Can We See the Menu, Please?

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Menu_pages For years now, we bloggers have been enthusiastic fans of the website MenuPages.com. The site has a very simple premise: It provides relatively up-to-date, plain text, on-screen and pdf versions of restaurant menus in New York City, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, L.A.and San Francisco. The site is a boon when the restaurant you’re thinking of eating at has no website, or posts their menu online without prices (sooo irritating!), or if you’re trying to find a particular type of restaurant in a particular neighborhood, as their listings tend to be pretty darn comprehensive. Being able to view the actual menus frees restaurant-hunters from having to decipher the always mysterious price-reporting systems of reviewing bodies like Zagat and local newspapers. (How inexpensive is “inexpensive”? Does the two-and-a-half-fork price include dessert?) And the site also includes the ever-so-cool Find-a-Food search that allows you to search not only by cuisine but by actual menu item. (Saag paneer in Capitol Hill, anyone? Pupusas in the Mission?)

So it is with great pleasure that IT announces the launch of MenuPages’ new food blog network (currently covering S.F., Philly, Boston, and Chicago). All four blogs launched in March, and once they get a little time under their belts will allow many users to one-stop-shop not only for menu information, but tips on whether the restaurants in question are actually worth visiting.

IT’s favorite feature to date? The roundups of reviews from other local publications, which (if they ever launch a D.C. blog) would be useful in preventing the kind of Washington Post/City Paper/Washingtonian cross-referencing we often go through before trying a new place.

It’s a good thing MenuPages alerted us to the existence of their new blogs, as they’re not promoted particularly noticeably on the city homepages at the moment. In addition to putting their blogs front-and-center, we hope they’ll start linking to relevant blog entries from restaurant pages (they’ve already got the reverse down pat), so that we can do one-stop searching as well.