I recently had the opportunity to sit down with the Portland Community Engagement Lead for Zomato and learn about this new and exciting app for our mobile devices. What is Zomato, you ask? Are you familiar with Urbanspoon? Well, as of January 2015, Urbanspoon became part of the Zomato family, and as of June 2015, the Urbanspoon brand was transitioned the new Zomato brand.
The only thing that is missing from Zomato is Urbanspoon’s famous “shake-to-search” feature. For those of you unfamiliar with Urbanspoon, if you were feeling lucky, you could log in to Urbanspoon, shake your mobile device and let the rules of probability guide your chosen meal. It would come up with cuisine (for example, “American”), a place (for example, “Burger King”) and price (for example, “$”, meaning affordable). Zomato chose to do away with that option when they acquired Urbanspoon, instead focusing more on your location. Personally, I love the location feature, as I can be picky when it comes to cuisine (yes, I’m admitting that I’m a picky foodie!). By removing the shake-to-search feature, if I’m not feeling like a specific cuisine that’s recommended, I can continue to scroll through and not look like a dork shaking my phone to find what suits my fancy at that point.
Where Zomato took away the popular feature, “shake-to-search”, they replaced with not only the comprehensive location option, but the collections feature. Looking for a great wine bar? Look in the collections feature under “Wine Bars”! Looking for a celebrity chef’s establishment? Again, look in the collections feature under “Celebrity Chefs”! Feeling like Pizza? Look under the “Upper Crust” collection! From gluten-free to Vegan and sushi to brunch, Zomato has what you’re looking for.
If you’re thinking, “Oh geez. Another fly-by-night app that’s not going to have all the information I need,” have no fear. Zomato’s employees walk every street, talking with every restaurant and bar owner to find out the most recent menu, most accurate contact information and hours of operation. If they haven’t found your favorite place yet, contact them!