If you're the type who really doesn't like to interact with a server when you go out to dine, your new best friend just hit the scene. Food Genius, a new app for the iPhone and Android devices from a Chicago-based company, recently went live and it could change how you go out to eat. Now instead of asking your friends constantly where to eat or where to find the best burger, Food Genius can make recommendations not only on places, but actual dishes.
The app has a database of 4,000 Chicago-area restaurants and has logged more than 150,000 dishes (apparently there are 6,014 different types of bacon dishes in Chicago; more on that below). So if you are craving sushi or a burrito or steak frites, you can search what's nearby and see recommendations left by other users. That's where Food Genius can get really useful, but it needs user support to become more robust. It's currently in need of more information, so don't get frustrated if you search on "California roll" or "pepperoni pizza" and the choices are slim. Some things are born a genius. Others have to work up to that.
One thing Food Genius is seemingly good with off the bat is stats. Based on information about restaurants already built into the database, the Food Genius folks can cull specific information about a particular ingredient. They just launched a new feature on the site called Food Genius Insights. The first map focuses entirely on bacon offerings in Chicago. According to the page, Chicago has 1,309 restaurants serving bacon in some form. If you ate one bacon dish every day (this points back to the aforementioned 6,014 dishes in the city), it would take you 16 years to grub through every dish—but you would likely have a heart attack long before you could get through it all. So whether you interact with Food Genius often to get restaurant recommendations, you at least know it's good for some fun food stats.