I have been using Twitter for several months to track what’s happening in the food world and to promote my blog posts. Overall I’m still divided on the utility of Twitter. It seems like there is a huge ratio of noise to information. The interface–depending whether you use the default web or a third-party interface–is an odd mixture of old school commands and flashier bells and whistles. I think there are a few particularly useful ways that people are using Twitter and today’s post is devoted to pointing out the ones that have to do with food, especially in Toronto.
A lot of tweets (the messages sent on Twitter) are along the lines of “I just ate…” or “I am at…” and those, in my opinion, have a pretty limited utility but some have refined this to an art and use Twitter to post timely and extremely succinct reviews of Toronto’s restaurants. The two who do this best are spotlightcity and TOFoodie. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to cut my reviews down to 140 characters or less but I appreciate reading what others have to say in this format–particularly when pictures are included.
I had the great pleasure of making it out to a Shucker Club event at Ceili Cottage a while back. First of all, I found out about the event through twitter so that’s a good use for the technology. Also, Patrick McMurray (Ceili Cottage’s “publican and matchmaker” and ShuckerPaddy on twitter) shared an anecdote about how on one occassion three customers mentioned that they came in only because they saw on twitter that Ceili Cottage had just tapped their favourite beer. Similarly, Black Camel, the very good sandwich spot across the street from Rosedale station, updates customers on how many buns they have left in inventory–an important consideration for a sandwich-centered restaurant. Before a recent trip to The Local Company on the Danforth I put out a call on Twitter for suggestions and not only did I hear from foodie411 but the chef (DaLocalChef) also let me know what the night’s special was. My favourite Toronto restaurant, The Black Hoof, twitters about upcoming menu ideas and the status of old favourites. Other Toronto restaurants that I follow who make very good use of twitter to announce specials or events include: Gladstone Hotel, Bar Volo, Pizzeria Libretto, Crush Wine Bar, and the O & B Group.
I wanted this post to be more than just a straight list of the foodies, chefs, and restaurants that I follow, so I know in the selection process some good ones were left out. Back in August Mashable had a great guide to foodies on Twitter that included Toronto’s TOFoodie. Please feel free (as always) to add your two cents to the comment section.