Why Boston needs Hungry Onion, and why other "review" sites fail


Not sure who has/has not seen this, but it just underlines why local reviews from folks we know/trust are vital:

(John Hartley) #2

That story made the UK national newspapers some weeks back. It highlights the flaw of TripAdvisor and, in particular, how its ratings work. Or don’t .

If I look at their entries for restaurants in my borough - a nondescript town of some 300,000 people in northwest England, I know one place in its top ten. And I only know of that because the guy who owns it used to manage a place ten minutes walk from home. Of the others, they are obviously neighbourhood pubs and restaurants but of no particular culinary distinction (otherwise I’d probably have heard of them). Same problem must apply with the entries for any community - something of an issue for me, as I’m hoping to visit New England in a few weeks and, as there is relatively little here (or Chowhound), I’m probably going to be dependent on TA, at least for an initial list.


I don’t have much regard for Tripadvisor, but a few years ago before a trip to Amsterdam I studied it, and came up with a few really good restaurant choices. In one of the restaurants we got to talking with the couple at the next table. They told us that we were in Amsterdam’s best fish restaurant, and wondered how we found it.


Interesting. I’m in a few geographical food groups on FB; one here in Southern Oregon, and several back in KC. The most mainstream group just passed 25,000 members.
I’d imagine groups like that exist in lots of places but how to link them together?
Maybe that’s where HO needs a presence on FB. I don’t have an answer except that being in a relatively isolated area makes one feel …


that is hilarious


ask us here about New England. There are some Boston area participants and I suspect others from New England, and us Boston folks know about other New England locations (not me as much since my family situation doesn’t allow us to travel a lot, but I do know some.


The Internet has a way of lulling people into believing they are experts because they can “find” “anything” with a few clicks. Steinbeck foretold McLuhan’s “medium is the message” in describing the Dust Bowl desperation leading migrants to believe something just because it was contained in a printed handbill:

"Tom said, ‘Back home some fellas come through with han’bills—orange ones. Says they need lots a people out here to work the crops.’

"The young man laughed. ‘They say they’s three hunderd thousan’ us folks here, an’ I bet ever’ dam’ fam’ly seen them han’bills.’

“Yeah, but if they don’ need folks, what’d they go to the trouble puttin’ them things out for?”

“Use your head, why don’cha?”

“Yeah, but I wanta know.”


yes! @Harters, if you start a thread about New England you’ll likely get some good answers from the Boston regulars. I have some decent knowledge on Rhode Island, at least and others on the board probably have other states covered. maybe we’ll even get some chime in from other New Englanders outside Boston…


This topic existed in a similar thread in HO a few months ago:

(John Hartley) #10

Thanks. I already have a thread on the board but please add if anywhere comes to mind that will fit witn the tour.


oh, heh. i forgot about that thread!


I have personal and family reasons never to use Facebook.