Force Grind’s first app is live – Cheap Eats 2 by John Gilchrist!

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I’ve got some exciting news!

My first ever iPhone app is now live on the App Store! Cheap Eats 2 by John Gilchrist is an app version of John Gilchrist’s Cheap Eats 2 book. It’s an app for finding the best Cheap Eats in Calgary, Banff and area.

Who is John Gilchrist? Only Calgary’s most influential food writer. John reviews restaurants for CBC Radio’s Calgary Eyeopener and writes about food and restaurants for the Calgary Herald, Avenue, Swerve, and Where Calgary. If you haven’t followed his restaurant recommendations before, you are missing out. I’ve been a devoted follower for years. Whenever my wife and I feel like going out for dinner, we always pick a restaurant from his book, and we’ve yet to be disappointed. We like to work our way through the book and my wife likes to put a sticker on every restaurant we’ve been to. (OK, I like it too).

Eventually it hit me – I really need an app version of John Gilchrist’s books. We often forget our books at home. Imagine if you could look up John’s recommendations from anywhere, and see what’s close to you on a map. Now you can! In the mood for sushi? Bring up a map of sushi restaurants and pick the nearest one. Peruse the restaurant’s menu from their website, all within the app. Pull up driving directions on Google Maps. I also wanted to do the app equivalent of putting stickers in our book. So now you can mark restaurants as visited in the app, or mark your favourites for easy reference.

I decided to build a prototype of the app and then contacted John Gilchrist out of the blue. (A little intimidating!) He agreed to meet, and couldn’t have been nicer. He loved the idea and was willing to go along with it right from the start. I also got to meet John’s lovely wife Catherine, and worked closely with her on updating all of the restaurant listings that have changed since the publication of the book, only a few short months ago. The restaurant business moves fast!

Here is the App Store link.

Read more about the app on my website: http://www.forcegrind.com/calgaryeats

Thanks to Stacy Anderson for all her help entering the restaurant data, and thanks to the very talented Eric Chernuka for his amazing design and artwork. Finally, thanks to John Gilchrist and Catherine Caldwell for being amenable to the idea, and easy to work with.

I’d love to hear your comments.

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