the travel geek

"Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form."

Calafia Cafe

On the Stanford side of the tracks in Palo Alto… at the junction of El Camino and Embarcadero Road, there’s a grouping of little restaurants that are gluten free / sustainable / vegan hot spots. Calafia is one of these restaurants. It has all the hallmarks of a foodie paradise: delicious, pretty food… an affordable menu… cool / hip interior, and plenty of opportunities for people watching.

The restaurant has deep tech roots. It was the brain child of Google’s head chef: Charlie Ayers. It’s photographed constantly and is often the location for staged tech meetings.

Each table in the cafe has a tablet that allows customers to place an order directly from the table — and pay your bill without having to talk to a human. Initially, I thought this was interesting… but then began to feel that this will inevitably lead to the GPS problem. If you give a person GPS, after a while they won’t be able to figure out how to get anywhere by themselves. Eventually people won’t know what wine to choose for their meal or even what to order.

So, when I go to the restaurant, I sit outside where there are no screens. I have enough screen time in my life.

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