Learning recipes, hunting down local food, feigning culinary expertise and everything else food: Welcome to this week's iPhone apptacular, Taste Test edition.
People who don't really care about The Victuals, what's wrong with you? don't worry!: I've still trawled the App Store for non-food downloads this week, and there are plenty—just scroll waaay down. Everyone else? Commence feast...NOW.
UrbanSpoon: This one tries to do everything: It's city-specific, and it'll feed you reviews, menu and location info for all kinds of restaurants, and in some cases let you make a reservation. It's free too, and the food-finding tools (shake the app for a surprise, within your parameters) are kinda fun, I guess.
VegOut: It's hard to be a vegetarian (I hear), not just in terms of diet, but socially. Where do you go with friends? Where do you tale a date? VegOut spits out a list of nearby meat-free establishments, with reviews and contact information for each one. By its nature it's not going to be much help outside of a big city, but in a metropolis? Priceless. Well, OK, four dollars.
Global Eater Food Dictionary: When you're eating above your weight, figuratively speaking, you'll run into some terms you've never seen before. Global Eater Food Dictionary will tell you exactly what kind of cow glands those sweetbreads are before you order them, and it's faster than Google, which'll minimize your chances of being outed as a food moron. The price of your snob cred: $1.19.
Wine Enthusiasts Guide: Same as above, for the inscrutable world of wine. Six dollars, but that comes with the territory.
Epicurious: A beautiful, wonderfully curated recipe and shopping list app that's been perfected with time. It will make you a better cook, period. Free.
BigOven: Another take on the recipe app, this time with more of an emphasis on personal recipes and crowd-sourced ideas. Backed by a fairly huge recipe database. Free.
Allrecipes: Another recipe app, closer to BigOven than Epicurious in concept. It's a bit better at spontaneous recipe ideas, with a slick dish discovery interface. Free.
Because some other stuff happened this week, too:
TextExpander: A massive time saver on Mac OS X, TextExpander gives you immediate shortcuts to your commonly-typed phrases, which is great if you write with a lot of complex jargon, code or HTML tags (hey, bloggers!). Since the kind of deep integration it'd need to behave like its desktop counterpart is impossible on the iPhone, it's more of a glorified clipboard in this incarnation. It does let you sync your shortcuts between installations, though, which is pretty helpful for $2.49.
AU: The application description says that this is a special introductory price—after September 9, you'll have to fork out more. -EH
US Open App: Hey, tennis nerds: Live streaming US Open radio coverage is pretty great on its own, while a predictable-but-useful set of news and photo tools will keep you as attuned to the goings-on New York as you could ever want to be. Free.
TUAW: Single-source news apps are by nature kind of dumb, but TUAW's new app deserves a special mention because a) their news is obsessively relevant to iPhone users and b) because it's a surprisingly polished app. Free.
This Week's App News on Giz:
This list is in no way definitive. If you've spotted a great app that hit the store this week, give us a heads up or, better yet, your firsthand impressions in the comments. And for even more apps: see our previous weekly roundups here. Have a swell weekend everybody.