1.28.2015: Yelp’s top 100 / Taco Emoji


Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the US

In an industry that thrives on lists of lists of lists, breaking from the pack is admirable. But Yelp’s recent list is a head-scratcher in that nearly all of its Top 100 Places to Eat in the US seem to be of the small, neighborhood, under-the-radar variety.

That’s not to discount the validity or the quality of these places. It’s just interesting that Yelp’s data scientists came up with a list that is so different than any other list we’ve seen lately. (Also interesting is that somehow this list doesn’t contain any chain restaurants. While no one wants to read a list full of Olive Gardens and Cheesecake Factories, I have a suspicion that they were intentionally omitted.)

Mostly though, this list is another reminder of why it’s so hard to create blanket “best restaurant” lists with no other qualifiers. This list contains sit-down spots, counters, bakeries, and… a kettle corn stand in Oakland, CA.  Huh. Still, the trendy “internet of lists” isn’t going anywhere, so expect more of these to come. Until then, good on Yelp for creating a list that’s interesting and unexpected, however they did it.

illustration by April V. Walters


GrubMarket, Kinda Like Seamless for Farmers’ Markets

The latest food-delivery startup to receive press for its funding, GrubMarket, is capitalizing on the popularity of fresh, local foods — perhaps for those who don’t enjoy going to the farmers market to get it for themselves. You pick your produce (and other local products), GrubMarket finds it locally and delivers it to you.

Isn’t this like Good Eggs? Kind of. TechCrunch does a good job of explaining the differences: basically, Good Eggs operates from a central warehouse, while GrubMarket goes to producers to get the food. While this means the company is more dependent on individual producers — they can’t guarantee a precise delivery time, for example — it also means it’s super easy to get started in different locations across the country — all they need is a driver and a customer. What remains to be seen is if this on-the-fly model is sustainable should it catch on with the masses. And if it is, it means that it could soon be cost-effective and easier than ever to get fresh food no matter where you live.


The Taco Bell Taco Emoji Petition

Emoji madness! So, there’s no taco emoji and Taco Bell, the digitally savvy fast food spot thinks that’s a shame. So, they started a change.org petition that has now grown to include over 25,000 signatures. As Eater points out, there’s no guarantee the taco emoji will actually make it on to a mobile device near you, but… 25,000 backers for a tiny cartoon taco? That’s some seriously enthusiastic support.


Now We Have a “Seamless for Inside the Restaurant”

If you read anything about restaurants and technology, you’re aware of the recent burst of payment applications available to diners. You’re also probably aware of the funny ways in which they’re described in the press. The latest: Reserve gets written up in Fast Company as “Seamless for inside the restaurant.” Don’t know why, but that description made me giggle. It’s also a very accurate portrayal of the service within an article that does a great job of explaining all of the other payment apps and how they’re different. Worth reading or just keeping on hand to reference as these services grow and change.


…to Rene Redzepi and the Noma crew, currently manning their Japan restaurant, as they take over the@Saveurmag Instagram account this week. Check it out!

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