What Should We Eat Today?

Getting Our Bearings in our New Silicon Valley Location

As you may know, Tableau Software is headquartered in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, WA. It’s surrounded by unique restaurants and local flavor. What you may not know is that Tableau also has a California office in the Bay Area. I moved from our headquarters to the California Office, which we affectionately call Tableau South, about a year and a half ago as number four in our small group. But we’ve grown quite a bit since then and I am pleased to announce that we’ve recently moved to a new space in downtown San Mateo, CA. The move has been exciting for a number of reasons including natural light, lots of room, fully duplexed phones, a more cohesive office space, a kitchen, and the list goes on. But the thing I think we are most excited about is the location. Specifically, we are thrilled by our proximity to a cornucopia of new lunch spots. Our upgrade has taken us from a rotation of five mediocre establishments that often required driving to an endless bounty of delicious eateries-- all within walking distance! In fact, according to the San Mateo Downtown Restaurant Guide there are 143 eating and drinking options just waiting for us to experience.

Keeping Track

After our first week, it became clear that we were going to need a way to keep track of the places we’ve tried and whether we’d go back. We could always print out the restaurant guide and annotate the hard copy but seriously…we’re way too geeky for that. Below are some views from the workbook we now have published to Tableau Server so everyone can log on and answer the age old question: what should we eat today?

Restaurants around Tableau South office.

This first view is just a map of all the restaurants colored by whether we’ve tried it. As you can see, we have our work cut out for us. But this map also includes coffee shops and dessert only places. Although our resident triathlete could probably have dessert for lunch, the rest of us need real food.

The view above is static but on Tableau Server there are all kinds of interactions. For instance, you can select a restaurant and link to it on Yelp to see its menu, reviews, etc. You can also simply hover over a restaurant to get its exact address and phone number. And of course you can zoom, filter, pan, and all the other usual stuff.

Other Fun Stuff

Here’s another fun view that shows the distribution of cuisines and the percentage that we’ve tried. When we first moved in there seemed to be an unnatural number of Pizza places around town. After looking at this view, it looks like San Mateo is actually overflowing with Japanese & Sushi restaurants. We’ve only tapped 10% of the Japanese & Sushi opportunities!

Cuisine Distribution in San Mateo.

So I know what you’re wondering – where are the ratings? Well yeah, we’re keeping track of our own personal ratings as well as specific days we visit and average individual pricing. But all that can be found on Yelp or City Search until we get more data.

Let me know if you have any recommendations for a lunch place in San Mateo. Otherwise we’ll continue to work our way through the list. Feel free to download the packaged workbook if you want to play around with the hyperlinks or just browse the dining options.

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