Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Works for me Wednesday - Yelp

Although I am all about trying to pound our grocery budget down as small as possible, I also LOVE to eat out. And eating out usually is... well... expensive. Luckily for me, I love to eat at little hole-in-the-wall ethnic spots that are generally affordable. How do I find them? I use this awesome website called Yelp.

Yelp is like the amazon.com of cities. You create a profile and start reviewing things around you - restaurants, businesses, salons, etc. I discovered it in Chicago where even places like my favorite independent corner coffee shop has 50 reviews, and more centrally located and popular places will have upwards of 150 reviews. The Dallas yelp site is less used but it is has been my go-to resource to find non chain restaurants.

Iroro on Yelp

I can go onto the Dallas home page and type in "thai restaurants" and then my address, and it will pull up a map of my area with pin-points for all the local thai places. You can see their ratings by other yelpers, how expensive it is, what the hours are, find their phone number, and perhaps write down some suggested dishes. Other times I'll be headed somewhere for an event or a meeting and I'll search for nearby restaurants or theaters to schedule my evening out.Yelpers all have their own personality, so the reviews tend to be interesting! Some are more informational while others are snarky or bubbly.

I think yelp is super fun. Admittedly, it's not going to be very helpful for you if you live in the country, but if you live in the city it'll absolutely help you find fun restaurants and good businesses around you. If you become a member it can also be used as a social networking site (there's a chat section and they throw yelp events), but for me I primarily use it to get away from the endless chain restaurants of Dallas and find fun independent places. In fact, if you see my next post, it is all about my weekend exploration of a Vietnamese area that I found via Yelp.

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