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True foodies love to document each chapter of their culinary journies to enjoy later, which makes a service like Evernote a match made in heaven. The developer also recognized the potential for just such a marriage and the result is the slick, if occasionally inefficient, Evernote Food.
Evernote Food is a customized mobile solution for organizing recipes, saving favorite restaurants, and keeping a mealtime journal, all powered by the company’s popular cloud-based “second brain” service. Featuring a slick UI, Evernote Food makes it easy for diners to catalog meals and then recall (or even share) them using email, Twitter, or Facebook. The main menu echoes the glossy overhaul recently added to the flagship Evernote 5.0 app, stacking four cards (My Meals, Restaurants, My Cookbook, and Explore Recipes) with access to data in just a tap or two. To add a new meal, tap the + icon and enter details such as Place, Cuisine, Tags, or even a photographic record of the food you’re about to indulge in, all without leaving the app.
With location-based data powered by Foursquare, Evernote Food is also handy for travelers who want to keep a record of new cuisine they’ve enjoyed while on the road, or remembering which greasy spoons to avoid the next time they blow through town. Saving such data syncs it to Evernote; Food users can select a default notebook, but new notebooks can only be added via Evernote, a somewhat awkward requirement. With the recent version 2.0 refresh, the iPad can also help tickle your taste buds with a new universal build. Coupled with the built-in camera on the iPad 2 or later and free, readily available Wi-Fi at many restaurants, tablet owners can indulge in their favorite meals without having to wait until they get home to share them with others.
Much like the Evernote app, the iPad native version of Food takes maximum advantage of its extra screen real estate, filling the main menu with appetizing photos while serving up Retina-friendly shots of meals stored in the cloud. The “folding paper” animation when entering or leaving a category is an impressive touch that echoes opening or closing a physical restaurant menu. Evernote Food is a nice idea, but we can’t help but feel like some of it has been clumsily bolted on to the overall Evernote experience – such as My Cookbook, which uses the web-based Evernote Clipper as little more than a "read later" style placeholder.
The bottom line. Devout foodies may find Evernote Food is little more than a pretty face shoehorned over the company's otherwise excellent cloud notebook service, but casual users will find it a convenient way to keep track of that occasional exceptional culinary experience worth remembering.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later
Attractive UI with plenty of options for foodies. Newly iPad native so tablet owners can join in on the fun. One less login to remember since Food ties into existing Evernote accounts.
Saved data syncs to Evernote, adding unnecessary clutter for many users. Occasional UI gaffes like a pop-up covering most of a restaurant's name in Place Details. Recipe management best left to another app.