Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Site Talk >
Jul 6, 2011 08:08 AM

restaurant database question

So I've been trying to search a few restaurants. It says "search in New York City". It keeps coming up with nothing when I enter a restaurant name that happens to be in Brooklyn. WTF? Is there some trick to searching restaurants outside Manhattan that I am missing? If this is just a glitch in the system - then someone ought to tell the powers that be that all of the five boroughs are part of "New York City".

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you are on the Outer Borough board and can't find it it's possible that it's not in the CH database? What is the name of one of the restaurants you are looking for? That always helps others to see what might be going on. Often times I'll simply go to a post in the board I'm looking on for a certain restaurant and click on manage my links and look for it that way (i don't actually post a reply - I just locate the restaurant place link that way).

    1. Could you please provide some more information about the restaurant in question? We recently dealt with an issue affecting the names of certain cities, and this could be related. However, it's more likely that Servorg is correct. If you can provide the restaurant's name, address, and anything else pertinent, I can check to be sure.

      1. Okay here's what I did. I went to the button Restaurants at the top of this page. It came to a "new york city" sort of "home page" type thing. In the search bar at the top of the page "New York City" was already in the box. I entered Roberta's - which the auto typing accurately completed for me. Hit search. Nothing but some restaurant on Madison Avenue comes up.

        Second attempt ... I do the same thing. Go to Restaurants button at top of page, end up on a "new york city" page. In the search bar it says "New York City" and in the other box I begin typing Di Fara. Again the auto typing accurately completes the word and I click on that and then on the search button. Three pizza places in Manhattan are returned in the search.

        Final attempt ... I go to the Restaurants button and end up on the New York City "home page" for restaurants. Right there on the page is a big headline "NEW ARRIVALS". So I use the first one listed there -- Brooklyn Bread House. I enter that in the search box at the top of the page. When I begin typing it, the auto typing completes it and I click that. It already says "new york city" in the other box of the search bar. The results are the Waterfront Ale House and something else.

        So please tell me exactly what I am doing wrong here. I did not fill in the space "New York City" - it's already filled in. In the last example, I chose a restaurant name which is listed RIGHT THERE on Chow's own New York City home page as a "New Arrival". Obviously these restaurants are all in the database since the auto typing accurately filled them in. Yet not one of the three examples got returned correctly. In each case only places in Manhattan were returned - and not even close in terms of the names either.

        It seems to me that the auto-filled "New York City" is only returning Manhattan listings. If that is the case, then it's wrong and needs to be fixed.

        18 Replies
        1. re: LNG212

          I went to the "Outer Boroughs" board and went from the "Discussion" choice over to the "Restaurant" choice on the search box and entered Roberta's and Brooklyn in the location box and this came up as the only database entry:

          1. re: Servorg

            I went from another board (don't recall, perhaps Manhattan) and clicked on the Restaurants tab. The search field at that point ALREADY WAS FILLED IN with "New York City". So that's a problem. Since Roberta's is obviously in New York City. Just not in Manhattan. So unless a person know to correct the auto-filled field (and why should they?), they will get no or wrong results.

            1. re: LNG212

              Just for fun I went to Google and entered the term Roberta's NYC and the correct Brooklyn restaurant was the top search return.

              1. re: Servorg

                Well, yes, of course. I tried that too to make sure I knew it really was in brooklyn. But the issue I was trying to raise here was that the restaurants page doesn't seem to want to search correctly.

            2. re: Servorg

              Okay, I just tested it to see if what you did worked better. I went to the Outerboroughs board. Then I hit the Restaurants tab. I still come to a page that says NEW YORK CITY at the top. I type in Di Fara in the box and it auto-fills the restaurant name correctly. "New York City" is already filled into the other box. I hit search. Nothing gets returned but three pizza places in Manhattan.

              So going from Manhattan to the Restaurants tab or from Outerboroughs to the Restaurant tab makes no difference for me.

              1. re: LNG212

                That is odd. I went to the big "Choose a Board" button and then (after clicking on "see all boards") selected "Outer Boroughs" and when I click on "Restaurant" I get a "Name, Cuisine..." and in the next box over I get "Location..."

                1. re: Servorg

                  Really? For me, each and every time I've tried this now, the second box on the search bar is already filled in with "New York City". Hmmmm .... now I'm really stumped. How would it have known to fill that in? Manhattan is my home board - but how would the machine know that?

                  1. re: LNG212

                    If I remember the mechanics correctly, the first time you visit, the list of regions is shown. However, once a region has been selected, CHOW will remember your most recent region selection and take you directly to that region's page and search. It's possible that the method Servorg described circumvents that feature in some way.

                    1. re: Engineering

                      Okay, cool. We're getting closer. Did you see what I wrote directly below? I discovered that we were both hitting "restaurants" in different places. And that seems to make a difference.

                      But it still doesn't resolve the "new york city" search problem.

                      1. re: LNG212

                        Admittedly it does not; the city being filled in automatically is unfortunately (mostly) unrelated. Manually filling in "New York City" has the same effect as the automatically provided version.

                        This may take a while to get to the root of, which is why I mentioned the workaround below as a short term solution. Again, my apologies for the trouble in the interim.

                  2. re: Servorg

                    AHA! I've found something different and maybe that'll help Engineering in their search for the source of the problem.

                    Here's what I was doing before: on the Outer boroughs board I hit the "restaurants" tab that is in RED directly under the "H" of CHOWHOUND. When I did that, I got to the "New York City" home page type area where that "NEW YORK CITY" was already filled into the search box.

                    New try: from the Outer Boroughs board I see the search part at the top right. I click on the little tiny "restaurants" button there. In this case the box for location says "location" and I must fill it in.

                    So depending on where you click "restaurants" you end up in a different place!

              2. re: LNG212

                Hm. Our database lists the city for those restaurants as "Brooklyn". I would have sworn that we had something in place to deal with cases like this where the "city" is one of the five boroughs, but I'm having some trouble pinning it down at the moment.

                Just to make sure I'm not barking up the wrong tree, has search dealt with the boroughs correctly in the past? Or is this a long-standing issue?

                In either case, I'll look into this in depth. As a workaround, using the appropriate borough as the city name in the second search box should provide the results you're looking for. Apologies for the trouble.

                1. re: Engineering

                  That work around is fine. But it won't help someone not from here (e.g. tourists or others unsure) who will click on the Restaurants tab and get the ALREADY AUTO FILLED field that says "new york city". And then get no or incorrect search results. Also, a person would have to know which borough to fill into that field (and know to erase what is already filled in there) in order to search properly.

                  As for the long-standing issue question, I have no idea. I've never used the Restaurants tab to search for something before. So perhaps others can chime in on this point. This was my first time trying to search for a restaurant/address by going directly to the Restaurants page (usually I'm using menu pages for that - which, come to think of it, maybe I'll stick to doing).

                  1. re: LNG212

                    Maybe I havent explored all the options, but I cant see any way of searching the Restaurant database that includes all of New York City.

                    The data base reads New York City as NY, NY i.e. Manhattan.
                    the Restaurant data coding for the outer boroughs is inconsistent, but generally you should put in the borough you want, i.e. Brooklyn,NY in the search box.

                    I always use the little search box up top right under my name. for restaurant search.
                    if there is text tere, just ignore it, and type in your search request.
                    The overall Restaurant home page is useless to me since

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      <<can't see any way of searching the restaurant database that includes all of New York City>>

                      Yeah, I know that now. I just think that either they should FIX this problem or they should not call that part of the restaurant database "New York City" since it ENTIRELY inaccurate.

                      I think it's fine to expect a local person to know which borough to plug in. I usually do. But if a tourist, e.g., is seeing lots of recs for "Peter Lugar", how are they to know which borough to plug in to search the database? And why should they have to know that? Knowing that it is New York City should be sufficient.

                      Like you, I hadn't found much need for the database but in fooling around with it one day, I stumbled into this problem and thought I'd point it out to the powers that be.

                      1. re: LNG212

                        the front end of the CH restaurant database is pitiful. like the site is not really trying. Im hoping for a better interface and smart changes but not holding my breath.

                        Google maps just retooled its restaurant place pages. Looks like they are aiming directly to be a competitor in this space, emphasizing user reviews and deemphasizing reviews from partner sites - in fact they seem to have dropped tripadvisor reviews altogether while continuing to link some online sites without experpting their reviews anymore. Downside, their old place pages had info, drawn from partner sits on stuff like opening days, cuisine, etc as well as the capsure reviews That info is all gone now so the interface looks a bit dumbed down and more social-media-like..

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          <<sigh>> I hear you about the "dumbed down" and "more social media like" thing. That's been a lot of my impression about recent changes here on CH ("wanna go"? really?). And I don't think they are changes for the better .

                          It's too bad that basic accuracy of information and tools to make the site really work seem to be shifted onto the "we don't care" platform. Another example is squid kun's ongoing efforts to get the Engineers to fix the place locating on The Best Board. Or the efforts to get them to include all the new zip codes in Manhattan that they've entirely ignored so those restaurants don't get linked to. It's frustrating and tiresome.

                          I've never tried searching restaurant places through google (other than generalized searches). I'll have to check it out some time.

                          1. re: LNG212

                            on google - well I saw on line last night that they had pulled back from providing all the info drawn from local sites, maybe under legal pressure - usually if you search on google using correct name of restaurant and city name in local language you will see a place page entry among the first search results. Like I said, since they changed their approach, in the last couple of days it was a great info aggregator. Now its limited to the map, solid address and phone number info,links to some local info sources and reports and pix posted directly on the google place page - note, some info detail that had previously been on the 'place page" has moved right out into the search results.
                            See first entry here, which seems be to google-generated.
                            or this one

                            I think it would be great if CH would partner with google on this facility - we are so far down in restaurant search results