Tasted Menu is an app that helps users to discover new restaurants and to have an educated understanding of a place before they eat there. Users of the app are empowered since they can order from a more informed position thanks to the many specific dish reviews that the Tasted Menu community has contributed. The Tasted Menu group can share their dining experiences through this app with others foodies. Also, users may discover a particular food reviewer through the Tasted Menu portal whose opinions and expertise they have come to trust for making good dish and restaurant choices. The database houses pictures of the many reviewed dishes just as they are served on its site and others can comment or contribute their thoughts or opinions on the dish's taste, appearance or creativity. The app truly helps people determine what might be good to eat at a restaurant, what dishes are trending the most and where someone can find the very best gyro, taco, sandwich, burger...or whatever their stomach desires.
Tasted Menu was founded by Harvard graduate Alex Rosenfold in 2008 and it is based out of Boston, Massachusetts. Alex's idea was to blend reviews and menus together so people could have a better idea of what to order and where to order it. Many sites review a restaurant as a whole, but none really reviewed the specific dishes. Tasted Menu publicly launched in late 2011 for Boston and then in early 2012 for Austin, Texas. The site is backed by investments from a variety of angel contributors including Tamim Mourad (founder of PriceGrabber) and many others.
Unlike other food-inspired sites, Tasted Menu focuses on the review of specific dishes as opposed to a review of a total restaurant. Their intent is to help people determine what would be the best thing for them to order and they do this by showcasing photos of real meals, from real orders from real people. As of May 2012, Tasted Menu covered restaurants out of Boston, MA and Austin, TX, however, TM promises to have more cities very soon.
Tasted Menu has a simple appearance and is simple to navigate. Upon first visiting the site, one can select which of the two supported cities' communities that they'd like to browse through. From there, users can browse through restaurants, search for a restaurant's menu by name, or find specific dishes by name or by ingredient. There are photos, reviews, dishes and a ton of other information available through the site.
New users can register for a Tasted Menu account via their Facebook login or by using their email address. From there, they will designate a display name, provide their email address and setup a password. New account holders can then upload a picture of themselves or select one from the TM image library, find others who they may know and then get started.
Tasted Menu is a free service to use. It is supported by investments. There is also a free iPhone app available from TM.
Tasted Menu is an excellent tool for anyone who enjoys eating out in the communities of Austin or Boston. Unfortunately, that is a pretty limited niche of targeted users for an app that has a pretty broad appeal. Once it expands into more cities, it is hopeful that Tasted Menu will gain more traction and grow. The idea of interviewing individual dishes vs. an entire restaurant is very simple, but a very good one at that.