Okay, I’ve contained myself long enough. This is my fourth day out at Google and I just have to comment on the cafeteria. Like Butthead used to say, “It is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” The menu is outstanding and the price? Free. That’s right, after you load up on food there isn’t a cash register in sight. It’s amazing.

And if that isn’t enough, they just don’t serve lunch, they serve dinner too. Not that you’d be hungry in between. Each building has snack areas that are filled with every possible beverage and snack. It’s like having a high-end Whole Foods-like snack area with everything from potato chips to granola to fresh fruit. And to drink, they have everything from water and soda to Naked Juices to Starbuck Frappuccinos. Again, it’s all free.


The menu for the cafeteria is published on the Google Intranet site daily, here’s today’s fare:

SALADS

Dungeness Crab Salad
Dungeness crabmeat, Italian parsley, organic celery, fresh tarragon, dill, lemon juice, green onions, mayonnaise and dijon mustard.

**Tofu Nicoise
Organic tofu, organic zucchini, haricots verts, roasted tomatoes, Nicoise olives, red onions, capers, lemon juice, garlic, italian parsley, extra virgin olive oil, and dijon mustard.

*Romaine with Summer Vegetables
Organic romaine lettuce tossed with red onions, steamed patty pan squash, cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, jalapenos, radishes, jicama, avocados and lemon cucumbers, dressed with a lime vinaigrette of lime zest and juice, sherry vinegar, cilantro, cumin, cardamom, garlic and garnished with jack cheese and cilantro.

VEGHEADS

*Ratatouille Moussaka
Red onions, organic red bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, garlic confit, diced tomatoes, oven roasted tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and basil topped with a mixture of ricotta cheese, eggs, cream, parmesan cheese, butter, flour and nutmeg and baked until golden brown and bubbly.

**Brussels Sprouts
Organic Brussels sprouts sauted with chili flakes, garlic and soy margarine.

CHARLIES GRILL

Filet of Salmon
Organic Atlantic king salmon, farm raised in the pacific northwest. Grilled, then topped with an orange-ginger, soy glaze.

*Sautoed Asparagus
Sauteed organic asparagus in a sweet chili-butter sauce.

**Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Organic fingerling potatoes roasted crispy in extra virgin olive oil, herb/ garlic salt and black pepper.

BACK TO ALBUQUERQUE

**Agua Fresca de Limon
Housemade Lemonade

Pollo en Chile Verde
Free range chicken thigh meat, simmered with organic onions, cilantro, green pasilla chiles, tomatillos, cumin, oregano, coriander and garlic.

*Vegetarian Tamale Casserole
Organic onions, peas, corn, roasted red peppers, zucchini, ortega chilies, chile powder, oregano, cumin, garlic, cloves, cheddar cheese, yellow corn meal and butter.

**Steamed Green Peas & Corn
English peas steamed with sweet corn and southwest seasonings.

**Garlic Potatoes
Roasted organic red potatoes, garlic, ground clove, extra virgin olive oil and fresh rosemary.

EAST MEETS WEST

Roasted Miso Marinated Butterfish
Fresh line caught Japanese butterfish roasted in miso and sake.

**Vegetarian Mapo Tofu
Organic smart ground protein, onions, bell peppers and tofu stir fried in a shiitake mushroom reduction sauce. A vegetarian take on a Chinese classic.

**Thai Peanut Sauce Vegetables
Organic zucchini, yellow squash, and Japanese eggplant roasted in a peanut sauce of peanut butter, cilantro, mirin rice wine, rice wine vinegar and chili paste.

Sticky Rice
Steamed Japanese short grain rice

AL FORNO ROMANO: LE PIZZE

Cheeseburger
Ground Berkshire farms pork, cheddar cheese, organic tomato, onion, lettuce and a spicy mayo.

*Spinach & Tomato
Sauted organic baby spinach, sliced vine ripened tomato, mozzarella fresca and organic tomato pizza sauce.

AL FORNO ROMANO: I PIADINI

**Piadine: Arugula & Beet
Organic baby arugula, red beets, shredded carrots, tossed in a honey mustard dressing and garnished with crispy onion rings.

AL FORNO ROMANO: IL SECONDO PIATTO

Braised Short Ribs
Grass fed, certified Angus beef short ribs, braised with red wine, organic garlic, onions, California bay laurel, celery, carrots, fresh thyme and rosemary.

*Veggie Pot Pie
Organic onions, carrots, celery, pearl onions, garlic, thyme, oregano, English peas, white wine, oyster mushrooms and potatoes, simmered and baked in flakey puff pastry.

**Sautbed Mustard Greens
Organic mustard greens sauted with onions, garlic, white wine, extra virgin olive oil and thyme.

Country Mashed Potatoes
Organic russet and red potatoes, cream, butter, herb salt and Italian parsley.

SOUPS

**Vegan Black Bean Chili

Grilled Sirloin Black Bean Chili

**Red Lentil Curry

Irish Lamb Stew

DESSERTS

Shanons Banana Bread, German Chocolate Cake, Snickerdiggle Cookies, Mango Bread, Olallieberry Crostata

My co-workers and I tried to calculate how much it must cost to provide this service to the nearly 2,000 employees at the Mountain View campus. At an average cost of $20 per weekday (for lunch, snacks, and dinner, since not everyone eats dinner or snacks), it would be $50,000 per day or $200,000 per week. Since there’s 50 working weeks in the year, that equates to about $10 million annually, give or take a million Alas, for a company with $2.9 billion in annual revenues that’s not even material. Well, it’s still delicious.

2 Comments »

  1. Dude. That rocks. Nicer than the Bordeaux Solectron cafeteria where they have crepes, a cheese station and wine…

    #1 by Meerenai — November 22, 2004 @ 11:36 pm

  2. …and it wasn’t free for the employees.

    #2 by Meerenai — November 22, 2004 @ 11:36 pm

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