For those of us who don’t have lucrative techie careers that take us daily to the cloistered office campuses of Mountain View, Cupertino, and that far-off region known as Santa Clara County, the phenomenon of the modern, high-end, Bay Area business commissary is an exotic notion. For those of you who do get to dine daily on the gold-encrusted pastries and foie gras sandwiches at Google’s or Apple’s cafeterias, feel free to stop reading now. But Grub Street received a dispatch this week from Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman, who as part of her recent “Three Days in the Valley” got to eat her way through the campuses of Intel and Electronic Arts — well, she actually didn’t eat that much, and she’s on a new eat-half-of-everything diet, but there are apparently some amazing cookies down at Intel.
Sunday, October 16 (arrival)
Had our crew dinner at The Grill in downtown San Jose. You have to understand that when it comes to us television people, you may lose an arm if you don’t grab the food off the table fast enough. I set up a little ‘barricade’ around my food with wine glasses and the salt shaker. Tuna tartare appetizer with avocado and won ton: stunning and fresh. Wild Atlantic salmon entrée with steamed vegetables: only ate half because that’s what I’m trying to do now. Restaurant portions are too huge no matter how delish they are! No dessert (although it was tempting).
Monday, October 17 (Electronic Arts - Redwood City, CA)
No breakfast, I never eat breakfast before a day-long shoot. I know you’re supposed to but it slows me down. Starbucks soy 2-pump Chai, extra hot latte. Starbucks fruit cup midday to keep my energy up.
Electronic Arts provided an amazing spread on site; who knew gamers who sleep on futons in their offices eat so well? They served us a buffet of amazing food from local providers. Typically I barely eat a thing when I am doing back-to-back interviews, but this I could not resist! Had the squash soup by Silicon Valley food services company Gukenheimer — so fresh, creamy and delicious it was ridiculous. Spiced nuts, brie with strawberry jam and pine nuts, tiny lemon and apple tarts (yes, ‘tarts’ plural, I had two) by San Francisco Fine Bakery and San Carlos Cal Smart Petite pastries. But seriously? What’s up with the ‘mini’ part of tarts? Like ‘fun-size’ Milkyways, there’s nothing ‘fun’ about tiny when it comes to desserts for me.
During my interview with Tibco CEO Vivek Ranadive he gave me a California golden delicious apple from his orchard; crisp and amazing. The perfect afternoon snack.
Dinner was room service at the San Jose Fairmont: half turkey club on toasted wheat with avocado and dijon, nineteen french fries, Diet Coke and topped it off with the local rhubarb crisp. How could I not?
Tuesday, October 18 (Tech Museum - San Jose, CA)
Again no breakfast (I need to work on that) Starbucks skim latte, extra hot, no whip. By lunch I was STARVING. Tech Museum was hosting and provided us a beautiful spread.
1/2 turkey sandwich on marbled rye, bag of potato chips, small slice of chocolate (not just chocolate, chocolate ganache) birthday cake from Bijan Bakery that we gave to Steve our audio tech.
Dinner: back to The Grill in San Jose because it was so good the first time! Who knew San Jose was such a culinary hotspot? I went to UC Berkeley and we always looked at San Jose like the world looks at New Jersey: nice but I’ll take the big city next door. No longer. Iceberg wedge with blue cheese chunks and crumbled bacon, crab cakes. Unbelievable. Perfect chunks of crab, hardly any breadcrumb filler. Fantastic, possibly the best I’ve ever had. Also, steamed vegetables, Diet Coke. Handful of Reese’s Pieces back in the hotel room. (C’mon, a girl’s gotta live!)
Wednesday, October 19 (Intel - Santa Clara, CA)
No breakfast again (sorry, it’s almost a superstition, just can’t eat breakfast before a big shoot) Starbucks tall skim latte no whip). Shocking that at 1pm I am STARVED and reach for the sweets! Intel’s kitchen makes THE BEST oatmeal cookie! Huge and soft, NO raisins (I hate raisins so this was perfect.) Took a lot of self control to only eat half. Seeing as we were at a semiconductor chip-maker headquarters my only question was, where were the chocolate chips, hello?
Intel provided sandwiches for lunch; I opted for the tuna wrap, bag of Sun Chips, Diet Coke (standard).
By dinner I was exhausted! Room service. Full-leaf romaine Caesar salad. There’s nothing like California produce. The romaine was the freshest, crispest I’ve had since … I was last in California! And I had a chicken quesadilla. You can’t come to CA and not have Mexican food. Also, Diet Coke. Dessert: The left over Reese’s Pieces from the other night. They were staring at me. I had to do it!
Earlier SF Diets: SFist’s Brock Keeling Inhales the Mongolian Beef Cheesesteak at HRD, Loves a Good Tastykake
Juhu Beach Club Chef and Top Chef Alum Preeti Mistry Loves Sightglass, Can’t Get Enough of Una Pizza
Boz Scaggs Loves Bar Tartine, and Eats Many a Loaf of Acme Bread
Top Chef Alum Jen Biesty Breaks Her Carb Fast, Falls Hard for a Pistachio Truffle
Jonathan Kauffman: ‘It’s a Wonder I Don’t Have Gout.’
How the Tablehopper (a.k.a. Marcia Gagliardi) Works Through Turkey Leftovers, and Everything Else She Ate Last Week
Tasting Table Editor Jessica Battilana Likes Her Wines Gutsy, and Her Cookies at Night
S.F. Drag Star Juanita MORE! Loves Herself Some Four Barrel, and Slanted Door
How Sommelier and Budding Winemaker Rajat Parr Eats and Drinks His Way Through Harvest
Publicist Andrew Freeman Eats Fries With His Steak Tartare, and Popcorn With His Peanut Butter
Bar Star Brian MacGregor Likes a Good Slider, and Occasionally a Cocktail With Lunch
The Cooking Channel’s Aida Mollenkamp Is a Girl Who Can Really Eat
Timothy Hollingsworth Ate Some *Really* Spicy Sh*t in Sydney
Chris Kronner Loves Sebo Almost as Much as Ryan Farr’s Burgers
Where Didn’t Michael Bauer Eat This Week?