Foodie Underground: Getting Friendly

ColumnA new website lets you scope out new restaurants…and friends.

Running short on foodie friends? Not to worry, there’s always the internet.

Dating sites have gone from fringe to norm, but in the social media age, the internet isn’t just being used for finding soul mates; it’s the perfect spot to track down your new FBFF (foodie best friend forever), as well. Enter Grubwithus, a new website devoted to “social meals.” Combine food rating website with personal friend search and you get the idea.

The site works with select restaurants to coordinate family-style meals for the Grubwithus community. Users then make reservations for a particular meal, and once they have done so, can see who else is attending. Which means, you can probably get in a bit of Google stalking before your dinner ensues. Residents of Chicago and San Francisco can get in on the action, and New Yorkers will soon join the list.

It’s an interesting concept, particularly for those in the “40-hour a week and over” crowd where time is of the essence, not just for dating but simply for socializing. And although Grubwithus might be the first of its kind to organize this kind of thing virtually, prix-fixe group dinners aren’t new. For example, in Portland, the owners of Detour Cafe and Ford Food and Drink offer two dinners a month, where $35 scores you a four-course meal with other like-minded folks.

Whether it’s online or not, getting taking part in these type of events might just be because of our inherent need to connect with people, and food is the perfect vehicle for doing so.

Once you’ve gained a culinary crush or two, just make sure you don’t become a stereotypical poster child for the Foodie series. “This is my new friend, Kate, and she loves roasted beets with fresh chevre and rosemary just as much as I do!” Word to the wise, foodie.

This is the latest installment of Anna Brones’s column at EcoSalon, Foodie Underground, taking a conscious look at what’s bubbling in the underground food movement, from supper clubs to mini markets to the culinary avant garde.

Image: vanz, Grubwithus


Anna Brones

Anna Brones is a food + travel writer with a love for coffee and bikes. She is the author of The Culinary Cyclist and Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Catch her weekly column, Foodie Underground.