If you had to recommend places to eat around Richardson to a friend, what would you send to them? A texted list? A spreadsheet? How about an entire website?
That’s what user experience designer Stephen Edmondson did when he heard one of his friends was moving to Richardson. Simply called richardsoneats.com, the website has a plain layout of clickable squares with restaurant names, summaries and links to their Google Maps locations. Edmondson had previously worked on a food and beverage directory for D Magazine, writing reviews for their “SideDish” food blog.
“I’ve always been interested in that sort of stuff. So, it’s kind of been something that I’m not necessarily new to,” Edmondson said. “At the same time, I was playing around with some of the technology that I was using on that page. I wanted to get more familiar with Flexbox, which is what I used for the frontend development of it.”
He’s been updating the site for four years, with locals reaching out via social media and the site’s contact form to add their recommendations.
“It just kind of came together as a perfect storm. I was like, ‘Hey, let’s just throw this together.’ And it’s something I often do in terms of just, people ask me for recommendations ‘cause they know I’m into food. And so, it seemed like a fun little project and I’ve maintained it ever since,” Edmondson said.
The list contains a variety of places with different cuisines and origins, from familiar chains like Torchy’s Tacos to more local favorites like Jeng Chi and Ricky’s Hot Chicken. These choices are by design: when he put together the list for his friend all those years ago, he wanted to highlight the diversity of foods on offer.
“One of the reasons we moved to Richardson, in the beginning, was just, it’s a really great melting pot of all these different cultures. That’s often expressed through the restaurants here. There are other areas of DFW that have blown up in terms of like certain types of Asian food or Mexican food. But I feel like Richardson is, an interesting [place], we’ve got Middle Eastern, we’ve got all different types of Asian, we’ve got all these different ethnic foods that are available to us and that’s one of the things that drew us here. It just kind of made sense to have fun with the website,” Edmondson said.
If you want to check out the list, suggest a new restaurant to the list or let Edmondson know that a place has closed, you can check out the website at richardsoneats.com and use the contact form embedded into the page. In the meantime, you can use it like Edmondson does- as a quick and easy way to tell people what’s good to eat.
“Anytime somebody asks for a recommendation: ‘Oh, by the way, here’s this website!’” Edmondson said.