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Mar 23, 2011 11:47 PM

Blind spot in place searches on The Best board

Here's a longstanding problem. Apologies if it's been reported, but I'm not finding a previous mention.

On The Best board for the New York metro area ("Tips for Dining, Eating and Food Shopping across the New York Region"), it's not possible to link Chow place records for venues in New York City. They just don't show up in the drop-down menu when you try to add a link.

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  1. As if on cue, here's a fresh example:

    A poster asks on The Best board about Italian restaurants in Brooklyn and gets some on-topic replies. But none of the restaurants that come up in the thread are picked up by the auto-link function, even though they're in the CHOW database - Gargiulo's (, Maria's (, L&B Spumoni Gardens (, Il Fornetto (, La Villa's Mill Basin location ( - nor can they be added to a thread on this board.

    Let's fix this. The way it works now is unhelpful to Chowhound users.

    5 Replies
    1. re: squid kun

      I'll ask Engineering to check the definitions for The Best, but you're not supposed to be able to auto-link things on this board.

      1. re: Jacquilynne

        Thanks, Jacquilynne!

        Auto-linking does seem to be working on The Best board; it just skips New York City venues. Here's a recent thread on bagels: - it mentions a slew of places in the city (none with place links) and one in Randolph, NJ, which does have a link.

        1. re: Jacquilynne

          that doesnt make sense - its a board that covers the whole region.. Exactly the sort of discussions that should have linking activated to show folks where the best places are..

          1. re: jen kalb

            I meant 'Site Talk' when I said 'this board' -- I thought that's what squid kun meant there -- that he'd tried linking them here and it didn't work.

      2. Here's another blind spot affecting a much more heavily used board: Manhattan.

        A spot check suggests that users can't link from Manhattan threads to Chow venues in the 10065 and 10075 ZIP codes on the Upper East Side. Those records don't seem to show up in the menu when you try to add a place link under Manage Your Links.

        Here's one example suggesting that the ZIP codes (relatively new ones, carved out of 10021 in 2007) are the problem: There's an Indian restaurant on East 68th Street called Tawa (or Tawaa; there's confusion about the spelling) that happens to have duplicate Chow records, the older one listed in 10021 and the newer one in 10065. The Chow record for Tawaa in 10021 can be linked from a Manhattan thread; the record for Tawa in 10065 can't be.

        Wonder if anyone else can replicate this bug. Try replying to any Manhattan thread and linking Daniel, one of the city's best-known high-end French restaurants (it's in 10065). Or the uptown branch of French chocolatier La Maison du Chocolat (10075). Or Tori Shin, one of the top yakitori places in town (10065). Hope we can get to the bottom of this.

        8 Replies
        1. re: squid kun

          I think Manhattan is managed by zip code, so that would make sense. I'm actually on vacation this week, but I've asked Engineering to send me the current definitions of all the boards, and I'll check this along with Best and a couple of others that have been mentioned as issues when I'm back working next week. (Gilroy on San Francisco comes immediately to mind, but there are others.)

          1. re: Jacquilynne

            Above and beyond the call of duty, Jacquilynne! Thanks - and do try to enjoy your vacation.

            1. re: squid kun

              Ha. I just moved and took the time off to paint and unpack. Stopping to do actual work is a welcome respite from standing on a step ladder breathing in fumes.

            2. re: Jacquilynne

              One implication of the ZIP code system is that most trucks and other mobile food vendors won't be linkable in Chowhound threads, since most of their records were entered with no ZIP code. (Exceptions include a handful with more or less permanent addresses, like Manhattan's 53rd/Sixth Ave. halal cart -


              A spot check seems to confirm this: A couple of venues entered minus ZIP were unlinkable in a Manhattan thread ( ) until a few minutes after I'd added a ZIP code to their records; one is Taim Mobile -

              Would you recommend that future records for mobile vendors be entered with a ZIP code?

            3. re: squid kun

              What progress has the site made on this ZIP code bug? As long as it persists, it raises a fairness question.

              Check out the attached screen grab of a Manhattan thread about pizza in NYC. It includes addresses and map positions (plus links to more info) on the right side of the page for several restaurants cited in the thread. But Italian Village ( ), mentioned by the last poster, can't and won't get this benefit. Why? Apparently because it's in one of the excluded ZIP codes, 10075.

              Until this bug is fixed, Chow and Chowhound are giving preference to restaurants outside the 10075 and 10065 ZIP codes, and any others missed by the current definitions. If the site crew can't fix this right away, it should block all links from the boards to Chow restaurant pages. Otherwise the site is unfairly favoring some restaurants over others.

              1. re: squid kun

                Sorry, I don't have an update for you other than that I'm looking into it with Engineering.

                1. re: Jacquilynne

                  Thanks, Jacquilynne. Appreciate your efforts, as always!

                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                    Another problem ZIP code appears to be 10080, a relatively new one in the World Financial Center area downtown. In Manhattan threads I've tried and failed to link several venues in this ZIP.

              2. A new wrinkle: Some Chow records for restaurants in the New York City borough of Queens can be linked from threads on The Best board. One is Excellent Thai in Flushing - . Another is Ayada in Woodside -

                But I tried linking other Queens venues from threads on The Best, like the famous SriPraPhai, and couldn't do it - the place just didn't show up in the menu. And as before, I couldn't link existing records for restaurants in other New York City boroughs, including Manhattan and Brooklyn.

                Anyway, hope this gets us closer to solving this mystery. Is there an open ticket on this bug? Any progress reports will be appreciated.

                1. Here's a fresh example from 4/28/11:

                  Anyone posting on The Best board in search of great views is going to want the address info contained in Chow place records, and naturally they'll want that info on venues in New York City like the River Cafe in Brooklyn. But for now they won't get it on Chow, because Chow records for New York City venues still can't be linked from threads on The Best board.

                  This bug has been reported; no acknowledgment yet on Site Talk, so it's not clear that a ticket has been entered. How about a progress report? Any news will be appreciated.

                  1. You should consider turning off auto-linking on The Best board until this issue's resolved. As long as the system's linking only venues outside NYC, most of those links will be bad. See this post, for example ... .