What's On The Menu At Google?

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Nearly everyone on Google Inc.'s sprawling campus here knows Thunder Parley, at least by reputation. But it's not his unusual name, outgoing personality or skills as a software engineer that make him stand out.

He is the most famous foodie at a company that takes gastronomy nearly as seriously as Web-search algorithms.

Parley was raised in a small New England town on Life cereal and SpaghettiOs. He used to think Taco Bell was authentic Mexican fare, and he never ate salmon except out of a can.

But now he draws crowds to dishes offered in Google's 17 cafeterias by championing them in reviews he posts to an internal e-mail list about food. Many of Parley's personal favorites, such as a brined, slow-cooked beef daube, find their way into regular rotation. He described a sweet concoction known as the Google bar in such mouthwatering terms that 600 vanished in half an hour.

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