Have you ever gone to a highly recommended restaurant with a bunch of great reviews on Yelp or TripAdvisor, only to be disappointed in your meal? We've all been there, which is why my family has vowed to never eat at a bad restaurant again...just by keeping track of the best ones out there.

My cousin David Wachs and my brother Justin Gavil are foodies living it up in New York City, going on food crawls and keeping precise logs of their eating adventures so that they never forget a single meal and know just what to say when asked for a recommendation. Working adults by day and food experts by night, David and Justin have some strong opinions on food and are dedicated to sharing them.

pizza, crust, cheese
Photo by David Wachs

In hopes of learning a thing or two from the restaurant pros themselves, I interviewed Dave and Justin about their restaurant organization system, which is now years in the making. Here are five of their best pieces of foodie advice, so you, too, can develop a sophisticated restaurant database--and never eat at a bad restaurant again. 

1. Start with research

coffee, beer, tea, beans
Photo by David Wachs

Dave first became particularly interested in ranking restaurants with historic New York City pizza places. When Justin moved to NYC in 2012, the pair took their passion for pizza to the next level. 

Hours of research on sites like Thrillist and Buzzfeed set the groundwork for the first set of restaurants they would be visiting. After narrowing down a list of the top ranked old-school pizza parlors in the tristate area, they began planning food crawls to test out the internet's suggestions. From there, the idea simply spiraled: the pair designed a spreadsheet, expanded the list of foods to rank, and began a restaurant journey that would turn itself into a never-ending food coma.

2. Broaden your foodie horizons

chocolate, cream
Photo by Rachel Kamrasch

Over the past few years, Dave and Justin's research has led them to find the best of the best in 14 food categories: historic tristate pizza, bagels, NYC hummus, Israeli hummus, black and white cookies, NJ roadside ice cream, fried chicken, NJ sliders, matzo ball soup, burgers, dumplings, pho, ramen and Peruvian chicken.

With the help of old college friends, childhood camp friends and family members, Dave and Justin are constantly expanding and editing the list depending on everyone's restaurant dining experiences.

3. Manage it all online

soup, parsley, vegetable, cream, clam chowder, meat
Photo by David Wachs

Their trick to keeping the process organized? In two words, it's Google Docs. Dave and Justin swear by the Google platform, saying it's the easiest way to keep up a large spreadsheet that's managed by multiple people and constantly growing. 

Each contributor to the doc has his or her own column in the sheet to mark down which places they have been to and have enjoyed with space for additional comments. The restaurants are listed in alphabetical order rather than numerically ranked, so that any one contributor's taste buds and preferences are not prioritized over any other's. 

4. Get input from friends

platter, feast
Photo by David Wachs

Dave and Justin are firm believers that eating is a social activity. In order to get the most well-rounded opinions, they include friends and family in every step of their food excursions and documentation process. Whether they host a taste-testing, share food news on Facebook or ask for restaurant suggestions, Dave and Justin's hobby has sparked the interest of many friends along the way--who are now eager to share information with them about restaurants they've discovered and enjoyed.

It's clear that Dave and Justin have become verifiable food connoisseurs amongst those who know them–a friend just recently asked for the duo's advice on whether a pizza pot pie counts as an actual pizza.

5. Always bring a group

Dave and Justin's number-one piece of advice is to bring friends and family members with you to the restaurants you're testing out. The more people you have, the more you can order and the more items you can add to the review spreadsheet. Hummus is an easy food for beginners looking to go on a food crawl because it's easier to taste multiple hummus plates in a row than it is to eat several pizzas, one after the other.

If you'd like to check out a few of Dave's personal favorites, hit up Ess-a-Bagel, The Donut Pub (for black and white cookies) and Delorenzo's Pizza. Justin's top ramen recommendations are Totto and Ivan Ramen. And both Dave and Justin rave about Taboonette if you enjoy extra creamy hummus.

Dave and Justin were also willing to share their full spreadsheet  here, so that you all know just where to start on an incredible food journey through the city that never sleeps.