Appetizers
January 27, 2011
Websites offer area restaurant menus, but curb your hunger

By Allen Pierleoni
apierleoni@sacbee.com

Let's imagine this scenario: You and yours want to go out for a bite, or phone a restaurant with a takeout order or a delivery. Problem is, you're undecided about what type of cuisine you're in the mood for, or even what restaurant you might visit.

Possibly offering a helping hand is www.allmenus.com, a website that posts restaurant menus from around our region. Actually, the parent company - www.dotmenu.com - says on its site that its www.allmenus.com network includes "240,000-plus menus in 8,000-plus cities nationwide." Plus, its www.campusfood.com site will direct users to restaurants near college campuses.

To sample, we visited the listing for Sacramento menus. Hmmm. There are 22 cuisines listed (American, Italian, Tex-Mex, diner) and 24 dishes (burgers, pasta, salads, soul food).

We clicked on "Japanese" and up popped 21 restaurants. Kru on J Street sells its "deluxe sushi bento box" lunch for $18 ("one tempura roll, five pieces nigiri, five pieces sashimi).

The "seafood" category showed 12 restaurants, four of which flashed the message, "Sorry, we currently don't have this menu." Among the eight restaurants that did have menus was Wolfgang Puck Express at the Sacramento Convention Center. Its menu showed zero seafood, an absence confirmed by a phone call. Hmmm.

At www.campusfood.com, we selected restaurants around the University of California, Davis ("Browse menus in Davis"). Under the "diner" category were listings for three Denny's - two in Woodland and one in West Sacramento. Again: Hmmm.

We called www.dotmenu.com headquarters and left messages, but didn't hear back. And, no, we did not create an account.

Our bottom line: These two websites could be useful - with an asterisk.

Call The Bee's Allen Pierleoni at (916) 321-1128.

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