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You may have noticed a new little logo on my restaurant write-ups.  It’s a blue and orange logo of a little spoon and above the spoon is a percentage and a "number voted".  The one to the left is a different version than I generally use.
If you click on the logo it takes you to a fairly new site, Urbanspoon.  The good folks there contacted me last November, I think, and told me about their vision of bringing together all the various restaurant reviews into one place.  So they have consolidated the critics’ reviews from the Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Times, The Weekly, The Stranger and CitySearch.  There actually may be other sources, too, but those are what come to my mind. 
In addition they’ve set up a system for bloggers to add their posts.  So that little logo at the bottom of my posts does three things.  It gives you a quick way to see how others have rated the place, makes it easy for you to click out to Urbanspoon to get details and see what others are saying, and for those who start at the Urbanspoon site it provides a link back to my post so you can read all of the things I had to say – which is the most important thing, of course! :-)  
I am only recommending this service now as I wanted to sort of see what happened with Urbanspoon.  As you know there are a lot of people with great ideas but they often take a lot of work to carry through and sometimes the long hours just become too hard.  Especially for these start-up ideas where you may hope to make money someday but there are months, or even years, spent getting to that place.
So I’ve watched what these guys are doing and I’m pretty impressed.  They continue to add new features and have recently expanded their cities to include Chicago and New York.  San Francisco is scheduled and others will come online over time. 
You can use the site anonymously or you can create an account which allows you to track restaurants you’ve rated or create a wishlist of places you’d like to visit.  They are creating community aspects by allowing you to see who has rated a place and take a look at their list of favorite restaurants.  They’ve also added some fun features such as "Seattle at Night" which shows a point of light for every restaurant.  Clicking on the map will take you to the neighborhood where you clicked and show you a list of places. 
There’s much more out there so go take a look. 

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