Foodie Fight Round Three: Northeast

Welcome back to another Round of our First Annual Foodie Fight! In the first two rounds, we reviewed, judged (not too harshly, we promise) and scored food bloggers in the Southwest and Northwest regions. If this is your first time devouring #FoodieFight2014 content, here’s the deal: We hand-selected more than 100 food bloggers across the nation (that’s a lot of food porn) and narrowed it down to four in each region. After each regional round, we will filter the best food bloggers into the quarter-finals, the semis, and then the final round. But here’s the thing — and this is important! — we aren’t just giving you our own take on which blogs are rocking it, though our Editorial Review score (based on content, design and on-blog comments) is, of course, done by our editor. Aside from this, our proprietary Restaurant Social Media Index pulls data on each blog’s sentiment score (how do readers really feel about the blog based on organic social conversations across the 17 social platforms we track through the Index?) and engagement score (engagement between blog content and social media consumers across said 17 social platforms). These scores, which are based on a 10-point scale, are beyond our control and will ultimately decide who stays and who goes.

In Round 3, we’re reppin’ the Northeast (which, we must point out, includes a Chicago blogger — we realize Chicago isn’t technically part of the ‘northeast,’ but for the sake of fairness, we literally split a map in fours, and Chi-town just so happened to fall into the upper-right-hand-side. Capiche?)

Ok then, let’s dig in!

Northeast: The Contenders (in no particular order)

Amanda Topper (a.k.a. The Ghost Guest) | Photo Credit: The Ghost Guest

Amanda Topper (a.k.a. The Ghost Guest) | Photo Credit: The Ghost Guest

Amanda Topper.
Chicago
Blog: The Ghost Guest

Amanda Topper is a true Chicago food blogger. She’s approachable, honest, and involves herself in Chicago’s foodie scene on the regular. Topper’s most recent post is a wrap-up of a Chicago Food Bloggers brunch held at Public House, which includes vibrant photos of delicious eats. She also recently wrote about an exclusive cooking class from Eataly’s dean and chef Lidia Bastianich. Aside from events, Topper regularly reviews restaurants and sprinkles in some local food news. 

Editorial Review:

Content: 7.8 (based on a 10-point scale): For a personal blog, Amanda hits on some great finds. Not only does The Ghost Guest allow readers to go behind-the-scenes, but gives an in-depth way of doing so. Most posts get their own picture diary, which goes beyond food shots (though those are great, too). But above all, the content here is straight-up, interesting, and easy to read. We can dig a chick with an opinion.

Design: 6.5: Love the photos (great quality and lots of them). The template is cute and consistent, but doesn’t blow us away. Navigation is super organized, and social media buttons are visible within the first-third of the homepage, which is a largely recognizable detail. Also, the blog is mobile-friendly.

On-Blog Interaction/Commentary: 3: Some action in the comments section, but very minimal.

Klout Score: 58
Twitter Followers: 768
Sentiment Score: 5.13 (based on a 10-point scale)
Engagement Score: 6.39
Average Editorial Score: 5.76
Overall/Final Score: 17.28

Danyelle Freeman (a.k.a. Restaurant Girl) | Photo Credit: Twitter

Danyelle Freeman (a.k.a. Restaurant Girl) | Photo Credit: Twitter

Danyelle Freeman.
New York City
Blog: Restaurant Girl

Danyelle Freeman is the full package. She covers restaurant reviews, ‘Best Of’ lists, chef Q+As, and a section called ‘Gourmet Gossips’ — the openings, closings, chef switches and food trends of the biz (mostly in NYC).

Editorial Review:

Content: 8.5: Our first thought? Damn, this Restaurant Girl is a great writer in that she knows how to translate a dining experience in detail without skipping a beat, and do it with charm. But that’s not to say Danyelle Freeman isn’t one to voice her opinion if she finds something tasteless or boring (she will). As stated above, she covers a lot of different angles of content surrounding the restaurant industry. This mixture of breadth and depth within niche content goes a long way, and Restaurant Girl is rocking it.

Design: 8: Mobile-friendly site? Check. Easy navigation? Yup. Social buttons visible? Very. And the template is original yet simple (we love the play on the NYC cityscape with condiments and utensils). 

On-Blog Interaction/Commentary: 3: Some action in the comments section, but very minimal.

Klout Score: 52
Twitter Followers: 9,474
Sentiment Score: 6.73 (based on a 10-point scale)
Engagement Score: 6.12
Average Editorial Score: 6.5
Overall/Final Score: 19.35

Josh Ozersky | Photo Credit: Ozersky.TV

Josh Ozersky | Photo Credit: Ozersky.TV

Josh Ozersky.
New York City
Vlog: Ozersky.TV

Josh Ozersky is not the guy whose plate you want to pick off of. A gastronome with a penchant for burgers and meaty grub, Ozersky has the palate of a man’s man. And his blog is different than the rest selected for Foodie Fight — it’s a video blog. Ozersky.TV covers behind-the-scenes cooking with famous chefs like Michael Symon, food reviews, food news, and really whatever Ozersky’s heart desires.

Editorial Review:

Content: 8.3: While there are hardly any recent videos, and some links are broken, the content within each video sucks you in. The quality of content is fantastic, the topics are simple (finding the best eats and relaying food news), yet entertaining. Ozersky’s personality no doubt plays into the success of the channel, as he is honest and unfiltered, and funny — not to mention the guy’s got some serious industry cred

Design: 6: Not a bad site layout, but it could be ramped up more. The navigation is easy enough, but it seems some of the menu tabs aren’t productive and would make more sense on the homepage itself (the search function, for example). Also, social buttons aren’t icons, but tabs, which looks a bit blah. 

On-Blog Interaction/Commentary: 7: Whether good or bad, viewers have an opinion. And quite a few of them, at that. It seems a handful also agree with us on the lack of videos — keep ’em coming!

Klout Score: 60
Twitter Followers: 13.5K
Sentiment Score: 6.16 (based on a 10-point scale)
Engagement Score: 8.21
Average Editorial Score: 7.1
Overall/Final Score: 21.47

Liza Mosquito de Guia | Photo Credit: Food. Curated.

Liza Mosquito de Guia | Photo Credit: Food. Curated.

Liza Mosquito de Guia
New York City
Blog: Food. Curated.

Just from reading her ‘About’ section, there’s no doubt that Liza is the endearing girl-next-door. Her work on Food. Curated. evokes true passion for food and storytelling, which, ultimately, is a food bloggers job — at least, the ones worth bookmarking. 

Editorial Review:

Content: 9.2: Food. Curated.’s posts are a mixture of text, photo diaries and video (yay for offering content in different formats!), which makes digesting tons of content very easy to do. She focuses on a variety of topics, from in-the-kitchen with chefs to behind-the-scenes of a fishery. Overall, Food. Curated. is about telling the story behind a dish, a restaurant — and beyond — and the people surrounding them. Perhaps Liza herself says it best in a recent TEDxBrooklyn talk she gave: “When you look at my series, and you look closely, you’ll see this isn’t so much a series about food, as much as it is a series about people.” Oh yeah, and she’s a great writer. So there’s that.

Design: 8.5: I’m pretty sure this is the highest design score we’ve given out thus far, but Food. Curated. is a damn good site. The layout is clean and balanced, the header is brand-centric and somewhat thought-out, and we love that Liza gives a nod to local farmers and other food blogs she enjoys on her sidebar. Also on the sidebar are several other noteworthy elements, like a Newsletter sign-up, social networking buttons (and not just Facebook & Twitter), recent comments (thanks for making this easier!), and a list of ‘Places We Eat,’ including snapshots of food. I mean, c’mon, what more do you need? (We were, however, bummed that the site isn’t mobile-friendly.)

On-Blog Interaction/Commentary: 8: Readers show Liza a lot of love. And she shows them love back, as well, making sure to respond to commenters — not all of them, but some. As expected, the video blogs received a bit more comments than the traditional blog posts.

Klout Score: 53
Twitter Followers: 20.8K
Sentiment Score: 8.15 (based on a 10-point scale)
Engagement Score: 8.22
Average Editorial Score: 8.56
Overall/Final Score: 24.93

And the two winners for Round 3 are... Ozersky.TV with a Final Score of 21.47 and Food. Curated. with a Final Score of 24.93!

Which team will you root for in the Northeast region? Let us know on Twitter by tagging @foodable and #FoodieFight2014!

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network