How CTS finds food

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Musing on how Woven’s Facebook page had a direct bearing on my choice of Sunday lunch spot has got me thinking about the various and varied methods Consider The Sauce utilises to find cool places to chow down at and write about.

Those methods have become more numerous and, dare I say it, more sophisticated since CTS set sail.

When pondering such things, it’s instinctive for me to immediately wonder how and why our friends and readers do likewise.

The truth is – an amazing truth it still often seems to me – is that for many that means reading CTS!

 

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JUST DRIVING AROUND

This is our default, bedrock method for finding new eats places – and is simply a lot of fun!

Food-spotting adventures can range from driving to or from school or work (in Hoppers Crossing and Keilor West respectively) through to places noted on the way to or from a specific restaurant or food precinct, or just simply aimless tooling around.

Like all locals, including very much our readers, we keep a keen eye out for developments on all the main thoroughfares – Anderson, Ballarat, Gamon, Charles, Victoria, Barkly, Hopkins, Hampshire, Alfrieda, Pier, Racecourse and so on.

But beyond doing that, Bennie has gone from resigned acceptance to enthusiasm about his father’s keenness for avoiding retracing our steps, taking a left turn or right turn when straightahead is the obvious way home, and for checking out even the smallest and most humble neighbourhood retail precincts.

We find new places to try doing all of the above, and also these days find material for the ongoing series of “eats goss” posts that have become a CTS feature this year.

For sure, there will be a heap more of them in 2015.

 

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MAINSTREAM MEDIA

Early on in the CTS piece, I commented upon being “scooped” by The Age.

Since then?

I can’t recall a single instance of the likes of The Age or the Herald Sun or any other organ of the MSM enlightening us in any way in terms of western suburbs food.

Both Melbourne major newspapers do include western suburbs food in their coverage, but that coverage is hardly consistent and often seems tokenistic.

That’s OK – they have their own readership imperatives to address in what is a very tough game.

If anything, it seems more likely these days that western suburbs businesses will get the sort of exposure offered by The Age or the Herald Sun after CTS or one of the several other blogs who cover the western suburbs have already started the ball rolling.

These days, the western suburbs are serviced by only two suburban community newspaper groups – Leader and Star Weekly.

We generally don’t get Leader delivered and I work for Star Weekly.

In either case, the food content – be it editorial, advertorial or even advertising – is minimal.

Where Star Weekly – and, thanks to my sub-editorial role there, I am across the content of not just the Maribyrnong-Hobsons Bay edition but of the entire group – really helps CTS is through stories and “community calendar” inclusions concerning wonderful community events such as this bread jamboree in Lalor.

This is a very fabulous thing!

 

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NICHE MEDIA

As both food blogger and media junkie, I keep an eye on outfits such as Urbanlist and Broadsheet.

Truth is, though, they seem even more constrained by dedication to inner-city trendiness than the major newspapers.

So … no.

 

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TIPS BY READERS, FRIENDS AND FELLOW TRAVELLERS

These are right up there with “just driving around” when it comes determining CTS content!

They can take the form of comments on blog posts.

They can be in the form of suggestions on the CTS Facebook page, private FB or Twitter messages or emails – or even the result of face-to-face encounters.

In all cases, we love them to pieces.

I’ve long been in the habit of chasing down such tips and rumours with alacrity – not because I feel obligated but because I really, really enjoy doing so.

In this way, CTS often seems – wonderfully – to be not simply a matter of a blog and its readers but more like a collective adventure!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

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OTHER BLOGGERS

Yes.

I habitually follow a dozen or so Melbourne blogs and bloggers I admire most and do get post ideas from them.

 

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URBANSPOON

It’s no secret this international food/restaurant site has its faults and many detractors, but for CTS it is an invaluable resource.

We use it not just by scanning the recent blogger and “diner” reviews but by checking out – several times a week – the “recently added” listings for the “western suburbs” and “inner west”.

Often there’s little to catch our eye – but sometimes there most definitely is.

 

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook can seem creepy and has its faults, but it’s a core aspect of the CTS operation.

For starters, as covered here, many readers digest posts on the blog itself but choose to interact with us via the CTS FB page – and that’s fine!

More to the point of this story, CTS “likes” and keeps on “liking” an ever-broadening collection of western suburbs food businesses, community groups and individuals – invaluable and enlightening!

As well, Facebook ads come in handy.

Really!

For instance, it was through my FB activity that FB chose to display an ad for a beaut Avondale Heights bakery that resulted in this post.

And through “liking” that business, I found out about this fantastic Williamstown pizza place!

I remain largely indifferent to Twitter, but continue to post story links there for those readers who rely on that for keeping up to date with CTS.

As for the rest – Yelp, Reddit, Instagram, Stumbleupon, Pinterest and the like – it all remains a mystery!

 

TELEVISION

Hahahaha.

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