This Week On the NotAFoodie Show
The Return Of Zagat
Last year The Infatuation acquired the Zagat brand from Google. Zagat was the original crowdsourced restaurant reviewer aggregator. It relied on customers going and dining and then giving Zagat a short review. Zagat would then take all the reviews about a restaurant, average out its grade, and write a blurb about it based on what their reviewers said. It was essentially Yelp before Yelp.
The Infatuation has decided to bring back the Zagat Print guides, which have a history of being a great stocking stuffer. In this age of nostalgia-driven content, people will love to thumb through a Zagat and pick out a restaurant, instead of hopping on Yelp and seeing what people say.
Zagat’s biggest advantage over Yelp is the quality of the review. Because Zagat reviews come out once a year, they are filtered, averaged, and generally positive. People who review on Zagat do so because they enjoy dining out. Yelp’s reviews hit as soon as they are published and usually, by people who had a bad experience, or honestly don’t know how to dine out and are mad that a restaurant won’t substitute their side salad for grilled organic asparagus. The vetting that Zagat does, allows it to be a much better aggregate review system.
I also want to touch on OpenTable’s reviews. These are the go-to reviews that I look at on the internet. OpenTable users are more serious diners than yelp users and offer a much better critique of the restaurant. OpenTable also moderates their comments better, and because their business model isn’t based on reviewing restaurants, they don’t use them to strongarm a small business into giving them money
The NYC Hot Sauce Expo
Steve Seabury, the founder of High River Sauces, hopped on a phone call with us to talk all things Hot Sauce including next weekends NYC Hot Sauce Expo. Steve is a veteran of the Music Industry who loves heavy metal and spicy peppers. He left the music industry to start his own hot sauce company and hit the ground running.
We talked to Steve about High River Sauces “Cheeba Gold” Hot Sauce is featured on the current season of the hit Youtube Show “Hot Ones”, and how his Disney obsessed daughter wanted to name a hot sauce Bippity Boppity Boop but instead came up with “Foofoo Mama Choo”
In addition to owning High River Sauces, he is the owner and coordinator of The NYC Hot Sauce Expo, The California Hot Sauce Expo, and The Chicago Hot Sauce Expo. You can expect to see a Guinness Book of World Records Carolina Reaper Eating Challenge, The World’s Hottest Ramen Challenge, and of course the Chihuahua Beauty Pagent
You can still buy tickets here.
Scott’s Pizza Tours
I literally ran into Scott Weiner while he was giving a tour outside of Patsy’s in East Harlem. I had heard of Scott’s Pizza Tours before because he put one of his stickers up at Dani’s House of Pizza. I lived across the street from Dani’s for 2 years and finished many a night there with a pesto slice.
I told Scott about NotAFoodie and that I’d love to have him on the show. It was our easiest booking ever. I had no idea what we signed up for by booking Scott.
Scott knows more about Pizza than you know about anything. He has been operating Scott’s Pizza Tours since 2008 and is the Guinness Book of World Records Holder for most pizza boxes. He also is a star of Really Dough? A Thrillist Youtube show with Lucali’s Mark Iacono. He also writes for a Pizza Trade Magazine and has a documentary called “Scott’s Pizza Tour”
Scott introduced us to the Pizza Cognition Theory, which states that the pizza you grew up with is what you now define as pizza. This means that you will always compare whatever you are currently eating to your childhood pizza.
We all discuss how some neighborhoods are flush with great pizzerias, and some are pizza deserts but regardless of where you live in NYC, you have better pizza options than most of the rest of America. I’ve always been a stone’s throw from great pizza, and am spoiled from the options that I have had.
If you are interested in doing a Pizza Tour you can book here
Tom and I are very serious about doing a NotAFoodie Private Tour though, so if you’re interested please reach out to us as well
What Are We Drinking Tonight?
Scott is going to have a Lambrusco with Meatball Pizza
Mike: Ginger and Cucumber Ginger Gin Fizz
1 oz Cucumber Ginger Simple Syrup
2 Oz Gin
1 oz Lime Juice
Mix all ingredients, strain and pour into a Collins Glass with ice and top with club soda
Tom: A Negroni
Tom cheated, he’s going to make a Negroni with St.Agrestis from Brooklyn. I’m still made he broke the rules