I joined the Cafeteria Tour


Yesterday, I met Christian and friends as host to the building 121 edition of the Microsoft Cafeteria Tour 2006 (MSCT2K6). Frankly, I think the whole thing is a ruse to take a long lunch and talk to people you would never ordinarily meet in your campus life. With the implied subject of Microsoft cafeteria food, the conversation keeps rolling despite the fact that I have pretty much nothing in common with my technical MS brethren other than the fact that someone, at one time, deemed each of us a “hire” (OK, and the fact that we are all fascinating…don’t believe me? Just ask us). I hardly had to invoke my smile and nod approach to technology-related conversation. If the talk slowed down, we could always chat about food, or rely on Christian’s active imagination to bring up something totally unrelated as if we been discussing it all along: secret tunnels, towel-snapping, Fango (I have no idea…some kind of drink), gerbils. Nope, nope, I wouldn’t make that kind of stuff up.


I have to admit that this trek to the cafeteria is my first in quite some time and the selection of 121 for my hosting duties was strictly based on the fact that it’s the closest to the door with my name plate on it…as the crow flies (I don’t have a cafeteria in my building). When I was going in to the office every day, I usually either brought something or went out to eat…there were always some Zone Bars in the desk. But most Microsoft employees visit the cafeterias much more frequently..I did when I sat in other buildings, much to the detriment of my waistline. The food is good, but the portions are big for lunch. So now, when I do go to the cafeteria, it’s salad more often than not. It’s easier that way.


The salad bars haven’t changed much over the 7 years I’ve been at Microsoft. There have been some minor additions like dolmas. Quick side story: a couple weeks ago (or was it one week ago…after Miami but before NY), I took a middle eastern cooking class at PCC and we learned to make dolmas, halwa and dogh. The instructor was great, the dolmas was amazing (but quite some work…I’d probably only make for entertaining), and the dogh was good and easy. The halwa was just a little outside the framework of the South Beach Diet (or really far outside), so I am glad I got to try it but won’t make it part of my regular eating habits. Anyway, the salad bar dolmas aren’t nearly as good. But they are a welcome additional to the regular MS cafe fare.


So the cafe tour was really fun (and Christian does a better job recapping, though his pants are on fire).

Comments (9)

  1. cbuck says:

    C’mon Heather, you need to be honest with yourself, and admit your true feelings about Jackie Chan. Denial leads to pancreatic cancer. Yes, there’s a direct relation. I read a whitepaper on it once…I think…

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    cbuck-you have a talent for hyperbole. Do you think Jackie is going to be upset when he knows that I have never seen one of his movies?

  3. patblue says:

    We moved away from RedWest a year ago, I realized now that I don’t miss the cafeteria at all. It was a mainstay for many years of my Msft career, but I can safely say that I don’t long to go back :-).

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    patblue- is there a cafeteria at Redmond Town Center, or is it just assumed that employees there will eat at the center. I’d be excited about that kind of variety, actually. There are probably 10-15 different places you could eat. Where are we eating when we have lunch this week? I vote for Sahib or Red Robin.

  5. patblue says:

    There is no cafeteria here. Oddly working in ‘the center’ has caused me to start bringing my lunch. It gets far too expensive to eat out for lunch every day (think $10 x 5 = 50$)! Couple that with morning Starbucks ($2×5 = 10$) and you are 60 or more bucks in the hole a week. So many of my teammates remain silohed at their cubes to resist tempation and spending money. For you and this week we can eat at RR, a special teat!

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yeah, I am saving loads of money working mostly at home.

    I hope you meant special "treat"…or is Red Robin doing some cow milking promotion? : ) Hey, I love Red Robin as ling as  nobody is singing the b-day song.

  7. patblue says:

    I AM SO EMBARRASED, kind of, I don’t think that there is any new features to RR in this department. I can’t wait for lunch it has been so ‘ling’ HH.

  8. HeatherLeigh says:

    Don’t be embarassed, silly. It endearing. I almost kind of wished you did it on purpose. Maybe you did!

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Oh, and I have typos in comments all the time (ling). I frequently type "bog" instead of big and then spend the afternoon with Irish folk songs running through my head.