What's New on the Web
Eureka! So, presumably, thought cybermeals co-founder Tim Glass as he watched Sandra Bullock's character in The Net surf her way to a pizzeria web site to order a meal. Captivated by the idea of moving food orders from keyboards to kitchens on a grand scale, Glass built www.cybermeals.com, where customers order restaurant meals on-line for takeout or home delivery.
The national system claims 10,000 restaurants and 350,000 registered users in such cities as Houston, Boston, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Cybermeals membership is free, and once you've registered you can browse the menus of restaurants within five miles of your home, save recurring favorite orders or place orders as much as 90 days in advance of the eating. To comfort those paranoid about on-line purchasing, cybermeals doesn't even take your credit card information; payment is off-line between you and the restaurant.
A batch of restaurant-related domain names snatched up by cyberentrepreneurs Steven and Manon Carr is now on the block. For a mere $16,950 -- only $2,000 of that down -- you could purchase a bundle of prime cyberspace properties that includes www.TexasRestaurants .com, www.DallasRestaurants .com, www.AmericanRestaurants com, and both www.HoustonsRestaurants.com and www.HoustonRestaurants.com.
The Carrs report that they're more than willing to sell the domains individually, if need be. Since acquiring the registrations in 1997, they've gone on to bigger things with ClearSail Communications, a Houston-based filtered Internet access provider that's "on the verge of franchising and going nationwide."
Houston foodies' favorite monthly mag, My Table, has a new web site. Visitors can pull up a chair at editor/publisher Teresa Byrne-Dodge's spot in cyberspace at http://www.my-table.com and find featured recipes from recent issues, shop for My Table baseball caps, or read entries from Byrne-Dodge's second annual "Haiku-Sine" contest. This year's winner was Lori Goldman's little ditty:
Pie in the window.
Crispy, golden, crust its cell.
"The contest name, Haiku-Sine, is a play on the French term 'haute cuisine,' " Byrne-Dodge explains on the web site. "It might also be taken to mean 'magazine haiku.' I suppose that makes it a triple entendre."
My Table is collecting all of the tiny poems from the first and second annual Haiku-Sine contests for a book of the same name, to be published next fall.
-- Margaret L. Briggs
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.