the grub street diet

Comedian Jon Glaser Likes a Good Chip

“I enjoy high-quality potato chips and high-quality potato chip–based humor.”

Jon Glaser at City Subs, a favorite local haunt. Photo: Christian Rodriguez
Jon Glaser at City Subs, a favorite local haunt. Photo: Christian Rodriguez

On Wednesday, Jon Glaser premiered the second season of Jon Glaser Loves Gear, his gonzo show about the stuff we use to do the things we love. He first became known as a writer and performer on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, before going on to appear on influential shows like Parks and Recreation and to create and star in a trio of his own shows. What you may not know is that Glaser also loves to eat, obsessing over foods like Detroit coney dogs and ginger ale. Read all about it in this week’s Grub Street Diet.

Thursday, January 3
I have two kids. School mornings are usually busy, and as a parent it’s fun to blame your children for stuff, so school-day breakfasts mean lazy, unadventurous, yet still tasty eating for me.

Breakfast was a bowl of McCann’s instant maple–brown sugar oatmeal, d’Anjou pear, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a glass of an Amazing Grass Green Superfood Antioxidant drink, with a tablespoon of honey. It says “15,000 ORAC units per serving” on the container.

I’ve never bothered to look up what an “ORAC” is. This was the day to find out. It stands for “Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.” I still don’t know what that means, but 15,000 sounds like a shitload, so I just assumed it’s good for me and that I’d get a few extra months out of life for drinking it. Assuming I live to be very old, maybe those precious extra few months will allow me to see the birth of a grandchild. Or maybe I get to see Donald Trump Jr. get sodomized by a lion while hunting.

I was writing from home, and getting ready for the premiere of my show’s second season, which included a promo interview at Marvel Comics. For lunch, I ate at Calexico before I went to my koo-koo doctor (a.k.a. therapist). I had two fried chicken tacos, black beans and yellow rice, and an iced tea.

After koo-koo doc, I went home to do more work. I had a hot Oregon Chai (also great cold), and some Noosa raspberry yogurt with walnuts that I unintentionally chopped too finely so it ended up mostly looking like sand.

On the way to Marvel, my stomach started to feel a little shitty, maybe because of the sandy yogurt, but who knows? There was a Pret A Manger next to Marvel. Not a fan of their food (no offense, Pret. Or I guess maybe, offense??), but I popped in to see if they had a good ginger ale or ginger drink, and thankfully they had some small ginger shots. I grabbed a couple, and those seemed to help.

After the interview, I headed home for the classic, gourmet parent dinner of children’s leftovers. This time it was Annie’s Homegrown bunny-shaped mac and cheese (to which I added some Fix-brand sriracha) and three-quarters of a Bell & Evans air-chilled — I guess that’s better than land-chilled?? — chicken strip, which I dipped into some delicious Bone Suckin’ Sauce thick BBQ sauce.

I also had green olives and a blackberry Spindrift sparkling water that I stole from the Marvel green room. My wife was home with a cold all day and ordered ramen and chicken wings from Chuko, and I also got to enjoy a couple of the wings she didn’t eat.

My son and I watched Michigan beat Penn State in basketball.  After he went to bed, I had a Calm watermelon-flavored magnesium drink, followed by some of New York Distilling Company’s Dorothy Parker gin. I’m not a big gin-drinker, but this stuff was very tasty, and smells good, too.

Maybe I’ll start pounding gin now.

Friday, January 4
Started off with another school-day breakfast. First up was a bowl of my son’s Mom’s Best Crispy Cocoa Rice cereal. For some unexplained reason, there are several facts about South America on the back of the box. The first fact is about the cacao tree, so my guess is that some higher-up at the company must have just said, “Just put more South America shit on there.” One of those other facts is that “cougars are known by more than 40 different names”. They then go on to list not one, not two, but zero of those other names.

I downed 15,000 more ORAC units, a glass of OJ, and some strawberries. On the way home from a haircut, to work from home again, I grabbed a panini from Terre that had speck, Lillé cheese, and artichokes. Delicious.

If you know me or know my comedy, then you know I enjoy high-quality potato chips and high-quality potato chip–based humor. At the corner bodega, I saw a brand and flavor of chip I had never heard of: Red Rock Deli Red Curry Coconut chips. Sounded disgusting, but I was compelled to try them, and they tasted pretty good.

Washed it all down with a bottle of Bruce Cost ginger ale, my favorite brand. It isn’t just shitty corn syrup water. It has chunks of real ginger in it.

A couple hours after lunch, I went for a five-mile run, and followed that up with a Vega Sport chocolate protein shake, blended with a frozen banana. I started to train for a trail half marathon, and I’m going to try a few things with my diet. I was told that something with “branched-chain amino acids” is good. I guess I’ll find out in May.

My wife brought home Naruto Ramen for dinner; I had a half chahan and seaweed salad. Later, we went down the hall to our neighbor’s for their 2-year-old son’s birthday party. I tried to make a gigantic dinosaur birthday balloon lip-sync Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday”, and maybe two lyrics in, I accidentally and loudly popped the balloon. I felt terrible, but I couldn’t stop laughing to myself at how dead and deflated the balloon looked on the floor, with its tiny, lifeless T. rex arms splayed out, it’s jaw frozen on whatever lyric it died lip-synching.

Despite ruining the party, I was still allowed to try the Brooklyn blackout cake they got from a bakery called Du Jour, and holy fuck, was it incredible. Everything I’ve had from that bakery is delicious, especially their Boston cream donuts. But I had never had their blackout cake, and it immediately made me feel like I wasted my life on many levels.

We stayed at the party too late, and my daughter had a blackout cake-infused tantrum when we got back home.

After both kids finally fell asleep and I sat down to write my food diary, I remembered the lone Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout that had been sitting in my fridge for months, and cracked it open. For me, nothing compares to an ice-cold Guinness. But I’m from Michigan, Bell’s is from Michigan, and it was a good beer.

Saturday, January 5
As of 10 a.m., my daughter was thankfully still asleep after her cake tantrum. My son, however, was up before us playing Fortnite with other addicted kids who were up before sunrise. When I came out, he had a bowl of that cocoa rice cereal. I asked him if he knew another name for “cougar.” He shrugged and went back to watching b-ball Vines.

For my breakfast, I had a couple fried eggs on some sprouted grain bread, and squirted some of that sriracha on them. I supplemented that with a bowl of multi-colored cherry tomatoes, and 15,000 more ORAC units.

I wanted to make a smoothie with strawberries, blueberries, frozen banana, and yogurt, but I decided to wait until my daughter woke up because the blender is loud as fuck and I’m a thoughtful, caring da… SHE JUST WOKE UP LET’S DO THIS!!! I hadn’t used this blender much, and thankfully the smoothie turned out good.

Then I made an iced Oregon Chai to take with me to my son’s basketball game. Afterwards, we headed home for lunch. I tried this Esti caramelized onion hummus that my wife got, with some Rustic Bakery sweet onion & crème fraîche-flavored sourdough flatbread. It’s very good, but a little went a long way, and I moved on to some Kesso Foods tzatziki. I love this stuff, it’s very strong and zesty; so good. I heated up the leftover chahan and some of this veggie stir fry my wife had, and washed it all down with Sodastream seltzer. And then a couple mini Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups.

Dinner was a salad, a couple Aidells chicken-and-apple sausages, and a whole roasted cauliflower that my wife cooked, served with chimichurri and red pepper sauces. I had Haägen-Dazs mint chip ice cream for dessert. And then my wife made us gin and lemonades. I won’t say I’m a gin-drinker yet. I only had it because I had recently finished off all our bourbon, tequila, and mezcal, and we hadn’t stocked back up yet. But it sure was good.

Sunday, January 6
It was officially premiere week for my show. Breakfast was a bowl of oatmeal and 15,000 more ORAC units. I went on a four-and-a-half-mile trail run, and then had a protein shake with banana as well as a bowl of strawberries.

After my kids had a late breakfast, I took them to Greenpoint to play pinball in the back of a laundromat, at a cool place appropriately called Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball. On the way there, as we waited to transfer from the F to the J (and then to the G, since there is CONSTANT FUCKING CONSTRUCTION), I had a bag of Keogh’s shamrock and sour cream potato chips that I threw in my backpack. My wife saw these a while ago at Union Market and gave them a try. They’re made in Ireland, and they’re so good.

We met friends and their kids at the pinball place, and there was also a kid’s birthday party going on, so it was a little busy and annoying with a bunch of tiny kids running around. Thankfully, the place also has a bar with an extensive beer list, and I got a pint of Greenport Harbor Black Duck Porter. They had a lot of good pinball machines there, although there’s one from the clothing company Supreme, and I felt like a major douche for even having tried it.

After pinball, we went to Fornino for a late lunch, which was thankfully right down the street and has really good pizza. We got a classic margherita pizza for the kids, and the daily special for the adults. It had delicious meatballs. When we got home, my daughter went upstairs to play with her friend, and my son and I watched Michigan beat Indiana in basketball.

Come dinnertime, I was still pretty full from the pizza, but by 7:30, I realized I’d probably get hungry later and didn’t want to eat late. So I snacked on more of that flatbread and hummus, a leftover piece of cauliflower, and a two-day-old cupcake from that birthday party. I started to think about gin but had a magnesium drink and went to bed.

Monday, January 7
I had two very fun promo things for the show: The Howard Stern Wrap-Up Show and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Jon Hein is one of the hosts of the former, and a good friend from college, which made this one extra fun and special to do. And I know Stephen from Second City days and The Dana Carvey Show, which also made it more enjoyable on top of my being excited about doing the show in general.

For breakfast, I made a smoothie with blueberries, strawberries, half a banana, vanilla yogurt, and 15,000 more ORAC units for a Grub Street Diet total of 75,000. I treated myself to a Blue Bottle egg sandwich with thick-cut bacon and a side of their hot sauce, and a latte. Pricey but delicious. I washed down the sandwich with a glass of Ginger Soother, and made an iced Oregon Chai to go with the latte.

After The Wrap-Up Show, I had a few hours to kill before Colbert. I met a friend for lunch at Blue Ribbon Sushi in the basement of 30 Rock and got a couple pieces of tuna sushi, a couple pieces of masago sushi, a king crab California roll, and a hot green tea. I ate all the ginger. We then walked down the hall to Jacques Torres and got a couple chocolate chip cookies off the warmer. They might as well call these things God’s Cum, because that’s what God’s cum probably tastes like when she has an orgasm (cue the eye-rolls and hate comments for this unfunny “joke”).

After Colbert, I headed home to find that my wife had cooked up a delicious quiche with potatoes and ricotta. I put my daughter to bed after she showed me a video of a trout laying eggs. My son went to bed late after b-ball practice, and I finished off the bottle of gin.

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Comedian Jon Glaser’s Grub Street Diet