The Grub Street Diet

Andrew Ross Sorkin Will Eat Anything You Feed Him, Especially If It Is Baked or Fried

He tries to be disciplined; then someone feeds him a doughnut.
He tries to be disciplined; then someone feeds him a doughnut. Photo: Melissa Hom

Andrew Ross Sorkin, the columnist for the New York Times, founder and editor at large of DealBook, co-anchor of CNBC’s Squawk Box, and author of Too Big to Fail, has two ways of approaching food. The first is as sustenance — after all, his usual wake-up time is 4:30 a.m. and his work day involves more high-powered people and problems than most encounter in their entire lives. But Sorkin also eats in the name of indulgence. A self-proclaimed “human garbage disposal,” he can’t say no to food, from his 18-month-old twin boys’ chicken nuggets, to bread pudding off a billionaire’s plate. Read about that, his sentimental pita chips, and a certain glazed doughnut addiction in this week’s New York’s Diet.

Friday, March 2
During the week, I’m out of the house by 4:45 and in the car to CNBC by 5 a.m., so I choose foods solely based on them being portable and healthy — yogurts and bananas work well here. But first, I shoot an iced coffee because I finally learned how to use my wife’s Nespresso machine. I don’t even like coffee — unless it’s coffee ice-cream or a frappucino — but I make it with ice and skim milk so I can just chug it.

Around 9 a.m., I had pretzels. There must have been a pretzel guest on because there were massive quantities everywhere. If food is in front of me, I have to eat it. Then I went to the Times and had a Fage Peach Yogurt. The proper pronunciation of Fage is a big marketing problem.

Lunch was at Marseille, and I’m still being good. I have a Moroccan omelette and sorbet. All is well in the world, until someone brings Dunkin’ Donuts to the Times office. No will power around glazed doughnuts. I could eat a whole table of them. They’re classic and timeless, without being too sugary and complicated.

Now I really go off the rails at home. It starts with a glass of red wine and half a bag of Stacey Chips. Then I eat more, but with hummus. They’re the greatest chips in the history of all chips. When I was writing my book three years ago, I’d go to a bodega at eleven o’clock at night for a liter of Diet Coke, a couple beers, and my Stacey Chips.

That’s not even dinner. For that, we ordered from Shun Lee — It’s my wife Pilar’s favorite place in the world. Everything revolves around Shun Lee. We over-ordered. We had Corona beers. My fortune read: You have a quiet and unobtrusive nature. I thought it was totally wrong.

Saturday, March 3
We woke up with the boys at 6:45 a.m. Pilar also loves protein bars, and because we were scrambling with the boys, I agreed to a bar. It was the wrong call. Later, like noon, we had a real meal of eggs on English muffins with turkey-bacon. We also made the boys chicken nuggets and I couldn’t not eat some.

Pilar wanted us to go to Barry’s Bootcamp. She said “this is going to be the hardest thing you’ll ever do.” I felt like I needed to man up, so you know, I had a yogurt. Ha! And for extra special reinforcement, I also had a sugarless Red Bull.

It was hard as hell. I couldn’t believe what the hell was going on. And obviously I was starving by dinner. We couldn’t get into the new Il Buco no matter how hard we tried, so we ended up at Five Points where I had two spicy margaritas and ruined Barry’s workout within in twenty minutes. I also had a spinach salad, rockfish, and a chocolate brioche bread pudding and apple crisp to die for. Give me anything baked or fried and … forget it.

Sunday, March 4
Brunch was madness because we brought the boys and their friends to Ditch Plains. I had an omelette and some other things, but 90 percent ended up on floor. I felt like I had to tip a little extra for that.

I worked out midday and had some Muscle Milk after, like a chocolate protein drink. They don’t work, but I figure I’ll keep trying.

For dinner, we ordered from Chirping Chicken: chicken and my favorite sweet-potato fries, which weren’t crispy enough this time. Again, madness at our apartment. There were, like, eight kids all under age 4, and a bunch of parents. We tried to go to Sarabeth’s but couldn’t pull it off.

Monday, March 5
Nespresso coffee iced and chugged, with the usual yogurt and banana on the way to work. I grab whatever fruit Pilar has in the bowl and whatever yogurt she orders from Fresh Direct. Basically, I just live there.

Monday is column day for me, which means I’m on lock-down and typically a little stressed. So it’s the one day I don’t do anything fun.

Lunch was a turkey sandwich courtesy of New York Times cafeteria. That is one great cafeteria. It should be in Zagats.

By the time I got home at night, I just looked in the fridge and grabbed the leftover chicken. It was not that deep of a thought.

Tuesday, March 6
Same boringness for breakfast.

In between MSNBC and the Times, I went to lunch with two venture capitalists at Michael’s. Their choice, not mine. I like it there because that’s how people know you haven’t died yet. Ate salmon with mustard and sorbet for dessert. Okay, the venture capitalists offered me some bread pudding, and I got all in on that, too.

For dinner, we have the greatest housekeeper, Cida. She’s most amazing person in the world. She makes this tomato soup, so I reheated that with some of Pilar’s grilled chicken.

Wednesday, March 7
Routine breakfast. By the way, there was a month when I was also into instant oatmeal.

Lunch was courtesy of Delta because I was flying to New Orleans for the mergers and acquisition conference. Mushroom soup was good, but the turkey sandwich was awful. Had a big bag of chips because they were there, and a brownie made with peanut butter because it was there.

Checked in and went straight to Café du Monde for a beignet, of course. Heaven.

Went to a cocktail party at Roosevelt Hotel. I actually have fun at these things. Had barbecue shrimp and shumai. The dinner was a small feast of oysters and steak at Broussard’s. I had to go home to sleep before dessert because of a 3:30 a.m. wake-up time, but also because I knew Thursday entailed lunch at Galatoire’s, where I eat uncontrollably for hours. In New Orleans, you don’t do dainty bites. You consume and inhale.

Andrew Ross Sorkin Will Eat Anything You Feed Him, Especially If It Is Baked or