Normally, I use Yahoo! Local to search for restaurants near my house; it’s very handy, as I’ve noted before. However, I’ve been using Google Maps more frequently than Yahoo! Maps recently (Yahoo’s driving directions are far better than Google’s though), so I figured I’d give Google Local a try.
It turns out that if you search Google Local for the “Restaurants” category, you get an almost completely different set of businesses than if you search for a category of “Restaurant”. This is, to say the least, not useful. It seems that if you search for “restaurant” (not as a category, just as a text search, and non-ppural), you get most of the restaurants, but this is hardly intuitive, and I can’t quite figure out why the “Restaurants” category exists, if not to include all the other restaurant categories.
I guess this is what Google means by “beta.”