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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cafe Serves Up the Cyberspuds

DALLAS, Texas -- Diners suffering from separation from their computers at mealtimes now have a place in Dallas where they can plug in and eat.

In what may turn out to be a glimpse of the lunch hour of the future, the newly opened High Tech Cafe greets patrons with a computer voice that asks: "Nonsmoking, smoking or modem-ready?"

The cafe offers outlets for the lunchtime crowd to hook up laptop computers and chat electronically while munching. A fax machine is also at the ready.

Located in a high-tech Infomart office development, the room was designed at zero cost from mainly non-working computer parts and labor donated by the many computer experts in the building.

"When you walk into the room, you almost have the effect of being inside a computer," chef Michael Mudrone said.

Overhead light fixtures are constructed from computer monitors, table vases are filled with keys reclaimed from discarded keyboards and floors are built from assorted computer parts with signs saying "Danger High Voltage" attached.

The plants are fed information instead of water, the chef jokes.

Client servers, who would be called waiters elsewhere, greet diners with, "How did we interface today?" or "Would you care to download some megabyte chips and salsa?"

The spread sheet, known in more pedestrian establishments as a menu, lists various meals using expressions from the computer industry vocabulary such as CD ROM-ano chicken, Version 7.0 shrimp caesar, the virtual burger and the BASIC spud -- "just a baked potato."

The dessert menu is presented on a laptop. "The graphics on this program are so real you could eat right off the screen," Mudrone said.

High-tech confections include the 17 Disk Array -- a 17-layer chocolate cake -- and the LAN mine, a cookie crust filled with ice cream.

The bar area is separated from the dining room with a screen of motherboards, network cards, modem cards and video cards arranged in such a way that they actually create a path on a conceptual information superhighway, said Kevin Bennett, an architect at Infomart.

The most popular "info-galactic" drink at The Space Bar is the VGA Monitor, a concoction of Southern Comfort, vodka, sloe gin, amaretto and orange juice.

Movies such as "Star Wars," "Star Trek" and "Robocop" are shown on a screen.

"This restaurant will grow with technology," Mudrone said, adding that he is already planning to release an updated version of the menu.