Lunch at the Ranch 99
 
February 3, 2004
 
After eating one too many meals in the company cafeteria, I came to realize I really don't like the food there.  It's overpriced and really not that good.   I'm finding myself dragging my co-workers or nearby Silicon Valley colleagues out to lunch a little more often lately.  At least when my schedule allows for it.   Down the street we have the Ranch 99 complex.  Anyone in the Bay Area who is familiar with the chain knows there is always a handful of selections for lunch surrounding a Ranch 99.   There's certainly plenty to choose from with the Hong Kong style cafes, noodle houses, or hot pot restaurants.   The complex gets just as much business as McCarthy Ranch across the other side of 237.  But over there, the typical American chain restaurant moves slow and there always seems to be a traffic backup as everyone heads back to the office at the same time.  At the Ranch 99 complex, all the Asian eateries have the mentality of getting the customer out the door quickly so they can serve more food and make more money.  There's plenty of business, but the traffic is always constantly moving in and out so if parking looks full at first, no worries as there should soon be a bunch of people finishing up and leaving.
 
Of all the places to eat at Ranch 99 in Milpitas, it is T.K. Noodle House that has always amazed me at how they mastered the art of quick turnaround.  If you have ever eaten at a T.K. Noodle chain before, you should be familiar with how they can have you finish a large bowl of noodles and out the door in less than 15 minutes.   As soon as you sit down and pick up the menu, there is someone ready to take your order.  I always find it amusing how the newbies are shocked as they haven't even had the chance to look at the menu.  The person who takes your order punches the information into a handheld electronic unit and in less than 60 seconds someone is carrying out a tray with bowls of noodles.  Not even two minutes in the restaurant and your food is already at your table.   A full meal for two and at less than $10, it is not a bad dealio.   And hey, if you're hungry and don't feel like waiting for food, here's the place for you.   It's quick and cheap.
 
So if you ever find yourself in Milpitas during the week, drop me a line and we can have lunch at the T.K. Noodle.  

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