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Great things about Google: Part 0

  • 11th Dec, 2006 at 4:33 AM

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

I've done loads and loads of laundry all evening and now it's hanging up to dry. The blues and greens aren't all done yet, but that will have to wait for tomorrow. The ironing will probably get done then, as well.

The apartment is now rather warm so I decided to sit outside for a while. It's gently raining and surprisingly mild. If I close my eyes, I can pretend I'm on the west coast again.

Which reminds me… I should tell you about the food at Google.

It's good.

No, not just good. Amazing!

The first lunch, on Sunday, was catered by an Indian place off campus. The vegetable korma was so savoury it disappeared instantly. And the food kept coming throughout the day, with sandwiches and fruit platters and all.

But the best was yet to come. On the weekdays, the on-campus kitchens are fired up.

They turn out astoundingly good food. Not just excellent cafeteria food, which is what I expected. No, they beat fine restaurants in many respects. Since I've eaten there, I've been completely spoiled.

Here, let me show you some photographs:

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Monday's lunch was a roast that was done perfectly rare and served with sweet creamed peas.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Tuesday involved beautifully roasted chicken, a wild-boar coleslaw, and a hearty beefy chilli.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Wednesday, I had lunch with Jim, and enjoyed lovingly soft tacos.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

And Thursday greeted me with meltingly good pulled pork sandwiches and a rich creamy chowder.

I was in heaven! How do I get invited to Google lunches more often?

I had a chance to speak with some of the cooks who were serving food. At the Building 44 restaurant, American Table, they've all worked in professional restaurants before coming on board. She had never cooked in a cafeteria before and actually thought the challenge was even harder. Later in the week, I saw the sous-chef who was taking her family on tour. I thanked her profusely and she seemed quite proud of the things her kitchen accomplished.

It's nice to see that kind of respect and passion for food. If only school cafeterias took themselves so seriously.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

On Friday, I decided that I needed to visit a fast-food mecca. People have been telling me about In-N-Out Burger for quite a while now. All the Bay Area ex-pats I know long to go there. They rave about it whenever I mention hamburgers. I decided to find out for myself.

First, I convinced sailorfrag to join me for lunch. Then I talked to the Building 44 receptionist at the front desk who recommended I order a cheeseburger, animal-style. We walked there from campus, which she thought was a bit nutty, but it worked up a decent appetite. And was merely a ten-minute walk. I have to admit, that was the best fast-food burger I have ever eaten. And the chips weren't bad either.

These meals, combined with all the sushi I ate, have caused me to put on a bit of weight. But I wouldn't have skipped a single one.


( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
11th Dec, 2006 12:35 (UTC)
Wow, that's amazing.

> I was in heaven! How do I get invited to Google lunches more often?

Hmm... apply to Google? It would sure suck to lose you though.
11th Dec, 2006 21:43 (UTC)
I don't really want to do that. Working for Google means being sucked into a black hole and disappearing for three years.
(Deleted comment)
11th Dec, 2006 22:26 (UTC)
Oh yes. Both of those were great!
11th Dec, 2006 14:01 (UTC)
The google lunches are the stuff of industry legend.. i can see why!
11th Dec, 2006 22:29 (UTC)
It pays to have keep your food preparation in-house. Nobody leaves for lunch!
11th Dec, 2006 15:16 (UTC)
I have't had lunch at the Googleplex yet but I've had dinner there a few times and, while the food is delightfully healthy, it wasn't as good as some of the better restaurants I frequent. Definately hard to argue with the price and convenience though.
11th Dec, 2006 22:28 (UTC)
I did notice that it was rather healthy, but taste didn't seem to be sacrificed. They certainly didn't cut out the fat.

It isn't among the best restaurants I've eaten at. But the lunches there beat out the vast majority of places, even ones that claim to be fine dining experiences.
11th Dec, 2006 15:27 (UTC)
sfllaw, I just want you to know that your entries never cease to brighten up my day, no matter how gloomy it may otherwise seem.

Thank you so much for just doing, and sharing, what you love best.
11th Dec, 2006 22:31 (UTC)
I'm glad that you're back into writing poetry, as I've missed it terribly.

It's good that you enjoy my weblog, because I try to make your friends-list less about how life is terrible (which it is) and more about how life is good (which it also is).
11th Dec, 2006 15:49 (UTC)
Heheh, I'm glad I'm not the only one who takes photos of his memorable/not so memorable meals!

I'm looking for a new camera. Which one do you use again?
11th Dec, 2006 22:32 (UTC)
I use a Canon PowerShot A620. It's a good little camera.

And I love shooting food porn!
11th Dec, 2006 16:30 (UTC)
I'm glad you stayed away from the "duck enchiladas" and the "tofu mole," or was it "mole tofu?" They were of the "interesting" variety but the standard test of "would I order them again?" was not passed. I think next time I'll just follow you in line and say "I'll have what he's having." ;-)

The whole "In & Out" thing makes me smile b/c when I was a student at USC (many years ago) they had several parody t-shirts made using the "In & Out" catchphrase in creative ways.

Ugh - the weight - must have been the sushi.
11th Dec, 2006 22:35 (UTC)
I avoided things that seemed too Californian. I am wary about fusion cuisine, since it requires mastery in flavours that might not fix. But someone was obviously from Texas as the meat was just wonderful!

And the sushi was worth it. Oh, it was bliss!
11th Dec, 2006 16:33 (UTC)
oh my. your entries make me so hungry sometimes!
11th Dec, 2006 22:31 (UTC)
Now imagine what will happen when I go back to SJU in January...
(no subject) - sfllaw - 11th Dec, 2006 22:33 (UTC) - Expand
11th Dec, 2006 17:33 (UTC)
Oh at lunchtime too !!
Why do you post such lovely pictures of food that I am going to see at lunchtime ? The torture is made even more painful by the lovely smells coming from our kitchen area. One of the girls at the office has a Portuguese b'friend who loves the concept of "pinch-of-this, dash-of-that" cooking and he has yet to fail.


11th Dec, 2006 22:37 (UTC)
Re: Oh at lunchtime too !!
Oh! I'm one of those cooks. It is good to see them around the place.

Except I'm not a boyfriend. That would make my life even busier.
11th Dec, 2006 18:48 (UTC)
You, my friend, are cruel. No more pictures of In-N-Out unless you ship some to me so I can enjoy it too!

11th Dec, 2006 22:39 (UTC)
It doesn't taste as good reheated, I'd wager.

We just have to go to California together!

Well, maybe we should meet up some time before that too?
(no subject) - fifoldara - 11th Dec, 2006 22:42 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sfllaw - 11th Dec, 2006 22:43 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fifoldara - 11th Dec, 2006 22:45 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sfllaw - 11th Dec, 2006 22:49 (UTC) - Expand
11th Dec, 2006 19:30 (UTC)
The first picture looks professionally done. Very nice.

It's not that the food at Google is that great, it's just that the food everywhere else in the world sucks. ;)
11th Dec, 2006 22:40 (UTC)
Alas, your words are too true!
(Deleted comment)
11th Dec, 2006 22:41 (UTC)
Man, I've never seen that film.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - sfllaw - 11th Dec, 2006 22:45 (UTC) - Expand
11th Dec, 2006 22:32 (UTC)
Hehe. I'm glad you enjoyed the food while here. And it was great to see you.

Let me know if you're around Waterloo next term!
11th Dec, 2006 22:41 (UTC)
I will be. I'm in Waterloo once a term.
12th Dec, 2006 04:04 (UTC)
i'm hungry. and i wish i worked for google.

wonder if they need english editors.
12th Dec, 2006 04:17 (UTC)
I have no idea. But their hiring process takes forever, so you may want to eat before then.
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )