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Aug 22, 2013 12:36 PM

How do you save a list of restaurants to try?

This question has been on my mind so I thought I would ask others how they save lists of restaurants that they want to try. I will see many great suggestions on this board, from friends, reviews online, etc. but then can't seem to think of any when it comes time to try something new. Happen to you?

Ideally it would be something with mobile capabilities (Droid) for me - I'm currently debating Yelp bookmarks. What do you use? Thank you for your input!

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  1. I was going to recommend Catch, but they're dropping the service, so I'm looking for a replacement, ideally something that will work on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

    1. I use an app called WorkFlowy, which is really a generalized task-list kind of app. It allows for different categories of task, and I just have one entitled "restaurants to try." It has a phone app that syncs with a website. Very simple.

      1 Reply
      1. re: afdawson

        Looks pretty cool, I'll check it out. Thanks for the suggestion.

      2. Yelp bookmarks are great. You can use the "what's nearby" feature on your phone to quickly see the bookmarks that are nearest to where you are in the city.

        One major caveat though! The iPhone and Android yelp apps do not understand the concept of bookmark "notes" (I usually type in a few notes when at home on my laptop about which dish to try). You won't see these notes in your phone AND if you accidentally click the "bookmark" icon in the app (easy to do) it will forever erase your note without confirmation.

        I avoid that bookmark icon as best as I can, and when I want to read my notes on what to order, I click through to the "full site" in my phone to read them. That part is a pain, but the "whats nearby" feature is too killer not to use.

        6 Replies
        1. re: sfchris

          I agree Yelp bookmarks are great, along with the mapping feature to see which one of your bookmarks are nearby.

          1. re: sfchris

            I use Yelp bookmarks too. Very easy, whatever you think about their ratings system.

            1. re: sfchris

              Is there some way to view the list of bookmarks in the Yelp Android app? If there is I can't find it.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Make sure you actually installed the app and are not just using the mobile web page.

                The first page that loads on the Yelp app has 9 icons on it. One of them is "Bookmarks". As mentioned "Sort by distance to me" is a great to see which ones are closest.

                As I said, be careful about disabling and then reenabling a bookmark from this app. If you do that, it will destroy any "notes" you took in your bookmark.

                1. re: sfchris

                  Thanks, that looks pretty useful. Somehow I already have ten or so bookmarks. I don't remember ever knowing about or using that feature.

              2. re: sfchris

                I also select the "desktop view" when using my phone on yelp. I hate the mobile version (galaxy 4). After that, it's a useful bookmarking tool.

              3. I created a database, which I keep on my computer at home and also on my iPhone. I can edit it from either platform and sync the two via WiFi. I usually copy the important details (name, location, hours, etc.) and maybe a few sentences from the review or board post that caught my attention, so I can remember what's supposed to be good. I can search or sort it by city, neighborhood, cuisine, or other keywords. At the moment, I'm up to 250 records.

                I created this originally in Filemaker Pro, but the updates to that were getting too expensive. Then Apple released Bento, which is a cheap, simple database app with fewer bells and whistles than Filemaker, but plenty for my purpose. I use that currently. Bento is available for Mac OS, iPhone and iPad, but sorry, not for Windows or Android (but take a look here for an app that promises to be a lot like it on the Android platform ). I promise you, you do NOT have to be all that computer savvy to work with Bento.

                2 Replies
                1. re: MsMaryMc

                  I checked out that article that talks about Memento which sounds very cool. Supposed to be the comparable to Bento. This sounds pretty cool for other reasons too so I will definitely check it out!

                  1. re: MsMaryMc

                    Update: Apple abandoned Bento in 2013. Now, with every subsequent update to the Mac OS or the iOS, I've known that my Bento databases might stop working. So, I finally stopped living with crossed fingers, and went looking for a new cross-platform database to transfer my restaurant list.

                    The one I chose was HanDBase. It's not as slick as Bento, it has a few stability issues, and the Mac version is pretty stripped-down and lacking in features. But on the other hand, it's perfectly functional, it's been around forever, and it does what I want it to do. They make versions for Windows and Mac desktops as well as for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and even Palm OS. You can sync between your devices, so you can do the data entry on your desktop, with a real keyboard, and then carry the info around on your phone. And the price wasn't bad--$14.95 for the desktop version (be SURE to get HanDBase Plus, and not the basic HanDBase for Windows or Mac, if you want to sync with a phone), and $9.99 for the iPhone version. They also offer free trial versions.

                    In theory, I should have been able to export my records from Bento and import them into HanDBase. In reality, the results I got were kind of a mess--fields didn't line up, words got garbled, and the cleanup would've been just too much to be worth it. So I ended up creating the database in HanDBase, and cutting and pasting all 270+ of my records into it (one of the few advantages to being unemployed--I had the time!) My other complaint is that I had to do most of the work of creating and tweaking the database structure on my iPhone, because you can't do much of that in the Mac version. That's a lot less convenient when using that itty-bitty screen and keyboard.

                    But now that I have the database loaded and tweaked, it's great. I've created shortcuts to show restaurants in particular parts of town, or serving particular cuisines. Clicking on the URL field takes you to the restaurant's website in your phone's browser, and clicking the phone number dials a call.

                    The developer has a gallery of hundreds of databases that users have created and shared. If you want to see mine ("Fav Restaurants"), it's available there for download at . This one has no records, so you can easily add your own--but if anybody wants to see mine, covering Seattle and surrounding areas, just let me know.

                  2. "I will see many great suggestions on this board, from friends, reviews online, etc. but then can't seem to think of any when it comes time to try something new."

                    I'm 52, pretty tech savvy and use various apps to keep lists, etc. But you know what else works pretty well? A piece of paper and a pen. Keep them near the computer or on the coffee table or wherever, and just write down the name of a restaurant when one you are interested in presents itself. Soon enough, you'll have a list. :)

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      Hi ttoommyy, this made me laugh out loud, or LOL, in tech savvy terms! I love it, a paper and pen - who would have guessed. I was just wondering if I was missing out on some cool app for such a list.

                      1. re: bellemdm

                        I knew that was at the heart of your post. :)

                        I, too, keep thinking "there must be an app for this" whenever I find myself doing a task the "old school" way, but sometimes that way is just fine. Unless you are considering building a serious data base of information; then I can see the advantages of an app or computer program to help.

                      2. re: ttoommyy

                        The problem with paper is that it's near the computer when I'm at the coffee table, on the coffee table when I'm at the computer, and at home when I'm out and want to find a restaurant.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Think of all the restaurants we missed out on before we had electronic devices and had to rely on pen and paper. The horrors!!! :)

                          (just being silly; no snarkiness meant at all)