Hamburg based Foodloos is a new site for discovering or searching for new restaurants. Now we all know the recipe for a (hopefully) successful site in the age of user generated content: hire a good and 2.0 compliant designer and build a platform which lets the users add, tag, review and rate the restaurants and upload photos, which lets them become friends, communicate with each other, form interest groups and help each other out, additionally support openID, provide maps, feeds for everything, microformats, widgets, a facebook app and so on.
So it is quite a surprise to see a new site to be an old fashioned directory dressed up as a Mac widget. And it comes to an even bigger surprise that the site actually is quite useful and nice.
Foodloos is short for Food–Location Original Online Service. It is basically a directory of restaurants which you can browse by state, by city, by type of service and by cuisine. What’s interesting is that they only list restaurants who have a homepage and publish their menu on the web. This obviously makes them miss a lot of restaurants, but it is really useful to be able to take a peek at the menu first. Besides homepage and menu the only other information they list is the phone number and email adress – no ratings, no reviews, no photos, no ads, I like it.
(This article originally was written for blognation Germany. Since blognation is gone I have reposted it here)