The "Why Isn’t There" Rant

Why hasn’t anyone come up with a comprehensive food website yet- an ESPN.com for food. The major food magazines are doing a good job but they’re not comprehensive enough. I want searchable, aggregated restaurant reviews from pros and bloggers alike (like what Rotten Tomatoes does for films) with up to the minute information on new restaurants like Eater. Sorry Zagat and Citysearch you’re as antiquated as the Yellow Pages. I want message boards like Chowhound and eGullet tied to reservation capabilities like Open Table with photos like Tastespotting and chef interviews like Just One Plate and social networking like Yelp or Myspace. A one stop shop.
With their wide market share, I think the Food Network is best equipped to do it.
Side rant: Unfortunately, FN’s narrow minded focus is sucking the life out of me. Not all Food Network fans are Walmart shopping mid-western housewives. We don’t really want to see a lifeless battles of which Holly homemaker makes the best “‘hoppin’ jalapeno cornbread.” Anthony Bourdain isn’t the only guy out there that makes food look interesting- he’s just the only one that has a TV show about it (sorry Daniel Boulud, I don’t get MojoHD).
Jennifer points out that there’s a lot of food sites trying to capitalize on the growing foodie market. Hopefully one of them will either buy up all the good food sites and blogs and combine them or take the reigns and get a comprehensive food site together. We’re out here and we’re hungry for it.

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4 Responses to “The "Why Isn’t There" Rant”

  1. howie Says:

    Hi,

    I know we can do a lot better (and we’re working on it), but I humbly submit that our site (http://www.foodieview.com/) might be the closest thing to what you describe. In general, sites have not been interested in aggregating content; they want to keep their users locked into only their content – not their competitors.

    But we think there’s real value in putting things together in one place. We’re still the biggest recipe search engine on the web, and we’ll get even bigger soon in an upcoming update, which we’re going to add a couple of thousand food blogs. And I believe we’re currently doing the best job of aggregating the restaurant reviews from bloggers, newspapers, and review sites for the cities that we cover.

    Sorry if this sounds spammy, but you did ask :)

    Incidentally, you can see Food Marathon’s coverage on foodieview here:
    http://www.foodieview.com/restaurants/losangeles/site/foodmarathon.blogspot.com

  2. Antonio Evans Says:

    I agree with you on a couple of items on your list of the perfect food website. I run FriendsEAT.com we hit many of these points but it’s good to hear from a blogger who is passionate about food. Daniel is great on After Hours on MojoHD. But Anthony Bourdain is definitely the man.

    oh an foodieview is a cool engine. Good stuff howie!

  3. 2nd-favorite Says:

    Not sure if I can comment as I don’t run a food site, just a humble flog that hasn’t seen much action lately.
    Anyway, great post. Something like this is definitely needed.
    I might add, perhaps for those building these sites, a really cool feature would be to create a recipe search engine, into which you could list all of your available ingredients. For instance you do not want to travel to the store but have to eat, right. I think it would be fairly simple to do using some database.
    You are very right that something like this is needed, and could be profitable. Not sure why no one has nailed it yet.

  4. Digital vs Analog Food Writing Fight « Says:

    [...] I wrote last year about the void in the online food market- the lack of a clear, single source for good food news, recipes and restaurant reviews (an ESPN.com for food). Eater is trying, Serious Eats is trying and all the while lone bloggers like myself are making it harder for them. I don’t know who will win the digital vs digital battle but we’re in the thick of it now and I look forward to seeing how it plays out. [...]

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