My wife and I were investors in the blog network Curbed until it was sold last last year to Vox. Curbed has three primary brands, Curbed (local real estate), Eater (local food & restaurants), and Racked (local shopping). The network operates across something like 25 cities in the US. Curbed is a classic example of a blog network, with a unique voice, attitude, and angle. They built a very nice and highly profitable business over six years and sold to a larger blog network Vox. Most of the team has stayed at Vox and are in key management roles there. Vox is a pretty interesting business too and the Gotham Gal and I are small investors in that company by virtue of our Curbed investment. This is all a bit of backdrop and disclosure for the thing I want to talk about which is the Eater 38.
The Eater 38 is one of my favorite things on the Internet. It is a map/list of the 38 “essential” restaurants right now in about 27 cities in North America. The fact that there are 38 restaurants on the list, not 10, not 25, not 50, but 38 is classic Curbed. They do things their own way and they do it right and they do it well.
But the thing about the 38 that I like most is the concept of “essential.” These are not the finest restaurants. This is not where you will find the very best food right now. These are not the trendiest restaurants right now either. These are the places that you should go to tonight, tomorrow, and again and again, right now. The 38 is updated twice a year (I think) so its always up to date and it changes a fair bit. The 38 recognizes that restaurants ebb and flow. Today’s essential restaurant is not always tomorrow’s.
When I go to a new city and am looking for a place to eat, I will always check the 38 in that city (if there is one). Earlier this week a good friend emailed the Gotham Gal looking for a large table or private room to take a bunch of people to dinner this weekend. I pulled up the NYC 38 on my phone and we went down the list and we found exactly the right place for them.
In the wake of the sale to Vox, Eater has been moved over to Vox’s modern CMS and the Eater 38 has been jazzed up with a nice map/list interface on the web and mobile web. Here are a few of them for all of you to check out (somewhat based on the AVC readership):
Philadelphia 38 (for Kirk and LE)
Austin 38 (for JLM)
Toronto 38 (for William)
San Diego 38 (for Howard)