Matchstick Media Production

Online Portfolio for the Web Sites Built and Managed by Matt Slaybaugh

Gotham Menus


I built this site in 1999 as a way of practicing PHP and MySQL. There were not many CMSs available at the time and a home-grown solution was best. Revenue is via Google AdSense and the site still earns a little every day with minimal oversight. It is not the “money tree” I had hoped for, but there is no reason to abandon the site.


The business idea was to have restaurant delivery menus online, which no one else was doing at the time. Since then of course many sites have done the same thing, but we were first. The challenge was and is keeping content both comprehensive and current. A company in India contacted me, offering to sell their database of restaurant information. They claimed to have a staff that regularly acquired and scanned every delivery menu for all the thousands of restaurants in New York City. I wasn’t sure whether I believed them, and although the price was reasonable, I turned them down.


Matt Ferranto did the design.

I coded the site using tables, which was the only way to get proper layout at the time. I need to update the site to use CSS for positioning, but haven’t yet.


Part of the idea was to learn MySQL and try to make the data as relational as possible, that is, give each type of meta-data (cuisine type, neighborhood, etc.) its own table and each value a unique id.

The other part of the idea was to have a complete site using only a single PHP file, which I did.