In the design of dining sets, the cost of beauty too often comes at the cost of comfort. If you've ever been asked to sit on a chair covered in plastic, then you know what I'm talking about. My mom had a very dramatic, very pretty dining room set when I was growing up, but I have very few memories of actually eating on it. What I do remember is the annoying feeling of crinkly plastic under me during dinner. Is this the price we have to pay for a dining room table that's worth looking at? … Read more
No bachelor pad is complete without a few well-known essential items: music, drink, and mood. But times have moved beyond exotic tunes warming up the hi-fi set, olive adorned martini glasses, and romantic mood lighting. The modern swank setup needs something a little extra to impress today's discerning women.
Instead of laying down the tunes with Arthur Lyman's Taboo, why not spice up and vibe the night with this marimba table? Yes, marimba table. Dinner and a show. You're sure to impress your date with this table that doubles as a musical instrument.
It's a concept … Read more
In this day and age when every other person is a self-described foodie, finding the best mobile application to point you to a taste bud-bending experience requires as much discernment as finding the authentic voice from among throngs of folks who think they know good eats.
I'd be lying if I didn't claim snobby epicurean tendencies, myself.
This headstrong belief in one's own taste credentials is exactly what fuels the need for informative and well-designed food-finding applications. Too simple and a foodie will shun it. Too esoteric and it could alienate a growing segment of people who really care about the art and science of meal-making.
I've recently studied several restaurant-recommending applications for iPhone and other mobile platforms, including Yelp and Urbanspoon for iPhone and Zagat To Go for Windows Mobile, Palm, and BlackBerry, and wondered how relative newcomers Munch ($0.99) and LocalEats ($0.99) compare to these more established services.
There are, of course, things to laud and criticize with each app. Munch's interface has a great method for quick-launching searches for pizza, Mexican, and so on from icons in the screen navigation. You can select other cuisines from a scrolling list. Munch returns wonderfully accurate search results, but is devoid of context. There are no reviews, no Web site listings, and every restaurant we looked at was rated with five empty stars. That's doable if you want a listings app, but for anyone trying to make intelligent choices, it just won't work.
LocalEats fares much better. The app brings you the best 100 (or more) restaurants in 50 U.S. cities as determined by a team of foodie professionals, authors of the online dining guide Where the locals eat. The benefit is that unlike Urbanspoon, no national chain even thinks of making an appearance. You can search each city's highest-rated establishments by alphabetical order, cuisine type, or the best of each category. For larger cities you can also search by neighborhood.… Read more
The perfect table might be harder to describe than you thought. Opinions would, of course, vary; design, structure, shape, and size would likely be the most contentious factors. c But once those were agreed upon, color, usage, and placement might then be brought to the table, so to speak. Regardless of how deep the debate can get, you would at least expect the perfect table to have four legs.
Step 1: If you're one the iPhone, let the app use GPS to pinpoint your location. If you're on the iPod Touch, tap the button to enter your city.
Step 2: Vigorously shake the device up and down like you would a blocked-up ketchup bottle. Or simply press the "shake" button.
Step 3: Watch the application's slot machine wheels spin as Urbanspoon settles on a cuisine, price range, and … Read more
For those of us who have a hard time deciding what to eat or where to dine out, Urbanspoon has made a slot machine/roulette application (complete with 'pull' slot machine sound effects) to help us make a decision on where to eat. The application will determine your location from the GPS feature (which is still a pretty marked and powerful feature to the iPhone 3G that invariably raises privacy issues) and you can select he criteria you want, i.e., neighborhood, cuisine and price. And, for some inexplicable reason, you literally shake the phone to activate the selection feature. … Read more
When I was growing up, I really wanted a pool table. And for a brief period of time, I actually thought I would get one. My parents took measurements of our basement and considered making it a game room. Sadly, they abandoned the idea after realizing that our house, even with its five bedrooms, just didn't have enough room for a pool table. But in a cosmic event of game-room redemption, Aramith has developed the Fusion Table, a dining room table that solves the problem that robbed me of several hours of childhood bliss.
The Fusion Table is a … Read more
After reading and talking so much recently about the concept of "democratic exclusivity" (first coined by Ed Cotton on the Influx Insights blog and then promoted by the relentless Piers Fawkes), I was delighted to finally experience it myself when I was strolling the streets of Paris last week. I spent a day (a micro-vacation!) in the not-so-touristy 6th district around Metro Vavin in Montparnasse (in fact, I rarely left it, which was a much more satisfying experience than zig-zagging from the left to the right bank all the time as I used to) and discovered "Le Timbre,&… Read more
Ever tried Restaurant.com? Me neither, but I've heard good things. Basically, you search for a participating restaurant in your area, then buy a gift certificate on the cheap: $3 for a $10 certificate, for example, or $10 for $25. There are requirements, of course, usually in the form of a minimum food and/or drink purchase. But it's not like you have to order three bottles of wine or anything. And you can print the coupon right on your own printer: It's immediately ready for use.
To make an already good deal even better, Restaurant.com … Read more
GopherNow is a simple mashup--mix maps with store hours to help people find eating establishments that are open or delivering late. The service is aimed mainly at teenagers and college students, but for many, the long days of summer can bring unexpected late eating.
Users can search by keyword and location, and a Google map will show up with various restaurants, listing their hours, delivery availability, and for a select few--complete menus. If a restaurant is missing, users can add it in, along with their personal review.