The New York Diet

Musician Andrew W.K. Eats Pretty Much Everything With a Side of Nuts

Andrew W.K. eats Cheetos the way he parties -- hard.
Andrew W.K. eats Cheetos the way he parties – hard.haha Photo: Melissa Hom

What does a party animal eat? Well, peanuts, for one, and not just at parties. Andrew W.K., who has parlayed his rock anthems such as “It’s Time to Party” into a career as a performance artist and motivational speaker of sorts, tells us he eats them with everything from his breakfast cereal to junk food. “Once I started teaming Cheetos up with peanuts, I was really hitting them hard,” he says. Though he confesses to the occasional post-peanut queasiness, it hasn’t bogged him down much: In addition to kicking off the Bamboozle music festival tomorrow morning with a rousing speech, he’s currently at work on a freeform TV show, a solo piano album (and others), and a multipurpose venue to open in lower Manhattan by summer. To get an idea of what sorts of bar snacks he might just be serving at the latter, we asked him what he’s eaten this week.

Thursday, May 3
My fiancée made a fruit smoothie out of wheat germ and berries and yogurt and some fruit juice. It wasn’t too sweet, which I really liked. I got caught up in playing bass and piano so I didn’t feel like eating. Sometimes I don’t eat till I’m starving; it’s more thrilling than eating because I feel obligated to or because it’s part of a routine.

I’m in midtown so for dinner I got Fresh Tortillas — it’s Tex-Mex but Chinese-owned. I got some quesadillas with beans and jalapeños. I like spicy food a lot. Fresh Tortillas is family run and operated, which appeals to me. I always go there alone because none of my friends like it, or they all say they got sick from it. The soft, fresh flour tortillas almost taste like a buttermilk biscuit.

Wednesday, May 2
Around 3 p.m. I ate a whole bunch of nuts — three small, skinny bags of peanuts, cashews, and a bunch of pistachios. I had a bit of a feeding frenzy to be honest. It was a peanut lunch. My favorite brands are Cee Gee, Uncle Jesse’s, and Trophy. Uncle Jesse’s are the best.

We went to see the Björk concert at Radio City Music Hall and happened to walk by a Japanese place, Haru. We had some special rolls. I enjoy ordering them at sushi places because they’re cooked. I had a bad experience with food poisoning in Japan with some sashimi I left out for four hours. The special rolls are very uncouth by traditional Japanese sushi standards. I really like the feeling of ordering it in this other way — it’s going against the fundamentalists. Even the chef at the restaurant seemed to scoff when we ordered these rolls.

Tuesday, May 1
I had some Honey Nut Cheerios with frozen blackberries (they were thawed), thawed strawberries, and fresh bananas and as many Planters dry-roasted nuts possible — till the bowl was overflowing and I couldn’t see the cereal. Planters add a lot of flavoring including MSG. I’ve eaten myself sick with certain MSG-peanut combos. My mom added peanuts to certain Asian meals she would cook. We would sometimes ask for extra peanuts, or even after the dinner was served, I’d get up and grab the jar of peanuts till it was almost mostly peanuts with a little added stir-fry. I like eating peanuts with utensils because it kind of makes a porridge.

Monday, April 30
My fiancée made eggs with fresh herbs and Feta cheese and hash-brown potatoes. I was in Philadelphia doing a happening, taking part in a freeform solo performance at the Unitarian church. After I returned the car to the Avis on 42nd Street, I hit up a deli we’ve gone to before after making similar trips. I got a tuna sandwich that was really good. And I got pepper-jack cheese and a bag of Smartfood and iced green tea.

Sunday, April 29
I had a refrigerated Snickers bar — I would’ve preferred it be thawed more — and salted peanuts. You take a bite of peanuts and then a bite of the Snickers. Everything seems to be that much better with more peanuts, although I’ve never had peanuts in Mexican food. I also went to a Thai restaurant, Yum Yum on Ninth Avenue. There’s a million to choose from around there. I ordered a green curry with a side of crushed peanuts. It wasn’t enough so I ran to the deli and bought a couple bags of roasted peanuts and added them to the meal.

Saturday, April 28
I was in Texas. That morning I got something in the airport — an egg and cheese with potato. At the Radisson in Denton I had a Greek salad or a Caesar salad. There are times when I think of all the things I can possibly eat and a salad is the most appetizing. It can be so refreshing.

When I came back to New York, my fiancée made a salad with goat cheese and cucumbers and real fresh herbs and greens and tomatoes. For dinner she made macaroni with a four-cheese blend. Sometimes I like to add hot dogs to the macaroni, but we didn’t add any this time.

Musician Andrew W.K. Eats Pretty Much Everything With a Side of Nuts