Lately, it seems like every time I turn around, there's a cool new app available that makes me wonder - how did I ever live without this? Mint for tracking my budget? Check. Facebook? As Sheen would say, duh! And I can't eat out without consulting Scoutmob for a deal. And now following in their illustrious footsteps comes Trumpet!
Trumpet is still in beta, but I've been lucky enough to get a preview of it. You can search the site based on proximity to your current location, browse based on cuisine or look restaurants up directly. But Trumpet isn't just a rehash of Urbanspoon. Much like amazon or Netflix, Trumpet uses your restaurant ratings to personalize recommendations. The more you rate, the better it gets at predicting what you'll like. They recommend you rate 10 to get started.
And no app would be complete without a social networking component these days, so Trumpet also lets you see your friends' reviews and where they're checking in on Facebook or Foursquare. We all seek tips from trusted resources, so Trumpet is just making that process all the easier!
A few of the highest rated choices in Atlanta so far include some of my favorites:
• Antico Pizza Napoletana
• Aria Restaurant
• Flip Burger Boutique
• Floataway Cafe
• Fox Bros Bar-B-Q
• JCT Kitchen & Bar
• La Tavola
I haven't traveled lately, but I think Trumpet will be especially useful when it comes to exploring new areas. Clueless where to eat when you're in Detroit? Trumpet can give you a rec based on your tastes. That's a heck of a lot faster than my usual triangulating of chowhound, Bon Appetit and concierge.com!
Curious to see how well it could predict my tastes, I checked for an LA pizza recommendation. The best match was Pizzeria Mozza, which is in fact some of the best pizza I've ever had (oh the fennel sausage!), so they were dead on.
Next I checked for burgers, and it seemed pretty darn sure that I'd love Father's Office (which I do - BEST BURGER EVER!) but I thought it was odd that it's reasoning was that I love La Tavola and they're similar (they're not). Whatever, their reasoning may be flawed at times, but it's right, so who cares.
OK last one was a toughie - I rarely go to a bad restaurant because I research them so thoroughly in advance. But I decided to test to see if Trumpet could predict a restaurant I wouldn't like, given I haven't really rated any badly on there. Alas nothing is perfect, and it was 77% sure I'd like STK, an all scene and no substance Meatpacking District resto. Clearly to get the most out of the app, you need to tell it the good and the bad.
Ready to start rating, connecting and eating? iPhone users can get their Trumpet on here.