Many have proposed dining establishments outfitted with the latest technogadgets, to appeal to the geek crowd. The place described herein may provide such accoutrements, or it may be an otherwise thoroughly standard restaurant.

Except the menu would assign unique numerical values to available ingredients
and preparation methods, and the dishes would be listed only as numbers resulting from a published algorithm that uses the relevant assigned values. Prices would of course be in either binary or hexadecimal notation.

Like this:

SPICES/CONDIMENTS
1=Salt
2=Pepper
3=Oregano
4=Cumin
5=Basil
etc.

FLORA
23=Romaine Lettuce
24=Beets
25=Tomatoes
26=Russet Potatoes
27=Rye Bread
etc.

FAUNA
67=Ground Beef
68=Lamb Shanks
69=Mussels
70=Leg of Rabbit
71=Foie Gras
etc.

SUNDRIES
122=Roquefort Cheese
123=Sourwood Honey
124=Red Wine
125=Olive Oil
etc.

PREPARATION METHODS
185=Grilled
186=Baked
187=Mixed
188=Puréed
189=Whipped
etc.

===============TODAY'S DISHES===============
(SUM[spices] x SUM[flora] x SUM[fauna] x SUM[sundries])/ SUM[preparation]

APPETIZERS------------------------------prices
23.891891...........................00000110
49.189189...........................00000111
etc.

ENTREES
34,083.629..........................00001100
1,265.0103..........................00010001
etc.

DESSERTS
8.0212202...........................00000110
1,180.0645..........................00001000
etc.

Not just for geeks, but also for the adventurous palate.

I can't get Greek sigma symbols (¦²) to come out right in the mathematical formula. They show up in the editing box, but not in the idea when it's posted. Same for the accented e in pur¨¦ed. Anyone know how to fix this?

To further enhance the geek appeal, you should use a variable-width encoding such as Huffman coding to choose the numbers. The most commonly used ingredients get the shortest codes. (VCRPlus+ program codes are done this way for usability, for example). That way the more commonly ordered items will have shorter numeric codes, making it easier on the waitstaff.

Meanwhile, the geeks could entertain themselves by trying to concoct an order that was both palatable and had as long as possible code.

B beef
B>>: 12 oz. prime rib
B>: more beef than shown on the menu
B<: less beef than shown on the menu
B+++ ashes
B++: well done
B+: medium well
B: medium
B-: medium rare
B-- rare
B--- still quivering
B(0) I'm a vegetarian
B(0!) I'm a vegan
B! Where's the beef???

F=Fish
F>>: Cut me a slab of that beached whale you found
F>: lobster
F: Cod
F<: shrimp
F!: sushi
F!! octopus

//I can't get Greek sigma symbols (¦²) to come out right in the mathematical formula.// I'd posted an idea which addressed this issue earlier this week & promptly deleted it when jutta indicated it was a browser limitation, not a halfbakery limitation. Given that, which browser is best for displaying the full range of characters, particularly the useful Mathematic & Greek symbols? (I've not reloaded Opera as a browser yet to check)

One of the BEST suggestions I've seen ! I would suggest if it was a TRUE geek restaurant, then orders would be acceptable in a number of ways, including browser, PDA, 802.11g, WAP, email, and any other random geeky method possible, including Morse Code and Klingon-Speak