Someone in the cast just finished a contract at Tivo, and we were discussing the abysmal food choices there. Which led me to think about food at the many places I have worked:
Motorola: break room has soda machines which sometimes are out of diet stuff for days, there is a frozen food machine which stopped being able to keep ice cream or food frozen a long time ago, and a candy machine. There is only one place, a hole in the wall, in walking distance, but plenty of restaurants along El Camino 5 minutes' drive away. And some more in the other direction, about the same distance. It's routine to get a small group together, especially on Fridays, and car pool.
Tivo: There's a break room with no food, but an ice cream machine which works by a vacuum hose sucking out your $2 choice. Also in the break room is a very limited choice of a 3rd-party box lunches, and they also get Waiters on Wheels (or something like it) delivering. And there's a roach coach most days.
Netflix: Free soda, free box lunch from a 3rd party, often all taken before 1 pm. Every now and then we found an insect in the salad. Real bread was rare, most sandwiches were on some spongy substance. Across the street there is a tiny, expensive Chinese place with mediocre food, but last year a pizza and American food place opened up, sort of a sports tavern.
Cisco: There was a good cafeteria in the next building, but they shut it down. Next nearest was a building down the block. Lots of good places near Ranch 99.
Microsoft Mountain View: One building has a big cafeteria with good prices. Very close to Shoreline Park, which has Michael's at the golf course and the café by the lake. In the other direction are a handful of good places too. And there's a 7-11 and Starbucks on the next block.
Kasenna Sunnyvale: no longer around, it was near Lockheed. Nothing in the building. One sandwich place and a lousy Chinese place a fewblocks away. We sometimes drove to McCarthy Ranch for food. I rode my bike to work a lot, so lunch was at the sandwich place.
Kasenna Mountain View: Nothing in the building, but close to Shoreline Park, same routine as Microsoft MV. Since we were a spin-off of SGI, we could walk to their HQ building across the street which had a great cafeteria. That's now Google HQ.
Sony: I don't remember if there was food in the building. I don't think so. We mostly went to Alviso or McCarthy Ranch for lunch.
Roxio Santa Clara: Several places (including Starbucks) in the same block. Mission Coffee Roasting Co. is now closed, was down the block. And across the street behind SCU was a place which had 40-alarm sauce. Sometimes cow-orkers would go to the hospital after eating there, burn victim's unit. Seriously.
Roxio (Adaptec) Milpitas: Small break room in the building, maybe some soda machines, lots of restaurants nearby.
Ipix (Bamboo.com): Nothing in the building, but this was in downtown Palo Alto, fine food central.
Microsoft Redmond: Huge cafeteria across the street, after 7 catering brought a hot buffet to our section (a legacy from before they bought VXtreme). Not much edible nearby.
VXtreme Sunnyvale: Within a block of Kasenna Sunnyvale, same lack of everything nearby, but this place provided free soda, free chips and candy, and at 7 there was hot food brought in from one of the many Mountain View restaurants.
VXtreme Palo Alto: across the way from Stanford Shopping center, lots of good eats, plus free soda, free chips and candy. There were only 20 of us there, I don't think we got dinner there. But we may have.
Starlight Networks: Nothing in the building, limited choices in the area.
UB Networks: Small break room, many of us bought the company-discounted Great America passes and walked there for lunch. There were also a few nearby places.
HP Labs: Big cafeteria down the hill in the corporate building, nothing in Labs that I recall. Near enough to Stanford and many eateries on El Camino which serve the college crowd.
HP Bldg 50: Cafeteria in the building, Valco shopping center nearby.
HP Mountain View: Cafeteria in the building, or maybe it was in the building attached to ours. Limited choices nearby.
HP Santa Clara: Now inhabited by Applied Materials. Break room in the building, Sizzler and Peppermill nearby.
Televideo: Deeply discounted Koren food cafeteria in one of the buildings, limited choices nearby.
Bizcomp: My first day they introduced me to Togo's down the block. There were about 40 people in line ahead of us, and we had our food in 5 minutes. Awesome. We ate or took out from there a lot. And St. John's burgers. And a tiny but excellent Thai place.
Leasametric: Nothing anywhere. We mostly brought our lunches. Sometimes went to Fashion Island, but there was not much there.
And the rest of my tech jobs were field repair, so I ate where I wanted to near wherever they sent me. Let's not even talk about my newspaper jobs. :-(