5.28.2014: @UnderfingerNY / Yelp Video

illustration by April V. Walters


The Hippest Restaurant You’ve Never Heard Of

The smarties at The Infatuation (disclosure: I know them) punked a whole lot of “early adopters” with a hilarious review of a fake restaurant. It’s especially hilarious because …it could be true. (I thought it was real for a few hours, which is longer than most internet hoaxes keep me going for.)

You need to read the full review of Underfinger to get the joke, but let tidbits like “All we can say is that you’ve never seen anything like this before, and yet it feels so familiar,” and “The end result is one of the city’s most impressive tasting menus, a somber celebration of “farm-to-finger” ingredients and classic Neo-Nordic techniques” entice you to read the full thing. Plus, the “menu” includes a “charcuterie glove.Instead of a board or a plate, your server will place a different dried meat on each of your fingers, then stitching them together with a single strand of edible silk. The end result is a salty, delicious fashion statement.” Also: seahorse sashimi. Of course there’s a Twitter account, too.

I love this. It is a beautiful example of the echo chamber that is online food media and a great statement about the way we obsess over trends and hotspots. After posting the “review,” Underfinger took on a life of its own, and is now going to be a real dinner at a real restaurant in Brooklyn. Things like this remind me why the internet is worth loving. Well-played, sirs.

(The Braiser compiled a few great responses to the piece. Worth a look.)



Pay Your Tab with Instagram

So… we’re doing this now, huh? OK, to be fair, this appears to be a one-time event meant to draw publicity, but… it doesn’t seem too far-fetched. The deal: post a photo of your restaurant meal to Instagram using a specific hashtag chosen by an advertiser or food company, and get the food for free.

Blerg. Can you imagine if this sort of thing catches on? Suddenly, Instagram feeds will be filled with [even more] poorly-lit images of plates of food that look anything but appetizing, followed by some sort of advertiser-sponsored hashtag, all in the name of free food with a side-helping of the entitlement that goes with it. People photograph and share meals they love or to represent moments they enjoyed. Let’s not sell out.



Add Video to Your Yelp Reviews because YOLO!

Oh boy! Yelp now supports video within reviews, which means you can not only read all about someone’s restaurant experience, you can watch a 12-second video, too.

I’m cynical, but the move makes sense given the importance of both mobile and live, “in-the-moment” content — both of which are on-trend at the moment. Yelp Elites will receive video functionality next month, with a wider release to follow.



The Best Restaurant in the World Is (Finally) on Twitter

Copenhagen’s Noma, recently (re)named the world’s best restaurant, is on Twitter. Obviously, the content is already fantastic. (Bee larvae just came in, apparently.) Follow the restaurant at @nomacph.



Facebook Now Supports Restaurant Menus

Anything that brings us closer to the end of the PDF-menus-on-websites era is good with me. Smartly, Facebook jumped on that train, and will allow restaurants to include menus on their Facebook pages. The functionality is limited for now (no advanced search functions or anything fancy), but shows Facebook’s understanding that a restaurant’s menu is one of the most important features of its business success.



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