02/25/12 — How to eat local when you’re not a local

This is something I’ve been struggling with in attempt to be an ethical tourist. The only thing is that in smaller towns, you’re not going to find anything much when you go to places like Yelp.

If you do find something on Yelp in a small town, most likely it is written by another tourist like yourself, and if you are anywhere near a large city (say, Washington, DC), let’s just say that tourists are used to a different standard of service. Yeah, they can be snotty as hell. I’ve seen Yelps for coffee shops in small towns that say things in one-star reviews like “ugh, I had to wait TEN MINUTES for my double no-whip latte”. Yeah, my goal in life is NOT to be THAT person, at least on Yelp anyway.

I managed to accidentally find a link to a locally-focused version of Yelp, with much less attitude. And for convenience’s sake, they’ve got an iPhone app – check it out: the 3/50 Project. And if you want to check out fine dining located in gas stations, I’ve got a Yelp list for that.