If you are traveling for business and looking for a place to eat, the new website NARA might have some good recommendations for you. The site claims to use the same type of networking as in your brain to create a list of restaurants that will appeal to your particular tastes.
This could be a massive improvement from trying to find a restaurant critic who shares your palate or scanning review sites, hoping that the users agree with your tastes.
Before going live, NARA sent bots all over the internet to link restaurants in groups based upon various qualities: ambiance, type of food, etc. So if you log on and express an interest in a type of restaurant, the network has recommendations all over the world based upon your preference.
Early reviews are a bit mixed. NARA lists restaurants based upon your chosen preference, but it does not rate them. Joe Satran at the Huffington Post searched for inexpensive restaurants in his area, and discovered an interesting-looking wine bar in his neighborhood with which he was unfamiliar. Also on the list were the best slice place in town, an awesome kosher deli … and McDonald’s.
Perhaps the advice of a trusted friend is still the best way to find the best spots in town, but that is not always an option for business travelers. If you need to find spots to eat in unfamiliar locales, you may wish to give NARA a try. It seems to be more detailed and specific than a search engine, and certainly avoids the drama of recommendation sites such as Yelp.
NARA claims to understand the taste of, for example, a typical New York foodie and be able to recommend appropriate restaurants for this set of preferences anywhere on the globe. This may be quite useful for slightly harried business travelers who need sustenance so they can work, but don’t have a lot of time to invest.
It remains to be seen, however, whether users find it useful or would prefer to come out of their comfort zones while traveling and experience the local cuisine. Trying something different broadens our horizons, and what better time to take advantage of new foods and experiences than when you find yourself in the middle of a brand new city?
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