2006_03_food_chowhound.jpgWe are generally big fans of Chowhound, the grassroots food-lovers' message board. We turn to it when we go on trips to get ideas on hole-in the wall places not to be missed, we search it for opinions about restaurants or where to find the best eats in the city. But one of Chowhound's biggest problems is its lack of a decent search feature -- the current search, to put it plainly, absolutely sucks. Enter CNET Networks.

Alpha hound Jim Leff speaks very highly of CNET, and seems to feel confident that they won't destroy the work he's put into the site for the past nine years:

As a media company known for smart, savvy opinions, they recognized the worth of great, compelling information contributed by expert passionate people. They have no interest in dumbing down anything, believing - correctly, I think - that with some much-needed improvements, Chowhound could continue to grow while maintaining its values and pleasing its loyal users. In fact, without exception, every CNET exec I spoke to was clearly houndish themselves - some for food, some for music or other things, but all had passion in their eyes. Several were already site users. It seemed right.

Loyal Chowhounds can chime in with their redesign ideas on a message board set up by the new design team, Mule Design. They are welcoming input through March 17th. We're truly looking forward to the beefed up site and are excited about what this alliance will bring the next time we're trying to hunt down chilaquiles. Or fried oysters. Or grits. Or opinions on that restaurant our co-worker picked for lunch . . .

The Voice and Eater on the news.