Friday, August 05, 2005

Possibly The Best Cafeteria Ever


So I'm having dinner with a group of people earlier this week and I ask my friend Caroline:

"Where's your husband?"

"Oh, he couldn't make it to dinner this early, he works long hours and besides, he really likes eating in the cafeteria."

Mind you, this is no ordinary cafeteria! If we could, we all might want to eat there. With an emphasis on organic and ethnic options, it's about as cutting edge as employee cafeterias go.

Here are a few selections from a typical menu:

SALADS
Ahi Tuna & Avocado Poke
Fresh line caught Ahi tuna diced with organic avocados and minced ginger, habanero chilies, cilantro, green onions and sesame seeds, tossed with a fresh dressing of orange juice, rice vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, lime juice, tangerine oil, sambal oeleck and garnished with black and white sesame seeds.

Calypso Rice Salad
Perfectly steamed wild rice with Valencia orange segments, currants, diced red bell peppers, cilantro, green and red onions, mint, coriander and cayenne, tossed with orange juice and extra virgin olive oil.

VEGHEADS
Eggplant, Tomato & Onion Skewers
Organic eggplant, tomatoes and onions, skewered, baked, and topped with cilantro chutney and yogurt sauce.

Stir-fried Cauliflower
Organic cauliflower stir-fried with mustard seeds, turmeric, diced tomatoes and red onions.

BACK TO ALBUQUERQUE
Agua Fresca...Mora
Blackberry infused water.

Pollo en Huerto
Free range chicken with garden vegetables: organic zucchini, onions, fresh corn off the cob, tomatoes, green, red and yellow bell peppers, carrots, jalapeƱos, cilantro, garlic and oregano.

Vegetarian Tamale Casserole
A casserole of organic zucchini, carrots, onions, green and yellow bell peppers, corn off the cob, green peas and diced tomatoes, with chili powder, oregano, cumin and garlic.

EAST MEETS WEST
Seared Day Boat Scallops in Green Coconut Curry Sauce
Day Boat scallops seared to perfection and tossed in green curry coconut. Topped with a red bell pepper coulis and daikon sprouts.

AL FORNO ROMANO
Roasted Pork Loin
Berkshire Farms pork loin with mozzarella and bell pepper sauce.

Roma & Green Onion
Organic Roma tomatoes, green onions, Gruyere and fontina cream.

SOUPS
Spinach Lentil Dahl
Tropical Shrimp Bisque
Sweet Onion with Peas (chilled)

DESSERTS
Red Velvet Cake with Bright White Frosting
Hazelnut Shortcakes with Plum Compote
Creamy Lemon Macadamia Nut Cookies

This company cafeteria is so legendary that it has been written about in the major local newspapers, was featured on the Food Network, and a couple of months ago Mario Batali even stopped by. You can visit the corporate blog for more details about what it's like to eat at there, including details on a cook-off for chef finalists and a longer version of the menu above. Or if you are a chef or know one who might be interested in working in Mountain View, you can check out the job listings for executive chefs.

Oh and by the way, breakfast, lunch and dinner are free for all employees. I've read about 85% of employees eat there every day. No, it's not open to the general public. But for those even considering working at the company, I could see the cafeteria being a major factor in weighing a job offer, kind of like a company car or housing stipend. What's the company? Search me! Unless you work there and already know, I guess you'll just have to click on a link to find out...

Note: If any employees want to invite me for lunch, I'm available.