Normally, I leave the blog writing to Jill, but visiting Google in Dublin was something I couldn’t pass up writing about. A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the campus in San Francisco. When our Couch Surfing host invited us to see where he worked and to indulge at Google’s free, all you can eat cafeteria, I knew we were in for a treat.
Google is known for treating its employees very well. Staff members have access to all sorts of perks including free gyms, personal trainers, game rooms, nap rooms, and even swimming pools on some campuses. But one of the most important perks that keeps their employees happy and productive is a free lunch. The lunch room at Google resembles a university cafeteria but the environment is much more welcoming and colourful than what you’d find in any school. The food is also of a higher quality and their is a focus on healthy options.
My lunch started out with a mixed salad. The ingredients were fairly standard but it was a fun experience to load my salad bowl with a mix of vegetables and have it tossed, dressed with spicy mustard sauce, and plated by the cafeteria staff.
My main course was a grilled tofu burger, that was easy to pick out because it had two little stars to identify it as a vegan-friendly option. I also loaded up on sides of barely with smoked paprika vegetables and capsicum sauce (you can thank Jill for documenting the details), steamed broccoli and pasta salad with olive oil.
The grilled tofu burger was served on an organic poppy seed bun with a creamy vegan caper and dill sauce. It held together nicely and had a good texture. The dill cream sauce was a perfect addition, otherwise I think it would have been quite dry. I could have used another bun and created my own super burger with the salad toppings, but the open face style was filling enough. You can see in the photo that Jill had the same, but also tried some coconut and pineapple juice.
In addition to all the food, there’s also a lot of drinks to choose from. I think I went for several iced teas.
Google was lacking on the vegan dessert options. The only thing we could find was some lemon soy yogurt, which Jill tried but didn’t fancy.
Our Couch Surfing host said he never gets bored of eating lunch at Google. They are always changing the options and have daily specials. To keep people from eating everything in sight, they have lots of posters promoting healthy eating habits.
Here is a picture of the vegan lunch I had in San Francisco, back in 2008. From what I remember this was one of several plates I had that day. I might have went a little overboard with the “all you can eat” back then.
It’s not just the food that got us excited about visiting Google. We also wanted to see some of the creative spaces they have for workers. This was one of the many lounges where people could gather to play games or relax.
I hope this isn’t the last Google campus we get to visit. I wouldn’t mind visiting Apple too, so hook that up people! kthxbye :)