The Hilarity. The Madness. The Reviews.

Cliché time, ladies and gentlemen – nothing that’s worth doing is ever easy. Our people are out there. They sit patiently – at cafes and restaurants, hotel lobbies and theaters – gears grinding and pens in hand, itching to deliver the goods. In more than a dozen cities, and growing, our army of intrepid editors is gathering the information so that you don’t have to. If there’s a renegade art collective in downtown Austin with ground-breaking wares or an virtually unknown café down that obscure alley in Bernal Heights with free wi-fi, a friendly staff, and epic pastries, you’d better believe that we’ll find it. Not only will we find it, but we’ll polish off a fresh appraisal, clean and honest. Our people aren’t afraid to lay things out as they are. Certainly, the tendency is to always say nice things – hell, we’ve been trained since childhood to keep our yaps shut otherwise. This is why most city guides are unutterably useless to serious adventure-seekers, weathered travelers, and the otherwise ‘plugged-in’ denizens of these fine towns. The fact of the matter is that sometimes a bad review is in order – take for example a submission by one of our most trusted San Francisco contributors: Bus Stop Pizza – Haight Ashbury “You know, it’s pretty damn hard to ruin a slice of pizza – dough, sauce, cheese, and there you have it. Pretty simple, right? That being said, you may want to take some extra caution here at ‘Bus Stop Pizza,’ because this stuff isn’t nearly as appetizing as a pile of salty garbage. The name isn’t so clever, either. In fact, do yourself a favor and visit your local bus station. Take in a healthy eye-full of the wretched humanity of it all – endless lines, indecipherable voices growling out of loud speakers, and walking stomachs, milling about like haggard ghosts. Gaze at the detritus, the filth and agony, and then you might have an idea of how god-awful this pizza really is. If you don’t believe me, head on over, where ruining pizza and murdering your good mood is the name of the game.” That poor pitiful man – having to endure all of that, just so you don’t have to. All of the glowing venues rise to the top, of course, and then the world doesn’t seem so grim. With their well-developed senses of humor and buoyant attitudes, we’re elated to work with such interesting and creative individuals. And we’re always on the look-out for more. We spend a goodly amount of time in front of these cursed computer screens. It’s beginning to get hotter out here in our Tucson desert headquarters, so perhaps there’s no real reason to complain. It benumbs us at times, however, this monumental task we’ve taken on. The screening process is rigorous, the hours long, but it never ceases to amaze us, the kind of brilliance that slides down the funnel and into our laps. We’re always moving forward with the BrinkGuide; currently, we’re fleshing-out all of our reviews from San Francisco, getting ready for product testing. In short order, we’ll have our product cleaned up, shiny and new, and on its way to you. — photo credit: joland