The New York Diet

Comedian David Cross Likes His Peanut Butter and Pretzels With a Glass of Wine

“I only ate half and had the rest sent to Appalachia.”Photo: Melissa Hom
When David Cross, whose comedic musings on the senselessness of electric kitchen knives are legendary, gave New York his advice on approaching a celebrity, he admitted, “I’ve always been (and always will be, until I need an operation) a big fan of the free beer.” This week we caught him shortly after a dalliance with the South Beach Diet, which meant (operation be damned) he was free to consume succulent pork fat, three helpings of ramen, what he says is one of the best three pots of chili you’ll ever have, and more than a few pints of beer. Whether or not the latter was purchased for him by one of his fans is unclear.

Wednesday, February 21
I had a bowl of shoyu ramen, my third of the week, at one, which is a little early for me. So, as delicious as it was, I only ate half and had the rest sent to Appalachia for some poor kids to enjoy. I met a friend for dinner at Frankies Spuntino on Clinton. It’s a fairly new place, and it has quickly become one of my favorites. The original is in Brooklyn. I haven’t been there yet, but why would I go there now? There’s one only three blocks away. It would be silly. I had the homemade cavatelli with house-made sausage and sage butter, and my friend had the roast center-cut pork chop with broccoli rabe and polenta. We also split a salad and a “thing” — I’m not sure of the correct term when it’s not a “slice” or a “hunk” — of Moliterno cheese.

Tuesday, February 20
After my morning coffee, my girlfriend, Sarah, made a breakfast of scrambled eggs and fake sausage and ricotta cheese and some other shit mixed in, as well as a small mixed green salad on the side. I had 28 different snack things during the day while I wrote and took my dog to the dog park. For dinner I made skinless chicken breasts with a homemade sauce comprised of a bunch of stuff that was down to its last ounce in the fridge. Sarah made cauliflower and roasted red pepper. It was all fat-free but still pretty good … notice I qualified the word “good.”

Monday, February 19
I had a shot of wheatgrass and a smoothie from the place downstairs and more than a handful of almonds and sesame sticks from Trader Joe’s. I think that half of my food intake is of the snack variety, although on the healthier side. And now with Trader Joe’s as well as Sushi Sasabune — the best sushi outside of whatever they eat in animated underwater kingdoms — with NYC outposts, there is literally nothing to look forward to when I go to L.A. Outside of In’n’ Out burger and a handful of Mexican places. Nothing. For lunchish time I grabbed two samosas from Pak Punjab on 1st Street. It’s a tiny place in between a sit-down Indian place and another small Indian place. It seems that 90 percent of their clientele are the cabbies that line up in that area on A and 1st Avenue. They have a thin, bright-red hot sauce which I liberally douse on everything I get. Since Sarah was out of town for Valentine’s Day, we celebrated by going to Nomad, a North African restaurant on Second between 4th and 5th. I had the chicken with carrots and olives tajine, and Sarah had the sesame-encrusted salmon. We split some crab cakes and a salad with apples in it. Also red wine. I have red wine with almost every meal in the fall and winter. In spring and summer it’s beer.

Sunday, February 18
Extremely hung-over so a bunch of us went to Lil’ Frankie’s for brunch. We’ve never had to wait for a table for weekend brunch there, ever. While people wait for upwards of an hour and a half to eat at Clinton St. Bakery — which is great by the way — I choose to say, “Fuck that” and head to Lil’ Frankie’s for an immediate plate of eggs Parmesan or eggs pomodoro. Later, as it started to dawn on me just how incapacitated I was, I ate half a bag of Sesame Blues chips with some store-bought salsa — but the “fresh” kind — left over from a party Sarah and I had. Then at around nine, I went down to Café Rakka on 3rd and B and got some lentil soup and falafels, which are some of the best I’ve ever had. Stayed in and worked all day but managed to meet a friend at the wine bar next door, Il Posto Acconto, and discuss business over some nice red wine and these addictive little baked dough things with butter and cheese and garlic in the shape of a pretzel. If I could, I would make a meal just of these. And since I can, I did.

Saturday, February 17
Started with chili I’d made because, why not? It’s fucking tasty … and good for you. Later in the day, I had my favorite snack, Smuckers all-natural peanut butter, chunky, on pretzel rods. I just dip them in there and have them with a glass of red wine. I am not kidding. I am both 12 and 42 years old. I also had a Mootown Snacker, of the low-fat variety, left over from when my girlfriend and I were on the South Beach Diet together. I got a last-minute call to join some friends at a party in Brooklyn so I ran out of the apartment, grabbed a slice at Nino’s on St. Marks and A, and headed to the party where, along with eight or so pints and shots of different liquors, I had some carrot sticks and tiny tomatoes.

Friday, February 16
Had chili for breakfast-lunch. I went down to Minca on 5th between A and B. It’s one of the 98 noodle houses that have opened up in the last couple of years in the East Village, supplanting the Italian restaurants that came before them. I love Minca, though; it’s cheap, filling, and everything is infused with succulent pork fat, like an angel’s ejaculate.

Thursday, February 15
I was in the middle of a nasty cold so I mostly ate Zicam tablets, cherry, and had some hot-and-sour soup from the Chinese place next door, which is not remarkable so I’m not even going to mention their hard-to-pronounce Chinese name. I went to the store and got fixin’s for that big pot of chili. I make one of the three best pots of chili you’ll ever have. I’m confident of that.

Comedian David Cross Likes His Peanut Butter and Pretzels With a Glass of Wine