Thursday, November 15

Official Google Blog

Official Google Blog


The results are in—Zagat’s America's Top Restaurants revealed

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 09:38 AM PST

To help people find the best places to eat in 46 U.S. cities and regions, we're revealing the results of our 2013 America's Top Restaurants Survey covering 1,822 of the nation's top-rated restaurants. From Boston to Portland and Chicago to Miami, the results of this year's Zagat Survey are based on millions of reviews from everyday diners who shared their experiences through their favorite Google products.

Winners include perennial favorites like the "exceptional" American Gary Danko (San Francisco), Eric Ripert's French "seafood shrine" Le Bernardin (New York), and the "flawless" New American Bacchanalia (Atlanta), as well as top spots like Alinea (Chicago), Urasawa (Los Angeles) and Joël Robuchon (Las Vegas).

While many of the top restaurants break out the china and crystal, a number of standouts included in the guide are casual gourmet places like pizzerias: Settebello (Vegas and Salt Lake City), Supino Pizzeria (Detroit's No.1 restaurant), Serious Pie (Seattle) and Dough (San Antonio); sandwich specialists: Bäco Mercat (LA), Cochon Butcher (New Orleans) and Melt Bar & Grilled (Cleveland); burger specialists: B Spot (Cleveland), Flip Burger Boutique (Atlanta) and Sketch (Philadelphia); and BBQs: Union Woodshop, Slows Bar BQ and Zingerman's Roadhouse (Detroit).

Thanks to those of you who share your restaurant adventures with us, we also have a snapshot of what dining out in America looks like. Based on surveyors in 10 major cities, we have found that the average number of meals cooked at home (7.0 per week) outpaces the average number of meals they eat/take out (6.1)—a trend that has been building since the Great Recession. We also know that diners in Houston eat out the most (4.1 times per week vs. the 3.2 national average), and that at 19.6 percent, the City of Brotherly Love is also the city of most generous tippers.


Zagat ratings and reviews for tens of thousands of restaurants at every price point and cuisine are available via the Google products you use every day, like search, Google+, Maps and mobile.

Congratulations to this year's winners and bon appétit!

A healthy grant to support healthy buildings

Posted: 14 Nov 2012 08:50 AM PST

Imagine having nutrition-label-like data about every product you use at your fingertips—knowing exactly what ingredients make up things like office chairs or house paint and how they could impact your health today and 30 years from now. It's a future that goes hand in hand with our commitment to creating the healthiest work environments possible and promoting transparency within the wide world of building materials.

Today, we're taking a step toward that future with a $3 million grant to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a leading non-profit organization that works to create greener buildings and communities in the U.S. and around the world.

There's a lack of clear and accessible information on building ingredients, which means that a lot of us might be exposed to potentially harmful and toxic chemicals in building materials—whether it's in the desk you sit at every day or the building's paints, tiles and carpeting. This grant is designed to improve human health and well-being by supporting more industry research and better standards around healthy materials.

We've already done a lot to eliminate many of these chemicals in our offices around the world, and we want to make it easier for others to do the same. The USGBC has had great success with their widely adopted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. LEED is certifying 1.7 million square feet every day with 9.3 billion square feet participating in LEED across all 50 states and 138 countries. We think they're in a great position to build on this track record to create real and lasting change in the industry.

But it isn't enough just to have better labeling or standards about the ingredients in various products. We also need to know more about the ingredients themselves, which is why this grant also supports more scientific research and outreach so we can all do a better job of understanding how building materials impact human health. By doing so, we hope to empower consumers and businesses alike to make more informed decisions about the materials they purchase and use in their day-to-day lives.

Honoring the spirit of Veterans Day year-round

Posted: 13 Nov 2012 11:11 AM PST

This Veterans Day was an especially poignant one for us at Google. November 9 marked the fifth anniversary of the Google Veterans Network, our employee volunteer community that strives to make Google a great place to work for those who have served, their families and their friends. Our group has doubled in size every year, and we represent 34 offices in nine countries around the world.

Veterans Day 2012 doodle

This year, we're honoring the spirit of Veterans Day with a week of activities from November 7-14. Googlers deployed with Team Rubicon to Rockaway Beach, N.Y. to help residents recover from Hurricane Sandy, cooked dinner for military families at VA Puget Sound Fisher House, hosted a Meals Ready-to-Eat luncheon in Atlanta, Ga., and ran a U.S. Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test in Mountain View, Calif.—just a few of the events underway around the United States.

Our commitment to supporting the military veteran community at large continues to strengthen, with a focus on helping veterans make a successful transition to civilian life. Here are some examples of how Google tools and employees have joined the fight against veteran unemployment, in particular:

We've also put our technology to work as sponsors of Veterans Week NYC, including:
  • Google technology training for more than 100 wounded warriors and caregivers in NYC and a panel discussion, also broadcast on Google+, with advice for wounded warriors on transitioning to the civilian workplace.
  • A live broadcast of the Bob Woodruff Foundation's annual Stand Up For Heroes concert on YouTube and Google+ to raise awareness and funds for wounded warriors.
  • Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 14, a broadcast of the Big Apple Circus for military families around the country, hosted by the USO. You can join in the fun on Google+ where we'll stream the performance live.

Honoring wounded warriors with The Boss at Stand Up For Heroes on November 8. 
Photo by Stefan Radtke.

Please follow our new Google for Veterans & Families Google+ page to stay abreast of our support for the community all year long. Every day is Veterans Day here at Google.

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