Send in your nominations for THE BEST CORPORATE CAFETERIA and BEST DISH SERVED IN THE CORPORATE CAFETERIA. Please send nominations to amy@cakeheadDOTcom. Include the name of the company, the location, why it is the best, and a distinguishing feature about the cafeteria or dish.
Surges of jealousy often surface when we're in the presence of our friends who have jobs with perks. As freelancers, we get the occasional party invitation or free historical documentary VHS tape, but for the most part we are forced to sit back and drool as the people around us receive health benefits, pension plans and access to the company subsidized cafeteria.
For this reason, we often drop not so subtle hints with hope that one of the privileged will extend a sympathy invitation and usher us in as a guest to the company-subsidized cafeteria. We've had some success with lines like, "I don't believe that the garlic-less food in the Conde Nast cafeteria is flavorless. Or to gain entrée into CBS's aptly named cafeteria, "Station Break" we declared to a friend, "you may not want the senior staff copping a feel, but if it means we get to try the Sloppy Joes at Station Break, we're willing to overlook their perviness." Needless to say, we sold our souls with that declaration, but it was worth it. Station Break wasn't serving Sloppy Joes, but the Tater Tots that day were divine. And while, security at the U.N.'s cafeteria is tight these days, if you can make friends with a diplomat, the views of Long Island City there are top notch.
But try as we might to gain access to the bountifully bottomless supply of candy, cakes and sushi that Google provides its workers, apparently our hints haven't been blatant enough. It's probably for the best since frankly we don't trust our willpower in all-you-can eat situations. Hopefully, that invitation will come through after Google has hired their new chef
Because we're cut off from the amenities of corporate life, we plan to live vicariously through our readers. We'll announce the winners in a month after we have judged the submissions through a careful taste-test.
In the meantime, please comment on your CORPORATE CAFETERIA HORROR STORY or CORPORATE CAFETERIA LOVE STORY.
Guide to Corporate Cafeteria Outside New York City:
We're going to let our readers in on a secret. Portland, ME has a great dining scene. But just because we told you, doesn't mean you need to invest in a summer home there. Now that JetBlue flies directly from NYC to the Portland International Jetport, we recommend dashing up while the leaves are still orange and check out some of the top notch restaurants. And now there's a map to help diners figure out where to eat. But if you think the map is going to make the choices easier, think again. It's just going to present all the delicious options that are possibilities. The Portland Food Map was created by Anestes Fotiades, in response to a fundamental question often asked by potential diners: What do I feel like eating?
There are no streets or avenues. Instead, Fotiades displays the dining-choice questions we often ask as guideposts -- "Eating Out," "Grab a Bite," or "Drinks."....But the site offers more than just an overview -- it culls the Internet for helpful tools for the hungry, including reviews, restaurant Web sites and maps. The Portland Food Map joins a growing crowd of Web sites, blogs and forums that use Internet tools to share a devotion to food culture.
At first impression the food map may more closely resemble a science class diagram or basketball tournament bracket. The map includes more than 400 listings, broken down into six categories, ranging from "Nibble and Sip" to "Take Home." Each category branches off into smaller groups, so "Eat Out" leads to American food, barbecue, vegetarian or Thai.
From there a simple click on a place like Uncle Billy's Resto Bar brings up separate information in a different window, including the restaurant's Web site, and a collection of reviews from sources such as the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Portland Phoenix or The Bollard.
The food map also links to the Google Maps application to geographically pinpoint a single eatery or multiple places across the city.
[From The Portland Press Herald]
This tree will eat anything. Photo by Jody Boyman Red Ranger Came Calling from Arborsmith.com
After allowing six months to lapse four times, without a visit to the dentist, I finally scheduled an appointment and went in for a cleaning. Sitting in the dentist chair with my mouth stretched wide, it wasn't long before my jaw started to hurt. I recalled the Little Shop of Horror torture scenes that take place at the dentist's office and reminded myself to be glad there were no drilling or needles involved.
Later, at home, my mouth still red from long-term stretching, I read a story about a tree in India that eats people and cattle. I may have endured a little torture by the dentist, but at least I wasn't consumed by a man-eating tree.
MANGALORE: Carnivorous trees grabbing humans and cattle and gobbling them up is not just village folklore. Residents of Padrame near Kokkoda in Uppinangady forest range sighted one such carnivorous tree trying to dine on a cow last Thursday. According to reports, the cow owned by Anand Gowda had been left to graze in the forests. [from newindpress.com]
We've all lost hours at a time, filling out online surveys, purchasing wedding gifts from online registries, or buying groceries from Fresh Direct. Now prepare to block out even more online purchase time to place your Domino's pizza orders. As The Sneeze reveals in their investigative pizza ordering report -- not only can you choose from a multiplicity of toppings, you can also choose the quadrant of the pizza where the toppings should be placed.
Regardless of your feelings about Domino's, the fact that you can order it online without having to talk to a human being is fantastic. Type a little on your computer and magically a pizza shows up at your door. It's the closest thing we have to Star Trek's food synthesizer...But I also love the amount of control they give you. Beyond choosing your crust, each topping comes with your choice of "light," "normal," or "heavy." Just like tampons. (Am I right, ladies?) But what I've become obsessed with is that when you only want a particular topping on half of your pizza, they make you specify WHICH HALF. LEFT or RIGHT.
[from The Sneeze]
We're big Sarah Silverman fans -- but last night our respect for the hilarious comedian grew even greater when she went on the her favorite cooking show, "Cookie Party."
Play the Cookie Party game.
We always thought that eating the body of Christ had cannablistic leanings. But Thai art student, Kittiwat Unarrom, takes the body as bread metaphor one step further. He bakes bread into edible body parts.
Along with edible human heads crafted from dough, chocolate, raisins and cashews, Kittiwat makes human arms, feet, and chicken and pig parts. He uses anatomy books and his vivid memories of visiting a forensics museum to create the human parts.
If he were in the Bible Belt instead of Bangkok, he might be accused of being a serial Christ killer.
We like to think of the street as our extended dining room. We love the adventure of exploring a new neighborhood or stumbling upon a corner stand which offers a quick, delicious, inexpensive meal. If you're lucky the vendors will tell you a story or two as you wolf down your falafel or shish kebob. And there's nothing better than an excuse to make a mess.
Usually without a name or exact address, part of the fun of street food dining is following a friend's directions to track down a very specific cart selling that smooth cool gelato. Of course, nameless dining joints can be as dangerous as they are delicious. We may not have written the book on street food, but we'll read any book or column are put before us on the matter. So, when we found that Tara Kyle of the Conde Nast Traveler blog, The Perrin Post, has compiled a list of deliciously cheap and tasty food around NYC, we had to refer our readers.
Harefield Road, image c/o noahkalina.com
What do we like even more than eating? You guessed it. Drinking. We're here to tell you who to turn to for the very best bar listings in Williamsburg? Hint: It's not New York Magazine and it's not Time Out New York. It's FreeWilliamsburg.
For all you poor souls who are destined to spend your days confined to mid-town, salvation (or salivation as we refer to it here at cakehead) has arrived in the form of a new food blog. Midtown Lunch provides the service of helping hard working men and women to find "lunch in the food wastland that is NYC's midtown."
Their recent posting about Hallo Berlin is a little off the mark - not because the food there is bad. We love the German hall for its cheap wurst platters and beer-filled lunches. But it's so far west that if you cringe you might catch a glimpse of the Mississippi. There's nothing "mid" about it. The sole limit of the site is that the host only posts about restaurants within walking distance from 49th & 6th where he works. So certain midtowners will have a long walk ahead of them if they want to try the suggestions. But the benefits far outweigh any complaints we have. We love a host who likes it cheap and dirty:
I'm not scared of carts, or dirty joints, so hit me with your best shot (minus the Sbarro pizza buffet & Hooters- although their chicken wings are not without merit).
We agree with the restaurant recommendations so far. We love any site that mentions Daisy May's BBQ USA. And the blog offers a helpful feature - a listing of restaurants sorted by street & cross street. So if you know you need to meet someone on 46th St between 6th & 7th Ave, you can click on that link and receive a dining rendez-vous spot. Keep in mind that the site is still in its infancy so there are not a lot of dining options listed yet. But we're confident that if readers have a little patience and contribute their favorite midtown dining recommendations, in no time there will be a long listing of suggestions to satiate that deep hunger that manifests itself in the midtown worker.
EXPOSE UNCOVERED….Finally, your questions are answered: Who has the best corporate cafeteria? Why Cakehead hasn’t been posting
101 examples of expense account dining
[from New York Magazine, "101 Best Restaurants" by Adam Platt]:
When I called my friend the Food Aristocrat with the news that the magazine was adopting a star system for the rating of restaurants, she let out a small, agitated sigh. "Boy, are you screwed," she said.
We think Adam Platt should be less concerned about his "Food Aristocrat" friend and more concerned about the "Food Masses."
We admit that we'd like to dine at all 101 of the restaurants to which Adam Platt has presented one, two, three, four and five stars in his New York Magazine ranking. We've read the same prior reviews Adam used as leads. We've drooled over the same menus. But the difference between Adam and us is that we don't have an expense account. If I knew that my company was going to pay for meals at 101 plus restaurants of my choosing, I too would choose Manhattan's most expensive offerings.
Gallery of Cakes with Eyes
What's worse than cakes with eyes staring you down from a bakery window? How about secret wiretaps on your home phone. This week's cake of the week goes to that President who some claim as their own. You know the one. He's admitted to illegally wiretapping United States residents. This impeachable offense deserves not one spying cake with beady eyes, but a whole gallery of them. From alien to teddy bear eyes, these cake eyes are going to be watching to see what stunt Bush tries to get away with next.
And while we're talking wiretaps, we'd like to also extend this cake of the week to Supreme Court nominee, Sam Alito. In 1984, while working for the Reagan administration he wrote in a memo that federal officials should not be subject to accountability for ordering domestic wiretaps without a legally required warrant. Great. Why not renounce the Constitution, declare a state of fascism and write up a list of top ten rules we as citizens should abide by according to our fearless leader. And if a person doesn't obey, execute the sucker! Stay tuned for next week's cake of the week.
Cake gallery comes via:
Cakes from The Girl Who Ate Everything
Ned Batchelder's blog
Kate Sullivan Cakes
fork money clip
[Fork Art via BoingBoing]
Are you like us? Still shopping for Christmas and Hanukah present? Well, here's the perfect gift for all your friends and family who like to shovel food into their mouths. These original Fork Art designs pay homage to that marvelous device that carries precious food from plate to mouth. It's fork art. Lots of it and reasonably priced.
Complaints have been rolling in since Labor Day.
"What happened? I was closely following your food and Jesus diatribe. Is the site kaput?"
No, we weren't taken hostage by a posse of cake-craving Christian hypocrites. And we haven't abandoned the site because we were recruited for a high paying job in the food service or genetic modification industry. The truth behind the cakehead disappearance is we've been on a hunt. We've put daily entries on hold temporarily to tour the country to find the best corporate cafeterias this nation has to offer. Since the majority of your life is spent at work, we want you to know where to work to get the very best grub. We know where your priorities lie. You're putting up with the workplace grind to get a paycheck to buy your next delicious feast. But now, thanks to the cakehead search you no longer have to spend your hard-earned dollars on expensive restaurant meals. We want you to get your meal on the Man's dime. And since it's the Man who's picking up the tab, why not find the most generous Man who has the best dining tastes?
We're certainly glad that the timber wolf is no longer being overlook by chefs due to its dangerous nature. Wait a second. Weren't they hunted to the point of near extinction? Isn't wolf fry is illegal?
For a further collection of hilarious restaurant, rest stop and roadway signs go to Funny Sign.com Here's a sampling that got our mouths watering:
Maybe it's a subconscious reflex. I know I'll be working all summer with no vacation time and will therefore not be able to indulge in one of my secret vices: airplane food. It's what I'm craving. In hopes of satiating this craving, I'm announcing this week's airline meal of the week (pictured above):
Route: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Hong Kong
Ticket price: JPY70000 ($640 dollars)
Aircraft type & class: B777, upgraded to Business class
Meal type: Lunch
Contents of the meal: smoke salmon, green salad, grilled seafood with
risotto, bread pudding, fresh fruit
Comments: very nice course followed by selection of fine cheeze.
Rating 1-10 (worst-best): 9
Rwandan Mayonnaise One of my favorite guilty pleasures is eating french fries that have been deep-dipped into a pot of mayonnaise. In Rwanda, french fries come with nearly every meal so this decadent indulgence is fast becoming habitual. In most countries the frite would be the highlighted ingredient — made better only with the richness of the greasy condiment. But in Rwanda the mayonnaise is so good that the frite is merely a vehicle by which to transport the spread from bowl to mouth. The mayonnaise here tastes lightly of lemon — hollandaise sauce’s close cousin. The rich buttery yellow comes from the dark orange yolks. The slight crust that builds around the edges is worthy of its own name. I’ll even admit that I’ve been caught scraping off the congealed build up and devouring it as a delicacy as rich as fois gras. Why is the mayonnaise so delicious in Rwanda? It’s a question I have asked all the waiters and chefs I’ve encountered. No one knows the secret, but I have my theories. As with all things delicious, ingredients is key. After oil, the main element in mayonnaise is the egg. There are choices when buying eggs in Rwanda. All are small — two sizes larger than a quail egg, one size smaller than the Grade A Extra Large egg found in America. The choice comes with color. Brown eggs come from chickens that are fed fish feed. The resulting yolk is a pale white color, basically albino cholesterol. The white eggs are an entirely different entity altogether. They contain the yolks used for Rwanda’s amazing mayonnaise. Occupying the majority of the space inside the white egg shell is a dark orange yolk sunnier and denser than the flesh of a pumpkin. It is the egg flavor and a hint of the native lemons that punches through the oil and sets this mayonnaise apart. It’s clear that the mayonnaise here hasn’t been pasteurized and warm mayonnaise is quite common — evidence that it has never seen refrigeration of any kind. In this way, perhaps I’m tempting fate. But considering all that I’ve eaten thus far, it’s impressive that my stomach remains content and without incident.
Seeking a cake chef to sculpt you a cake resembling your high school, government-subsidized cafeteria lunch? You must commission the lady at Moist & Tasty! to make your cake.
**Warning to prudes and people who cast their last ballot for president based on "family values." These cakes are racy!