to me that many people give one star ratings on yelp for bad service when the food might otherwise be very good.
                  As New Yorker, I guess I am used to mediocre service when I go to a one-three star (based on yelp or menu pages) restaurant. Its about the food for me. Service and food have to be truly offensive before I give a bad review.
                  The other thing I notice is people writing reviews for delivery service-when the either pick a bad take out dish or its ordered from a restaurant that perhaps is not the best choice for take out.

                  Don't even get me started about people that order and egg roll and beef and broccoli from grand sichuan.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: AdamD
                    b
                    bobbert Jan 11, 2011 03:18 PM

                    I always consider CH as a much more reliable source than yelp when looking for a place to eat however, I do use yelp as a starting place as there are usually many more yelp reviews than CH for any given place. But because of some of the issues about yelp mentioned above I tend to discard yelp until I see at least 10 reviews for a place. I've seen too many "...it was too long of a wait for our table so we left without eating"- 1 star reviews in yelp. CH would never let a poster get away with that. Also see the yelp "...stopped in for 15 minutes for a quick draft beer. Place is great" - 5 stars review. Once they get to about 10, you start to see a legit trend.

                    1. re: bobbert
                      drewskiSF Jan 24, 2011 04:38 PM

                      i've noticed, at least on the SF Bay Area reviews, the average stars have gone up over the years i've been on Yelp. places even with a couple hundred reviews in 2007 and a 3-3.5 star average have moved up over time to 4 stars or more when i haven't seen much change in food quality. because of this i tend to discount a star from the average.

                      this tends to be more true for "trendier" places which get 5-star one liners like you mention "awesome sandwiches!!!"

                  2. Bob W Jan 10, 2011 11:06 AM

                    Here's an example of the weakness of Yelp. This is not a review.

                    http://www.yelp.com/biz/catch-52-chan...

                    20 Replies
                    1. re: Bob W
                      BubblyOne Jan 10, 2011 11:28 AM

                      No, but here are plenty of good ones that you could have posted as well.
                      And I've read similar comments here.

                      1. re: BubblyOne
                        honkman Jan 10, 2011 11:53 AM

                        "And I've read similar comments here." - Can you show some examples on CH ? I think Bob posted a good example why Yelp is sometimes less reliable than CH and why certain moderation is not bad.

                        1. re: honkman
                          BubblyOne Jan 10, 2011 02:43 PM

                          Moderation is excellent on CH, I agree. I'm not cherry-picking a poor CH comment, sorry. We are on some of the same boards- I'm sure you can find your own:)

                          1. re: BubblyOne
                            honkman Jan 10, 2011 03:03 PM

                            Actually I would have problems to find a negative review on CH based on something else than food and/or service quality, something I see quite regularly on Yelp. So it would be nice if you could back up your comments with some examples.

                            1. re: honkman
                              Bob W Jan 10, 2011 05:56 PM

                              Thanks honkman. To BubblyOne, I posted that link mainly because that person's score of one star is now what is posted for that restaurant, which just opened. It's one thing to blast a place for non-food reasons but for that place to now have a score of one star is patently unfair. The reviewer didn't even go inside. I would hope Yelp would delete that one at some point.

                              1. re: Bob W
                                BubblyOne Jan 10, 2011 07:56 PM

                                Anyone seriously considering the restaurant would discount this review. Is there a point in posting the "best and worst" of CH and Yelp? Obviously, you are at both sites to have seen this.

                                1. re: BubblyOne
                                  Bob W Jan 11, 2011 06:22 AM

                                  The point was to show how the Yelp point system can be abused. This thread is about whether people give Yelp any weight. My post adds to that discussion. Are you a Yelp shareholder?

                                2. re: Bob W
                                  thew Jan 11, 2011 03:44 AM

                                  yelp regularly filters reviews that are clearly from people who have not gone to the place. users need to flag them. i see it happen all the time on the NYC board

                                  i could easily link to long detailed reviews of places on yelp that go into the details of food and service.

                                  1. re: thew
                                    Bob W Jan 11, 2011 06:23 AM

                                    Did I say that Yelp doesn't have good reviews? No. I still use it. Are you a Yelp shareholder? Good day to you.

                                    1. re: Bob W
                                      thew Jan 12, 2011 05:03 AM

                                      i a not a yelp shareholder. if yelp has both good and bad reviews, your pointing out a bad one is at least as ridiculous as my pointing out a good one. it has to work in both directions.
                                      good day to you

                                      1. re: thew
                                        Bob W Jan 12, 2011 06:46 AM

                                        I'm sorry for responding to yet another of your posts, but you still don't get it. Chowhound does not have a point or star system, Yelp does. Therefore, a one-star rating on Yelp, especially when based on nonsensical criteria like "the place wasn't open," is potentially more damaging than the identical review posted on Chowhound.

                                        Once a restaurant has enough reviews, the weight accorded to outliers gets minimized, but for this to be the ONLY review of a restaurant that is barely open is clearly a major flaw in Yelp. Someone could look up the restaurant, see a one-star rating, and think, "F it, I'll go somewhere else." You don't know they will even read the review to see how nonsensical it is.

                                        1. re: Bob W
                                          thew Jan 12, 2011 07:33 AM

                                          no, you don;t get it. the fact that there are flawed reviews does not make yelp useless in any way shape or form, to me. I'm quite capable of taking those flawed reviews into account. If you cannot, or choose not to, that does not change its utility for me.

                                          There's a guy on CH e.g. who does not like what is generally considered one of the top places for sushi in NYC. it would be just as easy for someone reading CH to search for that restaurant, see his disdain, and skip the place. In exactly the same manner as your hypothetical yelp reader. The fact that people use a site poorly or lazily, is not the fault of the site.

                                          furthermore - yelp, at least where i use it, is very good about filtering out posts from people who have not been to a place. it only takes a yelper or 2 to flag it, for the moderators to look at it. I've seen many such reviews filtered out of existence.

                                          as i've stated elsewhere - yelp and CH have very different foci, and are useful in different situations. But they each require being used properly. to me, your argument seems to be akin to complaining about a hammer, because someone could try to drive screws with it. that aint the hammer's fault.

                                          1. re: thew
                                            Miss Needle Jan 12, 2011 08:17 AM

                                            And Yelp does a very good job of filtering out posts from legitimate posters like me. All of my posts have been filtered out -- probably because I haven't accrued enough posts to be considered "legitimate" in their eyes.

                                            1. re: Miss Needle
                                              thew Jan 12, 2011 10:29 AM

                                              but once you have more reviews up, you can get them unfiltered. the algorythm isn't perfect - but their logic is it is better to filter a real review accidently, then let spam get through.

                                              1. re: thew
                                                Miss Needle Jan 12, 2011 11:06 AM

                                                I really don't have any interest in posting. I signed up for a yelp account because I really had to review a horrendous hotel experience (and admitted it in the review). And then I decided to give a couple of businesses (not related to the hotel) some kudos because I felt they deserved it. Unfortunately, none of these reviews are showing up. I guess I could write a bunch of more reviews so I get unfiltered. But honestly, I don't feel like doing that.

                                                Yelp has its purpose -- and I use it when I need it. Yelp has some of the lesser known restaurants on its list. Yelp has that cool function of typing in an address and finding restaurants within a certain vicinity. It's very helpful when you're in an area that you do not know. I find Yelp better than CH for certain areas. For example, when I was doing some research for a trip I took recently, all I could find on CH were posts that were basically summaries on Frommers and Fodors picks. Yelp had a few places that were off the Frommers and Fodors radar.

                                            2. re: thew
                                              Bob W Jan 12, 2011 10:40 AM

                                              @thew: And I never said Yelp was useless -- in fact, I specifically said I also use it -- so you appear to be talking to yourself now.

                                            3. re: Bob W
                                              r
                                              reatard Jan 12, 2011 07:48 AM

                                              Chowhound does have a star system.

                                              http://www.chow.com/restaurants/4404/...

                                              1. re: reatard
                                                Bob W Jan 12, 2011 10:40 AM

                                                Thanks reatard -- never noticed it, won't be using it.

                                              2. re: Bob W
                                                JasmineG Jan 23, 2011 10:50 PM

                                                Chow does indeed have a star system, but since it's not used that often the scores are even more wildly off (a new restaurant that is widely liked on the SF Bay Area board only has one star, for example). The exact same thing happens here.

                                                1. re: Bob W
                                                  drewskiSF Jan 24, 2011 04:28 PM

                                                  Chow does have a star system. You need to enter a review at the restaurant's Chow page

                                                  --------------------------

                                                  edit: Ooops, was the 3rd person to post this info! doh!!

                              2. m
                                mlgb Jan 6, 2011 11:47 PM

                                I find Yelp far more helpful than Chowhound for finding new spots, especially of the independent mom and pop non-trendy ethnic variety. The search function is better for one thing. I also check the LA Times and LA Weekly reviews. Chowhound coverage is sparse, repetitive and/or outdated for mom and pop places in my neighborhood . And I really could care less about the best cupcake store, $20 hamburger, taco truck that I am so NOT going to drive across town for, or the dozen or so upscale celebrechef restaurants up in LA (Bazaar anyone?).

                                I'm fully capable of reading selectively. Actually you have to do it no matter what site you are on.

                                I've noticed that the San Francisco Bay area Board is pretty good. But really the LA Board is mostly useless to me, and actually has quite a high douche-factor. One is just as likely to see on the LA CH Board. postings that are as "self-aggrandizing or extravagant ...as possible in order to gain the notice and approval of their peers on the site." But mostly it's just the bad format here and the boredom factor of seeing the same places recommended and discussed over and over and over...

                                Back in time (before people got into writing their own food blogs) the LA Board had the occasional interesting review of new restaurants on CH, but not so much anymore.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: mlgb
                                  j
                                  Jase Jan 7, 2011 12:10 PM

                                  You and I must read two completely different LA boards. I've gotten plenty of small hole in the wall ideas from that board. That's our preferred style of places anyway. Not sure where you get the high douche factor either as a lot of the regular posters are helpful and informative especially if you're specific about your needs.

                                  1. re: Jase
                                    goodhealthgourmet Jan 7, 2011 03:41 PM

                                    i'm with you, Jase. no idea why mlgb is so down on the LA Board, nor what inspired those nasty remarks. i've personally found the information and recs on CH to be more reliable and helpful than those on Yelp, not just for high-end places, but also for less expensive spots and unique finds off the beaten path.

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                      m
                                      mlgb Jan 8, 2011 12:30 PM

                                      If you really care to know (which I actually doubt, rather you just prefer to defend CH over Yelp) I think the final straw was being raped for liking Polly's for lunch rather than Board-favorite Bake N Broil. Primarily by the red velvet crowd.

                                      But really the main objection is first, the bad format here, and just how totally useless CH is for my neighborhood. Just go and do a search and try to find much recent on Long Beach.

                                      Perhaps if I lived in Venice it would be different.

                                      1. re: mlgb
                                        goodhealthgourmet Jan 9, 2011 04:36 PM

                                        "which I actually doubt, rather you just prefer to defend CH over Yelp"
                                        ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                        rather presumptuous, don't you think? you've never even met me, so please don't make assumptions about what i do and don't "care to know." you criticize other Hounds for their attitudes, but yours is hardly warm, fuzzy & tolerant.

                                        have i been jumped on for recommending or voicing my appreciation for places that other Hounds don't like? sure. but that's hardly an LA phenomenon - i've seen in on many other regional boards. and there's certainly no dearth of attitude, judgment & snark on topical boards like Home Cooking, Wine, this one, and the Not About Food board...but in my experience it's been the exception rather than the rule, and i'm not going to write off the entire CH community just because a few posters are cranky or think they're better than the rest of us. and for what it's worth, i've read far more nastiness on Yelp than i've ever seen here.

                                        anyway, neighborhood may make a difference in terms of usefulness, as i think there's a higher concentration of active posters up here than there is down by you. i'm sorry you're so down on CH, but i guess that just shows that like everything else in life, it's not for everyone...nor is Yelp or eGullet.

                                        1. re: mlgb
                                          j
                                          Jase Jan 10, 2011 08:16 AM

                                          I think the CH format is more conducive to those types of behaviors only because it is more a of a discussion board. Yelp reviews are static stand alones and there's no way for someone to respond easily to a person's review in a critical way. There's only the positive feed back such as the useful, funny, etc buttons at the bottom of the review. That comes down to a personal preference then. I like this format, you don't. That doesn't make either one of us right nor which format is better.

                                          That's too bad you got ripped for the Polly's comment. But it happens in this kind of format. I've gotten ripped for not liking board faves too. However I've also seen people respond positively when they mention a more chain like alternative over a board fave. Usually it just comes down to articulating why one has that preference. I'd cite the fried chicken discussions. There's been quite a few people who've mentioned their preference for the supermarket fried chicken and elaborated on why they think it's better. I don't see a whole lot of negativity there.

                                          It's a shame that there isn't a lot of suggestions for your neighborhood, but maybe there just isn't a lot of posters in your area? Maybe you could become the resident expert for Long Beach? Also don't you think it's a bit unfair to rip the entire LA board for the lack of mom and pop hole in the wall suggestions when mainly it's your neighborhood that lacks those suggestions.

                                          I'm not here to defend CH over Yelp for you. I'm not seeking to change your mind, just trying to get a conversation going to figure out exactly what you find so negative. Maybe that would shed a light on how I'm reading the board. I'm also not sure what you mean by the red velvet crowd. Most of the posters I value and follow seek a high amount of hole in the walls. I've been happily exploring many small mexican and asian places due to the board. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely a few posters on the LA board as soon as I see their name, I just scroll past. I don't respect their opinion nor the way the present it.

                                          Those posters, I can completely see your point about them being arrogant and condescending. But again, I don't think that kind of attitude is exclusive to either Yelp nor CH.

                                  2. b
                                    bingomar Jan 6, 2011 12:15 PM

                                    Having used Yelp in Boston, SF and San Diego, I agree it's good for finding new places, but my wife and I agreed with the reviews more in SF than San Diego. It's a good first filter, but the star ratings are often way off (for me).

                                    1. MC Slim JB Jan 6, 2011 10:07 AM

                                      I use Yelp much as I use Chowhound: I find posters whom I trust and value for their candor, passion, expertise in particular areas (e.g., grew up in Taiwan), depth of knowledge of the local dining scene (context is all), adventurousness, and freedom from bias.

                                      They also have to be the sort of people I can imagine liking: nothing puts me off more than a self-important douche who seems more interested in showing off his self-perceived expertise -- they're usually full of snark about the local scene, flung so they can boast about their travels elsewhere -- than in helping and being helped.

                                      You can't read the opinions of random strangers and get good results *anywhere* online: you have to identify strong reasons to trust anyone's advice. Occasionally, you find a Negative Oracle ("If that dude loves the place, I know I'll hate it"), but more often it's about finding shared sensibilities. In all cases, the anonymous mean (like aggregate star ratings) leads you to the lowest common denominator, not good chow.

                                      That said, I think the average Yelper in Boston is younger, less experienced, less well-traveled, and more willing to offer a firm opinion on a shaky foundation (they went once, went at brunch, went during Restaurant Week) than the average Boston Hound. They're also more likely to make a review about their awesome drunken night out with their friends than about a restaurant's food, service, and ambiance. Finally, lacking moderators, it tends to be more clogged by noise, rudeness, and spam.

                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                      28 Replies
                                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                                        BubblyOne Jan 6, 2011 10:27 AM

                                        Pretty much agree, but I just checked out the Yelp ratings for the most CH rec'd spots in my area (south OC, CA)- Break of Dawn, Marche Moderne, Stonehill, Tabu Grill, Montage and they are all 4-4+ stars.

                                        1. re: BubblyOne
                                          MC Slim JB Jan 6, 2011 10:51 AM

                                          Can't speak to Orange County: I spend most of my time on the Boston boards. Our large college-age population may account for some of that difference. There are definitely different sensibilities between the two locally. The average Chowhound strikes me as more obsessive and adventurous about food.

                                          For example, I have a large proportion (10% of my total) of FTRs ("first to review") on Yelp, and some of those had been around for a while before I got there. That means Yelpers aren't getting to these restaurants, and I likely heard about them first on Chowhound.

                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                                            BubblyOne Jan 6, 2011 10:59 AM

                                            Chowhounds ARE the best scouts:)

                                            1. re: MC Slim JB
                                              jgg13 Jan 6, 2011 11:28 AM

                                              I find that your typical yelper who has a good amount of FTRs (not you) fall into one of two categories:

                                              1) Places that everyone knows is opening up, so some dink posts a review before the spot even opens as a placeholder so they get a FTR

                                              2) People who review idiotic things. Gee wiz, look, if I review the pine tree outside my window i get a FTR!

                                              At least on the Boston board, as the "in crowd" has shifted over the years, there seems to be less FTR (and ROTD, and FUC) fever which is a good thing, IMO.

                                              1. re: jgg13
                                                invinotheresverde Jan 6, 2011 11:55 AM

                                                If only the idiotic friend requests would stop. It's like, dude, I don't know you and I don't want to be your "friend" so I can hang out at the Phantom Gourmet _____ Festival with you and your other cronies.

                                                I think some Yelpers really care about how many friends a/o compliments they receive. Weird.

                                                1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                  jgg13 Jan 6, 2011 12:44 PM

                                                  Unlike facebook, I really don't care if someone wants to be my yelp friend. I never use that functionality, and they don't see any extra personal information of mine, so it's no skin off my butt.

                                                  On your last point, I agree. To go back to what I said before though, I think that's gone down quite a bit on the Boston board over the years.

                                                2. re: jgg13
                                                  Mrs Shoutfire Jan 24, 2011 02:30 AM

                                                  A lot of those obscure FTRs on Yelp are there so that locals can advise locals on places that they feel are a cut above. Maybe it's a food cart or a launderette, a hardware store or a shoe repair. Those reviews aren't meant to call attention to oneself or influence anyone outside a 5-mile radius. Sometimes it's an effort to keep a good mom & pop in business in this age of Wal-Mart and Amazon, you know?

                                                  1. re: Mrs Shoutfire
                                                    jgg13 Jan 24, 2011 08:11 AM

                                                    Most of the ones I see are nothing of the sort. They.re obvious attempts to simply get a FTR

                                              2. re: BubblyOne
                                                goodhealthgourmet Jan 6, 2011 11:00 AM

                                                i don't think the issue is necessarily that Yelpers give bad reviews to CH favorites, rather that they tend to show a lot of love for places that most CHers don't think are Chow-worthy. and for the record, i'm not passing judgment either way, just sharing my take on what i've observed.

                                              3. re: MC Slim JB
                                                coookie Jan 6, 2011 11:12 AM

                                                this is a spot-on indictment of yelp and most of its user base. i think it's a direct consequence of the social aspect of their business model, which encourages users to post in as self-aggrandizing or extravagant a manner as possible in order to gain the notice and approval of their peers on the site through the awards/compliments mechanism.

                                                specific grievances: inordinate generalizations from one's anecdotal experience, paltry descriptions of the food with reliance on generic adjectives such as "awesome", "amazing", and "to die for", overuse of internet cliches (e.g. writing a critique in the form of an ironic love letter), etc etc.

                                                i use yelp like some others here: as a hybrid phone directory-map of local restaurants. it's too much work to try to find individual trustworthy users.

                                                1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                  jgg13 Jan 6, 2011 11:26 AM

                                                  "self-important douche"

                                                  /raises hand

                                                  1. re: jgg13
                                                    MC Slim JB Jan 6, 2011 11:35 AM

                                                    You weren't at all among the examples I had in mind. The good news is that most of those types don't get the validation they seem to crave and eventually move on.

                                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                      jgg13 Jan 6, 2011 11:44 AM

                                                      Oh Slim, your sweet talk will get you far!

                                                  2. re: MC Slim JB
                                                    tatsu Jan 7, 2011 02:30 PM

                                                    Like MC I spend most of my time in Boston where we have active CH and Yelp boards. Recently I spent a week in DC where I found the CH boards to be totally dead. It could be that DC really doesn't have too much good chow. Yelp was pretty much my only option. I did pretty well, finding an obscure Japanese place with just a few reviews but excellent (Satsuma in Bethseda) and 2 Amy's Pizza, which had Naples D.O.C. but the reviews were right, the pizza was not as great as it would seem to be.

                                                    I spend probably equal parts on CH and Yelp. While I have met many Yelpers and I don't really share most of their food prefs, I have only met a few CH'ers and am pretty much an outsider to the core group that eats out together often. I'd like to participate in these meetups, but haven't gotten past a few random emails from organizers. I tried organizing one myself, but another "senior" also announced one for the same place, so mine was ignored. Meanwhile on Yelp, I share compliments from people all over the U.S. Also, the better Yelpers are better writers and reviewers than CH'ers with less pomposity. It is very rare that you see a comprensive review on CH. They are mostly shoutouts of some place they like and then ensuing arguments or other viewpoints, options, completely off the road tangents. This despite METICULOUS moderators.

                                                    I'd say the average CH person is older for sure, the attitudes are very different. To me CH is too constraining and I never feel completely free to say what I want. If I do, I get censured. Yet there are few CH'ers who are really hard-core and I value their opinions, even if they are snarky and rude to outsiders. (This is still my opinion since I've used CH since the late 90's.) The better Yelpers are generally very friendly. (And would accept a date in a heartbeat, ha ha.)

                                                    Yelp is definitely the better cross-section, it is the "norm" for better or worse. CH is, well, something else. I'd almost say their market is getting smaller. It's pretty much the same crowd as 1997.

                                                    So while I share quite the same grasp of facts and demographics about CH and Yelp, my opinion is sort of the inverse. CH is too moderated, too insular, easily taken to offense and genteel. Plus the CH website hasn't changed since it launched and no amount of moderation is ever going to make this content useful on the go. The mobile options? I can't think of a proper insult right now.

                                                    I think it's easier to "swallow" or let's say flick off the snark of a younger "foodie" on his/her path to foodism than it is to hear aged battle-cries of a more senior diner. Sometimes CH comments are reminisces Don Quixote style about places that have long since closed or have changed dramatically. (Years ago my roommate took me to a Turkish place when he really wanted Eggplant Parm. Rich, an MIT grad and undergrad, stared at the ceiling and walls for 2 minutes and then said, "Hmmm! This used to be a Italian sub shop 15 years ago! Hmm!") So I roll my eyes at both the young and old, really good opinions and reviews are not really determined by age. It cuts both ways.

                                                    It's true that not too many people use Yelp and CH both curiously. The few (really good) Yelp reviewersI know usually just stalk CH, they are simply turned off by some of the stuffy attitudes here. Actually I started a Yelp thread about CH a while back. They had some interesting things to say about us. Some of the feelings are mutual. ;-P

                                                    Well no matter, we all have living and eating to do, old blood or new blood.

                                                    If you care to take offense, perhaps you could read some of my posts here first, or take a gander at my yelp reviews. http://tatsu.yelp.com

                                                    I decided to open a foodblog of my own, "getting in the biz" so to say. MC will be happy to hear I chose tatsulicious.com!

                                                    1. re: tatsu
                                                      j
                                                      Just Visiting Jan 8, 2011 11:53 AM

                                                      The DC-Baltimore CH board is actually pretty active, but to the extent it may be less active than in other cities, it could be because donrockwell.com is very popular. I use donrockwell.com as my primary and CH for my second source, but elsewhere, go to CH first.

                                                      1. re: tatsu
                                                        y
                                                        yfunk3 Jan 9, 2011 03:46 PM

                                                        I just want to say I agree with your post. Basically everything in it. Doesn't happen often here!

                                                        1. re: yfunk3
                                                          BubblyOne Jan 9, 2011 08:22 PM

                                                          Well said.

                                                        2. re: tatsu
                                                          jgg13 Jan 10, 2011 11:22 AM

                                                          "Plus the CH website hasn't changed since it launched"

                                                          I call BS on this one. There was the earlier look & feel that changed uhh, '05ish? Maybe later? I remember you didn't have to have an account to post, so I would always just post with random names. It took me a couple of years to actually bite the bullet and get an account when they switched over.

                                                          And they changed the UI just last year.

                                                          1. re: tatsu
                                                            trishyb Jan 23, 2011 07:50 PM

                                                            The few (really good) Yelp reviewersI know usually just stalk CH, they are simply turned off by some of the stuffy attitudes here.
                                                            _________________________________________________________________________
                                                            i have to agree with you about this. i originally signed up for CHi in 2007 and began posting on the boards. people, in general, were respectful, but i did run into people whose comments and postings struck me as either pretentious or clique-ish... i.e. stuffy. in 2009, i quit posting on CH and moved over to Yelp.

                                                            yelp is much more of a social machine. there are many 20 and 30 somethings looking to socialize, especially through the talk boards (which typically have nothing to do with food.) but, it too, is very clique-ish, especially because of the social nature of the site. i was an "elite" yelper, had over 100 reviews, had a handful of my reviews chosen for "review of the day," and had several hundred "friends." over time, i figured out which reviewers were really into food and which reviewers were there just to be on yelp. (and even elite reviewers cannot necessarily be trusted because "elite" isn't a title bestowed upon a reviewer for the quality of reviews. rather, it has more to do with organizing and appearing at yelp functions or get togethers, being popular with other yelpers, being known by the community manager, etc.)

                                                            i no longer write for yelp, but miss having a place to sound off about food, so i'm back on CH to give it another chance. in general, there is more knowledge and more care about food on this site, but it can be challenging to post here due to standoffish attitude by some hounds toward newer posters.

                                                            just my 2 cents having been on both sides.

                                                            1. re: trishyb
                                                              Bob W Jan 24, 2011 05:51 AM

                                                              Try Urbanspoon!

                                                              1. re: trishyb
                                                                rworange Jan 24, 2011 06:06 AM

                                                                If anyone is being out of line, you can always hit the reply button and report them.

                                                                Of course, if you just don't like someone's attitude that isn't a help. The format is different and discussion lends itself to having some people who are like you described.

                                                                If you want to post but don't want feedback, why not post your reviews in the Chow restaurant database in the quick review section. Here's one of mine
                                                                http://www.chow.com/restaurants/91842...

                                                                It is similar to the Yelp format without having to deal with the attitude. If the review is entered on the restaurant page, it doesn't show up on the boards, so you don't have to deal with someone trashing your opinion.

                                                                One caveate is there is no edit function for this section, so you need to be sure you have the final review before you post.

                                                                You can add photos at the top of the page.

                                                                Though it says quick review you can post as much as you want, I think. I usually only use this section as a summary of my longer Chowhound reports.

                                                                In spite of being critical of elite reviews earlier in the thread ... and I know this is not true for most of them ... I got invited to be an elite yelper and I have zero interaction on the site other than posting reviews. If I have six friends I'd be surprised ... and those are all Chowhounds ... except those one or two who want lots of friends on their profile so they invite anyone on the site to be a friend.

                                                                I didn't want to be bothered with the whole elite thing, and be that involved with yelp, so I never accepted. But given my circumstances, you can be invited to be an elite yelper just based on your reviews.

                                                                1. re: rworange
                                                                  trishyb Jan 24, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                                  There are definitely elites who were chosen because they are active in posting reviews (a lot of time the benchmark is having posted a certain number) versus the social aspect. They were either nominated by another elite or yelper or the community manager took notice of their contributions. But a big percentage of elite reviewers are just very active in yelp socially or "popular" amongst other yelpers. The reviews are an afterthought.

                                                                  I don't think anyone on CH has necessarily been out of line toward me in the past. I just felt that CH tends to be less welcoming to newer posters. It can be difficult to post because sometimes other older posters treat newer posters as "outsiders."

                                                                  1. re: trishyb
                                                                    rworange Jan 24, 2011 11:11 AM

                                                                    Sadly, I can't disagree with that. I moved once and changed my handle once. Both times there was a real cool period in the beginning. When I'm traveling and posting on Chowhound boards where people don't know me, I'm often snubbed ... I'm not counting my current stint in Guatemala where there are under a half dozen active posters in the whole country ... that's not being snubbed ... just lack of a community ... and Guatemala ain't a prime time tourist destination in that it's not the first place anyone thinks of going when vacationing south of the border.

                                                                    I think the only thing to do is to personally be welcoming to someone new tothe board or area. A lot of regulars wll do that, especially when someone says it is a first time post. Still, for the most part it's not easy being new.

                                                                    In the old, pre-Chow days, regulars got bounced a lot more often. There was a distict pattern ... person finds Chowhound and falls crazy in love with it.. ... they become a regular ... more and more conflicts occur ... poster leaves in disgust or gets their walking papers.

                                                                    In one way, I missed a lot of those contributions. In another way, some people get too comfortable and authoritarian, and it discourages new blood.

                                                                    Still, reading this thread, there aren't as many really long-time old posters as people seem to think. If you read the How long have you been a chowhound types of topics on Chowhound, it's surprising that usually the answer is 2-3 years. .

                                                                    1. re: rworange
                                                                      trishyb Jan 24, 2011 11:35 AM

                                                                      I think you're right about there not being as many long-time posters on CH. It just seems that the ones who are here tend to be standoffish toward newer posters and can come across as unwelcoming.

                                                                      1. re: rworange
                                                                        Naco Jan 24, 2011 12:22 PM

                                                                        One of the things that's interesting about CH is that the regional boards are like little fiefdoms, and they often have different cultures that in some ways mirror the areas that they cover. I like to lurk on regional boards other than my own just to soak this in.

                                                                        On my home board, I have largely started ignoring questions from uitlanders, not because they aren't part of a clique, but because their posts almost always cover well-trod ground that could be surveying by using the search function.

                                                                        1. re: rworange
                                                                          pamf Jan 24, 2011 07:59 PM

                                                                          Isn't that about the time they switched over to the new format?

                                                                          1. re: pamf
                                                                            rworange Jan 24, 2011 08:29 PM

                                                                            Chow bought the site in 2006

                                                                      2. re: rworange
                                                                        drewskiSF Jan 24, 2011 04:16 PM

                                                                        i've had the Elite badge for 4 years though i rarely post on Yelp Talk and have never attended an Elite event (cheapest Elite for Yelp ever). i don't know how i first got selected and just click on accept each year.

                                                                2. goodhealthgourmet Jan 6, 2011 09:18 AM

                                                                  anyone see this on Eater?

                                                                  http://eater.com/archives/2011/01/05/...

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                    ipsedixit Jan 6, 2011 09:34 AM

                                                                    And ... that's supposed to mean what exactly?

                                                                    Alot Yelpers are on the coasts?

                                                                    No Yelpers live on the "fly-over" states?

                                                                    Yelp uses algorithims borrowed from Google?

                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Jan 6, 2011 09:50 AM

                                                                      don't ask me! i was just sharing it for you to form your own conclusion :)

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                        ipsedixit Jan 6, 2011 10:07 AM

                                                                        No brain teasers, please!

                                                                  2. bigjeff Jan 6, 2011 09:02 AM

                                                                    yelp is only good for information like address, hours of operation and phone number. But, Chowhound has done an alright job stepping up their restaurant/place system.

                                                                    1. e
                                                                      ediblover Jan 6, 2011 08:59 AM

                                                                      Aside from chow, I only check the local papers and magazines.

                                                                      Overall, I find that Yelp isn't worth the time. There are far too many "I loved it!" posts. It's great that you loved it, but I'm more interested in why you loved it and the general breakdown of the food/service. That way, I can get a good feel of whether or not I'll like it.

                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                      1. re: ediblover
                                                                        Mrs Shoutfire Jan 24, 2011 02:02 AM

                                                                        It's better to sort the posts and see the Elites first. They usually back up their claims with descriptions. Plus, they can spell.

                                                                        1. re: Mrs Shoutfire
                                                                          rworange Jan 24, 2011 05:34 AM

                                                                          The people I don't take seriously are the elites.

                                                                          A good percentage of them are invited to special events and get free dinners, so while no one MAY put actual money in the hand, afaik, their opinions are paid for by the restaurants giving them freebies and special attention. Totally unreliable opinions, afaik, and not representative of the average diner.

                                                                          Before everyone gets huffy and says they are an elite and they don't do this, I acknowledge this is not everyone. However, it is a good enough percentage, especially the people who yelp the loudest, for me to disregard elite opinions, ... or at least view them skeptically.

                                                                          And you might say ... these people post negative reviews too ... some of that has to do with a restaurant not paying them off with special attention.

                                                                          1. re: rworange
                                                                            thew Jan 24, 2011 05:54 AM

                                                                            i do not know a single elite who has gotten a free dinner from a place because they are elite. there are sponsored events that elites get invited too, but that's about it.

                                                                            i was an elite 08'09 & 10. i never got special treatment from a place. never asked for it. never told a place i yelped, much less my status. i've written positive and negative reviews - all based on my experience at a place. period.

                                                                            1. re: thew
                                                                              rworange Jan 24, 2011 08:25 AM

                                                                              >>> i never got special treatment from a place. never asked for it. never told a place i yelped, much less my status

                                                                              Which explains why you never got a free dinner.

                                                                              There are some yelpers who make their status very knonw and expect the comps.

                                                                              One restaurant in SF, invited a bunch of yelpers prior to opening to eat there and evaluate the menu. They then revised their menu based on those opinions ... and there were lots of favorable reports about the joint on Yelp.

                                                                              While it is always sad to see a restaurant fail, I got can't say I wasn't happy when this place folded. The thought of other places doing that based on often immature, and self-centered tastes was a depressing thing to contemplate.

                                                                              1. re: rworange
                                                                                thew Jan 24, 2011 09:05 AM

                                                                                would it be different if the asked a bunch of chowhounds to do it?

                                                                                (and aren't all matters of taste self-centered?)

                                                                                1. re: thew
                                                                                  rworange Jan 24, 2011 10:23 AM

                                                                                  The reason I like Chowhound is that getting freebies based on site participation is against the rules Any obvious posts like that would be deleted. On Yelp it is promoted by the site. It makes the opinions of posters less reliable. I like almost anything that is free. However, when I'm paying cash for something I'm going to be a lot more critical of how my money is being spent.

                                                                                  Yes, I left out a qualifying adjective which is probably better left out.

                                                                                  1. re: rworange
                                                                                    thew Jan 24, 2011 12:12 PM

                                                                                    that's just not true. at least not here in NY. the focus is on real reviews of places. but im not in the mood to argue the point. use yelp or don't

                                                                                    1. re: thew
                                                                                      rworange Jan 24, 2011 12:36 PM

                                                                                      Could be a regional thing. I use yelp, as I said. However, to use it effectively you have to know what to watch for ... like any place.

                                                                            2. re: rworange
                                                                              jgg13 Jan 24, 2011 08:10 AM

                                                                              At leat in Boston, it has gotten a lot better in this regard. The earlier crops of elites I always felt were far worse than the average poster, and seemed particularly self important. They had a habit of reviewing places based on the free elite events, etc. These days they will set up a special entry for an elite event and not review the place itself (which seems stupid as well, but at least it doesn't muddy the waters)

                                                                              1. re: rworange
                                                                                trishyb Jan 24, 2011 10:41 AM

                                                                                I wouldn't disagree about elites sometimes receiving special attention. For example, Bottega Louie is notorious for not accepting reservations and long wait times. Last year a group of 8 of us (with 6 of us being elite yelpers) wanted to go there for dinner on a Saturday night. When we called to ask for a reservation, we mentioned that we were a big group of elites. We never demanded a reservation, but just nicely asked if we could be accommodated. And we were - a Saturday night 8:00 reservation. Of course, Bottega Louie received glowing reviews from us.

                                                                          2. thew Jan 6, 2011 08:35 AM

                                                                            CH is a good place for discussions of food, for discussions of a places cuisines and restaurants. It is good for long term trip planning.

                                                                            yelp is good for quick suggestions, finding what's nearby, satisfying whims, and immediate gratification.

                                                                            they each enhance the other

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: thew
                                                                              BubblyOne Jan 6, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                                              +1 on that.

                                                                            2. BubblyOne Jan 6, 2011 08:12 AM

                                                                              I like Yelp for the aggregate feature and actually have become friendly with some 'hounds who post there as well. We can easily email back and forth. Plus, I can see if a poster's taste matches mine when searching for new spots by reading their reviews of places I've been.
                                                                              I love Chowhound for the more in-depth discussions.
                                                                              One problem I find with the LA/OC board for Chowhound (and maybe other areas, I wouldn't know) is:
                                                                              1. That some of the people post SO much- I wonder when they ever actually eat!
                                                                              2. I can tell from the comments that some "serial posters" either haven't been to the spots they comment on in my area or at least not recently- can you really cover all of the general LA area down to south OC beaches?

                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                              1. re: BubblyOne
                                                                                rworange Jan 6, 2011 08:23 AM

                                                                                >>> can you really cover all of the general LA area down to south OC beaches?

                                                                                Being a 'serial poster' myself, the answer is yeah.

                                                                                I don't cook much and pretty much eat out 5-7 days a week ... not all meals, but at least one. So it is just like reporting what you had for dinner that night. Some people just eat out more than others.

                                                                                When I'm in my home area, my job is such that I travel quite a bit to areas far from my home base.

                                                                                I find the 'serial poster' syndrome more deadly on Yelp. Yelp rewards lots of posts by making incentives to do so. I often find on Yelp, stuff that is ripped off from other websites including Chowhound.

                                                                                On Yelp there's really no discussion for that type of thing, so these people aren't challenged. However, as you said, post an untrue or phony report on Chowhound and you are going to have lots of people commenting that the facts are incorrect.

                                                                                What I don't understand is why it bothers some people if there are a lot of posts by one person as long as it contributes to more info.

                                                                                1. re: rworange
                                                                                  BubblyOne Jan 6, 2011 08:51 AM

                                                                                  I can tell from the comments that some "serial posters" either haven't been to the spots they comment on in my area or at least not recently
                                                                                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  That was actually my main point, if it wasn't clear enough and it isn't generally commented on IMHO. Or the posts aren't even food-related, so it contributes nothing.
                                                                                  No matter how much you travel (unless it's to the same cities) or eat out, can you answer what is the "best" type of cuisine/romantic/view/ etc. if you don't eat quite a bit that area?
                                                                                  I still say no.

                                                                                  1. re: BubblyOne
                                                                                    rworange Jan 6, 2011 12:12 PM

                                                                                    If a post isn't food-related, you can always hit the report button to have the mods delete it.

                                                                                    I guess I don't understand. As I've said, I've reported on quite a few places in the SF Bay Area. In the past year I've been living in Guatemala and eaten at maybe 100 restaurants in that period of time. While there are certainly restaurants I missed, I can definately offer great suggestions to visitors about the best type of cuisine/romantic/view restaurant in my experience.

                                                                                    I can also tell you my favorite bakeries, candy shops, farms, street markets, street vendors, etc ... and ... my reports have photos ... bad photos so you know I didn't copy them from other places on the web ... and checking the photo details, it is the same camera and everything is time-stamped.

                                                                                    Are you saying that this is impossible? Sheesh, tough crowd. Not being immodest in the least, the stuff I have on Chowhound for Guatemala food-wise is a lot better than anything you will find in a tour book ... and for much of it, it is no where else on the web or in tour books.

                                                                                    From my experience reading the boards since 2002, there are many posters who are similar. They just are prolific and have the chance to experience a lot of restaurants.

                                                                                    If you are going to be skeptical, I guess there is nothing I can write to change your mind. However, I'd guess that most of the prolific posters on Chowhound are the real deal. Anyone who isn't, is going to get bounced from the site.

                                                                                    1. re: rworange
                                                                                      BubblyOne Jan 6, 2011 12:33 PM

                                                                                      No, sorry! Working/ surfing and probably not explaining in a way that makes sense.
                                                                                      I've lived in Laguna Beach for 20 years, and obviously as a tourist area, we get quite a few requests for specific recs and don't have many regular OC posters.
                                                                                      When someone from LA, who you can tell either took a weekend trip 2 years ago or is googling info, yet authoritatively recs places....well, that does no one any good.
                                                                                      Let's face it, if you've been to a restaurant/market/bakery, you can usually spot BS-especially as there are almost always changes in chefs/owners or hotel restaurant redos.
                                                                                      That's all I meant:)

                                                                                      1. re: BubblyOne
                                                                                        rworange Jan 6, 2011 12:36 PM

                                                                                        OK. never mind then.

                                                                                        1. re: rworange
                                                                                          BubblyOne Jan 6, 2011 12:49 PM

                                                                                          Hey, no fair! You edited your previous post:) I also travel quite a bit, most often to Las Vegas and Napa every few months- so I feel confident when someone asks "Where is the best burger?" that I can give a decent (and recent) opinion.
                                                                                          I'm certainly not talking about the majority of posters or questioning your posts- just saying that no site offers everything for me.

                                                                                          1. re: BubblyOne
                                                                                            rworange Jan 6, 2011 01:05 PM

                                                                                            Never read my stuff under the 2 hour limit when it can be edited. However, I didn't edit it in response to a subsequent reply ... it was a work in progress.

                                                                                            No, I just misunder stood what you said, and thought that you were saying anyonw who posts a lot could not have been to a lot of restaurants. Some people just cover a lot of territory.

                                                                                            I didn't want to get too into this topic as it was originally meant for people in the San Diego area. But yes, it is good to get info from multiple sources. And nothing is fool proof. Despised Chowhound restaurants, I've liked and some favorites weren't mine. Ditto on yelp and every other site.

                                                                              2. d
                                                                                Dinsdale45 Jan 6, 2011 05:25 AM

                                                                                I find Yelp to be more comprehensive, and it's much easier to find reviews of a specific restaurant than it is on CH (I really hate the search feature on CH). That said, you do have to weigh the negative reviews based on content. I've seen Yelpers trash a restaurant that specialized in crawfish because they found crawfish too difficult to eat or another place because the owner didn't rush to their table to clean up their daughter's puke.

                                                                                1. Mrs Shoutfire Jan 6, 2011 03:58 AM

                                                                                  Absolutely yes. Yelp is especially useful to help find a decent eatery in touristy places where you might be lured by menu prices or attractive decor. Last summer, once a week, I took my elderly parents and my kid on a day trip, driving up to a couple of hours away from home. On each trip we ate lunch in a highly Yelp-rated restaurant, and each time we were very satisfied. We also liked that we didn't have to spend any time walking around checking out menus in windows, so we could spend more time sightseeing.

                                                                                  1. thew Jan 5, 2011 06:32 PM

                                                                                    here in NYC i find yelp to be very useful.

                                                                                    1. b
                                                                                      Breezychow Jan 5, 2011 03:29 PM

                                                                                      While I do enjoy Yelp & post on there for the Northern VA area, it is also true that some of the posters there definitely need to get a life. There aremore than a few who feel it absolutely necessary to write reviews for every single gas station, Starbucks, Mcdonalds, yadayadayaday ad infinitum. Very sad. It's not like there's a prize for the most reviews - lol!

                                                                                      But I've also gotten pointed in the direction of some pretty nice places that I otherwise would have missed. I just take the reviews with a grain of salt & try to read between the lines as much as I can.

                                                                                      1. f
                                                                                        fm1963 Jan 5, 2011 09:52 AM

                                                                                        What do you guys think of eGullet?

                                                                                        13 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: fm1963
                                                                                          s
                                                                                          small h Jan 5, 2011 10:09 AM

                                                                                          It's so aesthetically displeasing to me that I can't even read it.

                                                                                          1. re: fm1963
                                                                                            honkman Jan 5, 2011 10:11 AM

                                                                                            I really like eGullet but it has a different purpose than CH or Yelp. CH and Yelp are good for reviews of restaurants but eGullet is the best board for in depth discussions about cooking (their sous-vide discussion for example is still regarded as the major information for anybody on the net about it, also their charcuterie discussion are some of the best and most helpful) or business related issues. Many well-known chefs, cookbook authors (e.g. Greenspan, Wolfert) are also members and often participate in the discussions which is very interesting.

                                                                                            1. re: fm1963
                                                                                              j
                                                                                              Jase Jan 5, 2011 10:36 AM

                                                                                              I'm Los Angeles based and I find that their LA boards are sparse and not very focused on the items that interests me most in my daily meals.

                                                                                              1. re: fm1963
                                                                                                ipsedixit Jan 5, 2011 02:49 PM

                                                                                                I go to eGullet when I feel like reading Hemingway or Steinbeck.

                                                                                                I go to Chowhound when I feel like reading John Grisham or Stephen King

                                                                                                I go to Yelp when I feel like reading a comic book.

                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                  invinotheresverde Jan 5, 2011 03:15 PM

                                                                                                  Or reviews for gas stations. ;)

                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                    Jase Jan 5, 2011 03:23 PM

                                                                                                    Did you just insult comic books?

                                                                                                    1. re: Jase
                                                                                                      jgg13 Jan 5, 2011 08:08 PM

                                                                                                      don't you mean graphic novels?

                                                                                                      1. re: jgg13
                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                        Jase Jan 6, 2011 07:10 AM

                                                                                                        Not all comic books are graphic novels.

                                                                                                        1. re: Jase
                                                                                                          jgg13 Jan 6, 2011 11:24 AM

                                                                                                          I was being facetious

                                                                                                  2. re: fm1963
                                                                                                    Naco Jan 24, 2011 11:21 AM

                                                                                                    eGullet is a ghost town when it comes to the South. Chowhound has some serious issues, but it's the only place one can go to find a well-informed discussion of food in my part of the world.

                                                                                                    1. re: Naco
                                                                                                      honkman Jan 24, 2011 11:58 AM

                                                                                                      The focus of egullet isn't to talk about restaurants (even though there are regional boards) so much but more about cooking, food industry etc.

                                                                                                      1. re: honkman
                                                                                                        Naco Jan 24, 2011 12:17 PM

                                                                                                        Yes, I've noticed that, I just think that the restaurant discussion is a unique strength of CH that keeps me here in spite of a lot of other faults. My other choices are to go to eGullet and watch the tumbleweeds, or deal with the r4nd0m d00d factor on Yelp.

                                                                                                        1. re: honkman
                                                                                                          pamf Jan 24, 2011 07:49 PM

                                                                                                          When eGullet was new (I started there about 2004) there was a lot more regional/restaurant discussion. Although NYC definitely had most of the traffic because that's where the founders were located. It was a vibrant and friendly board.

                                                                                                          A few years ago the leadership decided that they wanted to focus on food professionals and not general chat. That's why I read this board now and rarely look at eGullet.

                                                                                                    2. j
                                                                                                      Jase Jan 5, 2011 07:16 AM

                                                                                                      One of the things I like about Yelp is you can click on a profile and see all the reviews from that person. It gives me a good idea on how trustworthy that particular reviewer can be. Or to see if their tastes matches mine.

                                                                                                      With Chowhound, you need to be more of a regular to get a feel for the posters and see whose tastes are calibrated to yours. Clicking on a poster profile here only shows you the thread they've posted in. You have to go into each thread to see their response, not as easy as Yelp to get a gauge on their tastes compatibility.

                                                                                                      Overall I tend to trust CH more but Yelp has some value to me. As another poster pointed out, Yelp is really helpful for the mapping function and list of areas. I use their app a lot for directions, hours and contact information. Often I'll note a restaurant here on CH and check to see if they're on Yelp. Then when I'm on the road looking for the place, it's easy to have the Yelp app up (say that 10 times fast) for reference.

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Jase
                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                        anakalia Jan 5, 2011 02:43 PM

                                                                                                        Agreed about the profiles -- it does really help.

                                                                                                        That being said, I used to use Yelp more when I lived in other cities (Phoenix, NYC) but I moved to the DC area recently and have been *really* disappointed with the places most Yelpers recommend. It's really odd. Perhaps, as someone posted, the Yelpers are more concerned with the scene of a restaurant/bar, not the food. Whatever the reason, Yelp has recently really led us astray in seeking out new restaurants.

                                                                                                        Also, when I start reading through the reviews, I often find comments like, "The food was too spicy and I hate spicy food," or I see someone reviewing an ethnic food they are obviously not familiar at all with -- therefore, I take their opinions with grains of salt.

                                                                                                        However, this doesn't seem to happen as much on CH.

                                                                                                        1. re: Jase
                                                                                                          rworange Jan 5, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                                                                          If you click on the posts link on a profile page, you can see recent posts without opening them. Here's your recent posts
                                                                                                          http://www.chow.com/profile/10746/act...

                                                                                                          1. re: rworange
                                                                                                            jgg13 Jan 5, 2011 08:08 PM

                                                                                                            recent posts is *so* much different than recent reviews.

                                                                                                            1. re: jgg13
                                                                                                              rworange Jan 5, 2011 10:23 PM

                                                                                                              I use Yelp. I can get just as much of a feel for what a poster likes by scanning their recent posts on Chowhound as. reading Yelp *reviews* ... sometimes more. The person I was replying to can at least take a look and see if it is any help here.

                                                                                                            2. re: rworange
                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                              Jase Jan 6, 2011 07:09 AM

                                                                                                              Thanks. Good point that I can see the posts without opening. It is a little tougher with the CH format since it's more of a conversation and seeing posts by themselves without context doesn't always give a feel for that person. But I should use that more often when I'm doing out of town research. With my local boards, I know the posters well enough. But definitely when doing research it would be great start and I can scan to see their reviews.

                                                                                                          2. Bob W Jan 5, 2011 06:35 AM

                                                                                                            I look at Yelp, but I trust Urbanspoon more. Check that one out too!

                                                                                                            1. Foody4life Jan 5, 2011 05:31 AM

                                                                                                              We use a combo of sites when venturing out to unknown areas. Primarily in this order:

                                                                                                              Chowhound
                                                                                                              Opentable - review tab
                                                                                                              Yelp - weeding out the lone wolf posters
                                                                                                              Restaurant's website - review links (obviously going to be biased but provides a perspective)
                                                                                                              Blogs
                                                                                                              Zagat website
                                                                                                              Local major newpaper's website - review section
                                                                                                              TripAdvisor - as a last resort. Tend to use TA more for hotels than food.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Foody4life
                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                tofuburrito Jan 5, 2011 06:18 AM

                                                                                                                I usually look at review sites after I've been to a restaurant.

                                                                                                              2. jgg13 Jan 4, 2011 08:07 PM

                                                                                                                As a data point in boston, I use CH for serious info gathering in my area, and I use Yelp to help drill down on a particular place that i'm interested in. So questions like "what's a good place to go to in the back bay" or simply keeping up with what's new, what's lcosing, what's changing, etc - that's all CH. If I want to know about random joint XYZ, I tend to go to yelp.

                                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                                  small h Jan 4, 2011 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                  I use Yelp in conjunction with many other sources. Yelp has a very useful mapping function, so if I know I'm going to want a meal in a particular area, Yelp can provide a list of nearby restaurants. Chowhound has nothing comparable to this (that I know of). It's also nice to see a different set of opinions and interests. Even with all the posts on the Manhattan board, there's a certain sameness to what gets mentioned and discussed most frequently.

                                                                                                                  1. ipsedixit Jan 4, 2011 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                    Yes, of course.

                                                                                                                    It's one data point amongst the many others I'll consider.

                                                                                                                    1. y
                                                                                                                      yfunk3 Jan 4, 2011 06:40 PM

                                                                                                                      Even though I take everything I read online (except maybe from legit news sources) with a grain of salt, I am willing to admit that I put more weight into Yelp! reviews than I do Chowhound reviews. It's not an insult or an endorsement of either community. I just think that Yelp! better represents the actual general population than Chowhound ever will, so I try to balance what I read on Yelp! and see what the general reviews say, and it's pretty easy to weed out both extreme ends of the review spectrum there. Most of the time, if a place has a high rating, the food will be mediocre/acceptable at worst (in my experience). If I want to go to a high-end place (which my budget doesn't allow much of the time), then I might search on Chowhound and see the general consensus, but for higher-end places, I tend to go with professional food critics and a few civilian reviews, plus maybe a friend/family member whose personality and preferences I am more in tune with than some random stranger on the internet.

                                                                                                                      1. invinotheresverde Jan 4, 2011 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                        To me, Yelp is more of a social board and not all that interested in food. One look at the board in my region confirms that it's overrun with Olive Garden and Cheesecake Factory reviews.

                                                                                                                        1. m
                                                                                                                          MrKrispy Jan 4, 2011 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                          As far as San Diego, it seems like Yelp has far more bogus/shill type reviews..Chow is pretty good at getting them removed quickly.

                                                                                                                          1. honkman Jan 4, 2011 11:46 AM

                                                                                                                            I don't think it is important where you get information (CH, yelp, blogs) but that you get to "know" the source of information through many posts. Taste is so subjective that you never should trust only one yelper, blogger CH but collect information from multiple places to get a feel for a restaurant and Yelp can be source for such information as much as CH or a blog

                                                                                                                            1. notjustastomach Jan 4, 2011 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                              Good questions. I was just thinking about going to Charisma Cucina Italiana for lunch, and since there's no discussion of it on Chowhound, I naturally looked over to Yelp instead.

                                                                                                                              Urbanspoon and iFood are two apps I use on my iPhone.

                                                                                                                              Urbanspoon is a rating site, like Yelp, focused on user reviews.
                                                                                                                              iFood has reviews, but focuses on photos of dishes taken by diners.

                                                                                                                              1. f
                                                                                                                                FishTales Jan 4, 2011 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                CH is o'course our primary site. We'll also check the restaurants section of TripAdvisor:

                                                                                                                                http://www.tripadvisor.com/

                                                                                                                                Cheers!

                                                                                                                                (Is this message in the right place? San Diego?)

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: FishTales
                                                                                                                                  y
                                                                                                                                  yanks26dmb Jan 4, 2011 11:21 AM

                                                                                                                                  Yep, I am a san diego ch'er..hope this topic belongs here!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: yanks26dmb
                                                                                                                                    f
                                                                                                                                    FishTales Jan 4, 2011 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                                    I saw your post on CH's opening message board. But now I think I've got it-- you're asking about Yelp in relation to San Diego. Got it. Sorry for the confusion.

                                                                                                                                    Cheers!

                                                                                                                                  2. re: FishTales
                                                                                                                                    notjustastomach Jan 4, 2011 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                    Trip advisor? Here's the site's top 10 for San Diego:

                                                                                                                                    1. Trellises Garden Grille
                                                                                                                                    2. Sushi Ota
                                                                                                                                    3. Phil's BBQ
                                                                                                                                    4. Kono's Cafe
                                                                                                                                    5. Muzita Abyssinian Bistro
                                                                                                                                    6. Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop
                                                                                                                                    7. Extraordinary Desserts
                                                                                                                                    8. The Cheesecake Factory
                                                                                                                                    9. Richard Walker's Pancake House
                                                                                                                                    10. The Oceanaire Seafood Room

                                                                                                                                    Definitely eclectic.

                                                                                                                                    I do have to admit that after 15 years in SD, I've never heard of Trellises Garden Grille. (Just checked on Yelp. Trellises Garden Grille has only one review, three stars.)

                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                    Oceanaire
                                                                                                                                    San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

                                                                                                                                    Extraordinary Desserts
                                                                                                                                    2929 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

                                                                                                                                    Phil's BBQ
                                                                                                                                    3750 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110

                                                                                                                                    Muzita Abyssinian Bistro
                                                                                                                                    4651 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116

                                                                                                                                    Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop
                                                                                                                                    1810 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103

                                                                                                                                    Sushi Ota
                                                                                                                                    4529 Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109

                                                                                                                                    Richard Walker's Pancake House
                                                                                                                                    550 Front St, San Diego, CA 92101

                                                                                                                                    The Cheesecake Factory
                                                                                                                                    7067 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92108

                                                                                                                                    1. re: notjustastomach
                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                      Just Visiting Jan 6, 2011 02:51 PM

                                                                                                                                      If I'm not mistaken, Trellises is one of the restaurants in the Town & Country "resort" - a bizarro 1950s cluster of motels and soviet-style highrises with its own convention center. Food is good enough, service is great, prices are what you'd expect - ridiculous - because everyone is basically held hostage.

                                                                                                                                      The DC tripadvisor list is actually pretty good, but the whole system is flawed because it is based on whatever 2-3 restaurants a guest happened to hit while here. For nearby Bethesda, the list leans to chains and places locals never go and seems to have a large number of restaurants that have been out of business for a couple of years.

                                                                                                                                      When in DC, use CH or donrockwell.com, particularly the latter if you want to know where the locals are eating at the moment.

                                                                                                                                  Show Hidden Posts