When researching a new place for dinner, I typically focus on price, cuisine, location, reviews, noise level and availability. It would be cool, and valuable, to be able to discover new restaurants based on the popularity of their dishes.
That’s what Savor Food is all about. The new, free iOS app is a social network built around restaurant menu items.
Savor foodies take photos and post reviews (with star ratings) of their favorite appetizers, entrees and drinks.
You can browse all these photos and reviews in several ways: by geographic location, narrowing or expanding the distance with a slider bar; by filtering out anything with less than, say, three stars; and by following other users, favorite places or menu items. There’s also a search tool.
You’re encouraged to upload photos and share your own favorite dishes and drinks, of course. One feature I like is the ability to start a post while in the restaurant and save it to finish later. (Your dining partners will appreciate that.)
Savor Food gives you more than just user-generated food pics and reviews. The "Info" tab for each item lists the restaurant’s phone number, which you can tap to call; street address, which you can tap to see on a map; a menu; other "savored" items from the same restaurant; a link to get directions (via Apple Maps); and a link to the Uber app, which can help you find a ride. (Savor Food even tells you how soon an Uber car can pick you up and approximately how much the ride will cost.)
You can also opt into notifications, to receive "foodie alerts" when you’re geographically near a favorited dish or establishment.
I like Savor Food a lot, but I wish it had more reviews of dishes in San Francisco — the lack of reviews is a little surprising because the city is both a foodie- and tech-haven. The amount of user-generated content will likely grow over time. I also didn’t see an easy way to search dishes in other cities. An Android version would be nice, and iPad screen optimization would also be welcomed. Overall, these are minor gripes, and Savor Food will mostly satisfy the average foodie's app-etite.