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Clueless Chowhounds

There are two online food boards that I follow regularly: eGullet and Chowhound. Both have discussion forums organized by geography. You’ll find eGullet’s New York board here, and you’ll find Chowhound’s Manhattan board here. (Chowhound management tosses a hissy fit if you mention Peter Luger on their Manhattan board, even though Luger is economically part of the Manhattan market. They insist it belongs on an “outer borough” board.)

eGullet is superior to Chowhound in almost every respect. It has a more intuitive user interface, it is easier to find things, and the average post is considerably more sophisticated. This is not to deny that you sometimes find useful comments on Chowhound - otherwise I wouldn’t bother to read it - but they’re fewer and far between.

I am particularly amused by clueless Chowhound posts like this one yesterday:

Looking for recommendations for good eats (dinner) in the West 50’s. Scene/buzz/beautiful people _not_ of interest; just wonderful eats.

All cuisines are in the ballpark except for Mexican and Indian (thanks to spice allergy).

Now, there are hundreds of restaurants in the West 50s. Menupages lists 274 of them, and of course not all restaurants are on Menupages. So to ask for “good eats” in the West 50s, with the only requirement that it not be Mexican or Indian, is an idiotic question. I mean, I’m pretty tolerant of those who are intellectually challenged, but this is just not a thoughtful question. And there are a few howlers like this on Chowhound’s Manhattan board almost every day.

And am I the only one who finds the ridiculous word “eats” totally unnecessary? I’m alright with “foodie” (another recurring word on these boards), as there is no other word of comparable length that conveys the same meaning. It is, in other words, a useful addition to the language. But “eats” merely means “food,” as far as I can tell, and both are four letters.

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