100 Favorite Dishes

Local Man Is a Genius; Plots All 100 of Robb Walsh's Favorite Dishes on Google Maps

Kyle Nielsen is a genius, and I don't use that word lightly.

Nielsen, a frequent commenter here at Eating Our Words and a man known for his preternatural knowledge of the Houston restaurant scene, sat down on the day that Robb Walsh released the final dish from his list of his 100 favorite Houston dishes and plotted every single one of them out on a map.

"Sometimes I get really bored at work," Nielsen stated on Twitter, adding a customary "Heh" at the end of his statement. "Links for each dish have been added. Only missing dishes are Whataburger and James Coney, because of all the locations," he further stated. Oh, and if you're wondering, yes -- it can be downloaded to Android's Google Maps application as well as your iPhone.

One of the most fascinating things about mapping sets of data is to see patterns that are otherwise invisible in lines of text or coordinates. After all, that's how Dr. John Snow figured out that cholera is spread by contaminated water after an 1854 outbreak of the disease in London. People can have a field day with Nielsen's map, easily identifying the parts of town that Robb favors as well as those which were, perhaps, ignored or underrepresented by the list.

If you were to eat out every third night, working your way through Robb's list could easily be accomplished in a year (especially seeing as some of the restaurants have closed since the list was completed). Will someone use this handy geographic guide to step up and tackle the list? Perhaps. And they'll have Kyle Nielsen to thank for it.

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Katharine Shilcutt