The early days of the Microsoft cafeterias

A tour of Redmond campus cafeterias back in the old days took much less time than it would require nowadays. Back then, the cafeterias were tiny affairs, the size of maybe three offices not counting the prep area, with a seating capacity of maybe a dozen tables. Each cafeteria had a theme, so going to lunch back in the day was not "Let's go to the nearby mega-cafeteria and decide what we'll have." It was "Let's decide what we'll have, and then go to the mini-cafeteria that is serving it."

Here are the cafeterias on campus back in The Before Time, along with their specialties:

  • Building 1: Lite Bite. Low-calorie and vegetarian food.
  • Building 4: Wild Pizza. Pizza, a hot entree, and sandwiches made to order.
  • Building 5: Burger Bar. The grill, and home of the famous Blibbet Burger.
  • Building 8: American Fare. Traditional American food for the meat-and-potatoes kind of guy.
  • Building 9: International Cuisine. A different featured country every week.
  • Building 10: American Fare. Traditional American food for the meat-and-potatoes kind of guy.

All cafeterias had a salad bar, and the cafeterias in buildings 8 through 10 were extra large: In addition to the featured theme, they also had a grill and made sandwiches to order. (It was like three cafeterias in one!)

I myself have never even seen a Blibbet Burger, much less eaten one. Larry Osterman has some Blibbet memories, and Adam Barr has more cafeteria memories.

Comments (4)
  1. S says:

    Did you ever go to Burgermaster?

  2. John says:

    In fact Burgermaster was a pre-programmed speed dial number on the Microsoft’s Northup Way phone system (pre-Redmond).  And then just a few steps through the parking lot and down the steps to pick it up.

    The "cafeteria" in the Northup Way building was a nice lady who made sandwiches from a cart on the second floor.

  3. poochner says:

    Speaking of burgermaster and Blibbet Burgers, that sounds a lot like Hardee’s Monster Burger.  Two slabs of burger, three slices of cheese, four strips of bacon on a buttered bun.  Just in case you were thinking you might get away with it, it’s also got mayo.

    Damn, I miss those things.

  4. Cooney says:

    So, um, now I know why MS has such a good health plan.

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