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If Chewsy has got one thing going for it, it’s a killer name. The app for iPhone and iPod Touch, which puts its ratings focus on the food over anything else, wants to help make it easy for you to decide where to dine.
Although this sounds good in theory, Chewsy’s primary problem is that it is a relatively obscure app with a limited, albeit growing, user database. I live in Chicago, which is quite the eating town. But the most recent recommendations I could find for restaurants within a mile of me were from 2010. Taking into consideration that my area is not one diners necessarily flock to, I used Chewsy to look up some of Chicago’s most popular eateries. Surely, these will have recent entries, right? Sadly, that’s not the case, as the most recent post I could find for any restaurant I viewed was posted in January 2011. Obviously, with no users to input their favorite foods or to provide accurate, current reviews of an establishment, Chewsy offers little user benefit, especially in a sea of competition.
Here’s the good news though: Chewsy is a well-designed app, and you can check it out without having to create an account or log-in to the service. That’s a rarity these days, and part of the reason why I’m giving Chewsy high marks. Of course, it’s possible that you live in an active Chewsy-area (it seems like Seattle and Austin are good bets) and might be able to get more from the app than I did.
I hope that Chewsy starts spreading its name more. I like that the focus is on particular dishes at a restaurant rather than the restaurant as a whole. I also like that you can find places to eat based on proximity or through friends’ experiences, if you choose to enable this feature.