Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Urbanspoon App, For Free

One thing I'll never get tired of is eating at interesting restaurants. We've got a lot of them in Atlanta--no shortage of whatever cuisine you might be desiring. My newfound mobility (in the form of a '99 Subaru Forester) and windfall (in the form of the remnants of a lucrative summer internship at the hands of Big Oil) combined with several good friends having the same have afforded me a lot more opportunity to quest for decent places to eat.

The biggest problem is that I'm horrible at picking restaurants.

I'm bad at making a lot of decisions, but I'm actually really good at important ones. Where to go for grad school? I'll do fine making that choice. How much to spend once you get to the restaurant? I have very good self-control. "Should we go to Target or Best Buy first?" "I don't care." "No, really, which one?" "Um, really, I can't make that decision. It doesn't matter." The lower the stakes for a decision, I think, the worse I am at making it.

Now comes the Urbanspoon app, which is possibly the most hipster phrase I've ever uttered. "Urbanspoon app". It just smacks of people who wear scarves in October but not January, who read a lot of McSweeney's and Dave Eggers, and who scorn corporate culture except for when it happens to be emblazoned with the Apple emblem. But no matter. The Urbanspoon app is pure genius.

Shake your iPhone, and it tells you where to eat dinner. It's not random, either. It's weighted toward where you are right now (via GPS) and what's gotten the best reviews on the website (via an actually legitimate use of Web 2.0). Don't like the idea? Shake it again. This, and this alone, might make me want an iPhone. Then again, $300 and $90 per month for dining advice? Maybe I'll pass.

Or, as several of my friends have suggested, you can do this for free. Write down the name of twenty or thirty restaurants, some of which you know and like, some of which you want to try. Put them in a Ziploc bag. Shake it, and pull one out. Concerned about the directions? Write them on the back!

Here's where you come in. I'm taking suggestions for restaurants to write down on my ghetto "Urbanspoon app", and I'd like to take a quick screen of where everybody thinks is worth eating.

After all, I'm not about to pick a restaurant by myself.

Currently listening: "Disturbia", Rihanna (no, really. It's a good song.)

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