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Evernote Food app updated

January 10, 2013|By S. Irene Virbila
  • Evernote Food not only acts as a sort of foodie diary, it now can suggest restaurants and recipes and save your favorites to the app.
Evernote Food not only acts as a sort of foodie diary, it now can suggest restaurants… (Evernote Food, Evernote )

Evernote is an app I use every day — on my desktop, my iPad and iPhone. A great method for collecting information (sites, photos, ideas, notes, articles) on the fly with the complete confidence that you’ll be able to find them again.

Last year the software company came out with a fine little app for organizing restaurant notes and photos called Evernote Food. Start using this app, and all your photos of a single meal, along with any notes or comments, info on the restaurant, etc., stick together. It’s great for traveling, when you’re eating at a number of restaurants in close sequence. You won’t have to wonder where that photo of a dish goes — with which restaurant, which country.

Last week I think it was, they issued an update to version 2.0. And made this once beautifully simple app needlessly complicated. Not everybody is going to agree, but for my purposes, it’s like taking a beautiful Laguiole steak knife that works admirably for one purpose and trying to turn it into a Swiss army knife.

The developers have added a restaurant search something like Yelp’s, but the database isn’t yet large enough to effectively cover the territory. They definitely have some wrinkles to work out. When I was on the Eastside, the “explore restaurants” feature suggested both L & E Oyster Bar and Domenico Ristorante (which previously occupied the same space and has been gone for quite a while). And an attempt to explore Beverly Hills gave me Sprinkles cupcakes, Urth Caffè, Mastro’s Steakhouse and European Sausage Kitchen. But no Spago or Bouchon.

The original app, which allowed you to make a sort of foodie diary with photos, tags and maps is now just one section of the updated app. It’s called “My Meals” and you can add typed or dictated notes, caption the photos and change the location. The beautiful thing is that you can add photos from your camera roll: Everything doesn’t have to be shot from within the app.

There’s also a recipe search function. When I did a search for Mexican wedding cookies, I got 10 choices from sources a diverse as Williams-Sonoma, Gluten Free Girl and 101 Cookbooks. The app searches recipe databases and popular cooking blogs at the same time. A Moroccan tagine  search yielded recipes from Bon Appétit, Martha Stewart, Leite’s Culinaria and Serious Eats. Tap the scissors button to clip and save to your Evernote account. “Tripe” returned recipes for menudo, marinated tripe salad and trippa alla Romana from Serious Eats, along with another recipe for Roman-style tripe from Food52, both terrific sources. A search for pork chop recipes turned up an avalanche, the first four from Pioneer Woman.

Now as you cook through a recipe, you can take photos for reference, which is nifty. If I want to show my sister how the batter looked before I put the cake in the oven, I can do it. And also show her a photo of the finished product.

The app isn’t entirely intuitive and I had to go back to the Evernote Food site for more information. Once they get the details right — and Evernote itself works so well I’m quite confident that will happen -- this could be a wonderful app. I’m just not sure that all these functions belong in a single app. Personally, I’d like to separate restaurants out from meals and recipes.

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Twitter.com/sirenevirbila

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