Geek in the Galley: Another spoonful of Urbanspoon on iPhone


Okay, so I already wrote about the urbanspoon iPhone app, but just after I filed that blog, I went out back for a smoke (brrrr) with Sean, the IT guy who first introduced me to the gadget in question, and he showed me a couple other sweet (and marginally creepy/nerdy) things it can do.

First, it knows where you live. It knows where you are at all time.  It's like Seymour Skinner's overprotective mother in The Simpsons because it has GPS built in and never gets lost.  You don't even have to tell the gizmo where to look for restaurants because it always knows where you are in relation to every potential restaurant in the area and, if you ask it nicely, will even tell you the mileage between you and any pork chop your greasy little heart desires.

Second, you don't have to shake the iPhone every time you want to play. You can, but if you're like me and want it to work rapid-fire without wearing your arm out, you can just poke it in the screen and it will do the same randomizing thing.

Taking these two things into account, we came up with a pretty cool game. You fire up the application, find yourself the closest restaurant critic (or other annoyingly know-it-all foodista), and then let 'er rip.  The game is to try and stump the foodie with a restaurant he or she has never heard of. 

We played straight through two cigarettes with the phone set to come up with restaurants in Westword's neighborhood, and Sean couldn't catch me out once. 

For added fun, you can turn this into a drinking game -- and the critic has to drink a bucket of gin every time he misses one.  According to urbanspoon, The Fainting Goat at 846 Broadway is the bar closest to our location in the alley behind the office, although you could also make an argument for the Broadway, right next to Luciano's at 1043 Broadway.

Now if I can just convince Apple to send me a free iPhone...--Jason Sheehan

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