Or maybe it's better known as the burger you probably can never have. Ultimate tease right there huh? Amongst a sea of curry, pan-seared scallops, and other ethnic culinary delights in the Google cafeteria, I felt compelled to see how the Internet juggernaut did in preparing a burger (don't worry, I ate other things too, they just seemed less important at the time). Not wanting to stray from tradition too far, I kept the order simple, cheeseburger... with American. Within 5 minutes of ordering, I had on my plate the burger you see above. Well... sort of, I added the lettuce and tomatoes to convince myself I was "keeping it healthy." How was Google burger?
Well, here's a couple things to keep in mind. For the sake of efficiency, the burgers are partially cooked, and grilled a second time when you order it, so it's to be expected that the meat is ever so slightly overcooked... probably for liability reasons as well, you probably won't find any pink beef here. The buns in use are french bread like... crispy outer layer (enhanced by the time spent on the grill), with a soft center. Nothing incredible on their own, but they do pick up a bit of beef flavor from sitting on an oil stained grill. Plain for sure, but acceptable. Combined with a toppings bar of all the traditional toppings from lettuce to bacon bits, you end up with a burger that's prepared super quickly, and isn't half bad.
See? No pink beef. As far as complaints, that's as far as mine go. The patty is remarkably juicy for something that seems to be cooked to oblivion (how they do this, I'm not sure. Maybe they spend their 20% time on researching this too?). It possesses a great char, and it also has a certain smokiness that I find oh so appealing in a grilled burger, both major pluses. The bun, like I said, is good enough where it's not a distraction to the remainder of the burger. Coupled with fresh toppings, it makes for a burger that definitely ranks as above average. If you consider the price though... which is free if you work at Google, then holy shit, it's the deal of the decade!
Additional thoughts on Google's cafeteria? Sweet selection of soda (no Mr. Pibb though). They even have a fountain dispenser of generic sodas made in house made from agave nectar. Their curry is pretty good, but their desserts were disappointing (I was told I went on a bad day). Suddenly I want to work for Google... badly. Mainly for the food.