Developer: Television Food Network G.P.
Price: FREE 
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ 

 
Driving across the country in a family minivan crammed with everything: suitcases, books, devices, snacks, irritation, exhaustion, memories, and, well, family, I understand the need of a reliable place to get a decent meal before a next jaunt into vast and lonesome prairies.

Good food is hard to find in Montana. Fast food becomes desperately tiresome and unhealthy. Hamburgers are rather tasty–unless they routinely slide down my protesting gullet while my sister complains on the lack of luxury accessible in The Badlands.

I can regale anyone with tales of scary gas stations at 3:00 a.m. and the nefarious vagabonds who haunt them. I remember reeling as my sister and I refused our father’s instructions to get out of the minivan at 2:00 a.m. A repeated “No Vacancy” sign left us with one option: rest our heads on blood-red shag carpet under a giant, neonized key logo more akin to a Bates Motel.

Food Network On the Road is a wonderful app that takes the guesswork and unpredictable nature out of traveling. The well-designed app opens on a screen with the look of a chalkboard used for menu planning. The eloquent movement helps navigate and choose from a wide range of options.

I can check out my favorite Food Network show, such as (appropriately) Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I can arrange to stop in many of the rustic, homey food locales that fill America’s diverse culinary landscape. A big fan of Food Network since its inception, it comforts me, despite the fact that it misses the mark in so much of its programming, done cheaply and often pandering to the lowest common denominator

Like the dishes served up on screen, I find the instructional cooking shows and cheesy foodie adventures enjoyable and amusing. The US was a playground of my youth when my family made summer trips to historic battlefields and national parks.

Picnics are difficult to arrange on the road, so good, local grub is a welcome respite from gas station peanuts, crackers, and sodas. Yelp! has been a reliable and accurate tool for local food sourcing while traveling. Most often, the reviews on Yelp! steer the wheel and my screaming belly to just the right spots.

Food Network On the Road allows me to create a list of favorites as I browse cities across the country with its geo-location. Another wonderful feature of the app is the rangy selection of available cities from which to choose. New York, Chicago, and L.A. are sandwiched between lesser known places, often nearby towns. This only makes sense given the nature of the app and its partial title On the Road.

I will certainly look to Food Network On the Road to offer suggestions, reviews, and recommendations as I journey around the mountains, past the prairies, and along the coasts of America the Beautiful to savor the bounty it beholds.

Posted in: Food & Drink, iPad Apps and Games, iPad Food & Drink, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

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