the grub street diet

Munchies’ Farideh Sadeghin Is a Regular at Her Local Slice Joint

“I like to go in there and talk shit with Massimo, the owner.”

Farideh Sadighen at L’Industrie in Williamsburg. Photo: Christian Rodriguez
Farideh Sadighen at L’Industrie in Williamsburg. Photo: Christian Rodriguez

As the culinary director at Vice’s Munchies, Farideh Sadeghin’s days are split into two distinct modes of eating: “I make nice, really great things at work,” she says, “and when I leave I have random junky things like pizza and fried clams and hot dogs.” (As of this year, she’s also the host of “The Cooking Show With Farideh,” a goofy and candid stand-and-stir.) This week, Sadeghin realized she can’t go a day without chocolate, got in not one but three styles of pizza, had clam chowder and lobster rolls on Long Island, and celebrated her birthday with dinner at Keen’s and karaoke. Read all about it in this week’s Grub Street Diet.

Thursday, May 2
I wake up around 6 a.m. most days and either run outside or at the gym. I’m not a morning person, exactly, but I can get out of bed. I don’t drink coffee (well, once in a blue moon, but it makes me fucking hyper and nauseous). I also don’t really eat breakfast, so when I get home from the gym or whatever, I shower and walk to work. I live in Bushwick and the office is in Williamsburg, so it only takes around 40 minutes most days.

Once at the office, I started on the first test of a recipe for gluten-free almond-and-blueberry scones I was working on for “The Cooking Show.” I used only half a cup of blueberries and ate the rest. The scones came out good, maybe a little salty. They looked more like cookies than scones, which maybe I wasn’t mad about? Had to think on that. I wanted to riff a bit on strawberry shortcake, but with blueberries and maybe nectarines.

I showed Amanda, our kitchen manager, how to fillet a salmon, and we decided to pickle some, gravlax some, and cook some for lunch. My intern tested a recipe for the katsu sando from Matt Abergel’s book, Chicken and Charcoal. Had a bite of that, too.

I set up a station for Abra Berens, author of Ruffage. She made a recipe from her book, a stewed eggplant and tomato dish. I made it the day before so we had a swap and threw that in the oven to heat. She came and I took her to the rooftop garden to grab some random herbs and flowers to garnish the dish. I scarfed down some eggplant stew and a chunk of bread.

After she left, I started on another possible recipe for the show, this time for stuffies (a classic Rhode Island recipe; basically breadcrumbs, chorizo, and clams stuffed into some quahog shells and baked). They’re great, but have too much hot sauce, so I planned to remake them the next week. Amanda made a shredded cabbage and arugula salad with some lemon juice and olive oil and I ate a large bowl of that. Needed some greens. I also grabbed a handful of M&M’s, because also needed some chocolate. We always have M&Ms in the office as snacks, plain and peanut. (I keep a stash in the freezer at work, also at home. Chocolate is always better cold, IMHO.) We used to have peanut butter M&Ms which are the best, but we don’t have those anymore. I don’t know, fucking cutbacks, man.

I went to boxing that night (I have never been a “workout class” person, but a friend got me into this and I like it for my hand-eye memory stuff). I grabbed a glass of wine from the Four Horsemen afterwards and then wandered over to L’Industrie for a slice (the Farmer, with goat cheese, guanciale, crème fraîche, honey, and basil). I walk by it daily to and from work, and the pizza is awesome. I go almost every week. Always crispy and light, naturally leavened. I like to go in there and talk shit with Massimo, the owner, and Nick, one of the pizzaiolos.

I walked home and decided that I needed chocolate. There was none left in my freezer, but I managed to scrounge up the last Cookie Time Afghan biscuit I brought back from a trip to New Zealand in February. They’re chocolatey and crunchy. I thought there were potato chips in them … but, nope, Googled to confirm, and it’s actually cornflakes.

Friday, May 3
6 a.m. wake up. You now know my morning routine, except this time, I ate the other half of my cookie before walking out the door to work. There were chocolate crumbs, and you don’t want to waste those. They’re from New Zealand!

On Fridays, Vice gives us bagels and Peter Pan doughnuts. I tore a fourth of a bagel and slathered it with veggie cream cheese (honestly never, ever liked veggie cream cheese before, but I am a convert as of, like, a month ago). An hour later, I saw a box of doughnuts still there and broke into one of them, too. To any of my colleagues reading this, yes, I am the dick who breaks off pieces of the bagels and doughnuts on Friday, leaving remnants of dough, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

I tested a new recipe I’m developing for a peanut butter–chocolate tart with a gluten-free crust. Kind of like a Reese’s peanut butter cup? The crust was not good. At all. But the chocolate and peanut butter layers were fucking great. Also, cooked up some escargot that was leftover from a shoot and snacked on snails.

Our West Coast senior editor Hilary was in town so we baked an impossible flan together. It’s a classic Mexican dessert that I’m putting in our third cookbook. Basically, you pour some caramel in a cake pan, then chocolate cake batter, then a flan mix, cover it with foil and bake it in a water bath. The layers separate and once it is baked and cooled, you flip it out and the caramel is on top, then the flan, then the cake. It’s really good, but the version I’d been working on has been giving me some trouble, so I’m tweaking it.

Made some cookie dough to freeze for the Altro Paradiso bake sale Natasha Pickowicz organized to benefit Planned Parenthood. I love cookie dough and will eat it raw forever, always. Totally forgot that I had weed-infused cookie dough portioned out in my freezer that I should eat!

Also made some onion dip for a going-away party we hosted in the kitchen later that night for one of the founders of Munchies and executive producer, Chris Grosso. Detroit-style pepperoni pizzas, some steaks from Debragga, roasted chickens, salad, cheese boards, ricotta cheesecake. Lots of wine. Maybe a little too much wine, TBH. Some cheesecake may have ended up on the ceiling? We ended up at a friend’s later that night with Archie’s pizza and freshly baked peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. I was passed out, sitting on the couch, I’d keep waking up, they’d be like pizza is coming soon, I’d be talking and pass out again. You know how it goes.

I was sent home with a goodie bag of cookies. I ate a couple more on my ride home.

Saturday, May 4
Woke up early, despite being able to sleep-in. Ate a cookie. Drank a can of tangerine LaCroix (drinking an ice-cold can of soda from the can is my personal hangover cure). Popped in a slice of Vogel’s bread to the toaster (another souvenir from my trip to New Zealand). Vogel’s bread is the best bread, ever. Four-inch squares, pretty dense. It takes two go’s in the toaster to toast it. I slathered on some butter and Marmite (the NZ kind, not the English kind). It’s similar to Vegemite, maybe a touch sweeter. I LOVE the stuff. I know Marmite and Vegemite can be quite polarizing in general, but I lived in NZ for around seven years (I was working as a chef while over there) and became addicted to the stuff. My recent trip was the first time I’d been back in almost seven years, so I stocked up on all my favorite foods.

Vogel’s in hand, I grabbed my camping stuff (thankful I had set out most of it throughout the week so I had less to pack with my foggy brain). My friends Kim, Lili, Eleanore, and I drove out to Long Island to camp for the night. We stopped at Bigelow’s Clam Shack on the way and got a bowl each of Manhattan and New England clam chowder and mixed them. Not sure if that is something everyone does, but it is definitely a Maryland thing with crab soup, and doing it with chowder works just as well. Also got Ipswich clams (with tartar sauce for me) and coleslaw. Had a Budweiser. Oh, also shrimp cocktail. I’m 100 percent a seafood shack person.

Kept driving and stopped at Lobster Roll on our way to our campsite. Split a few lobster rolls, ate some fries, drank some wine. (Don’t worry, Kim was the designated driver.) Also had a chocolate egg cream. Grabbed some extra pickles to have with dinner.

Got to our campsite to set up camp. Drank wine on the beach. Built a campfire and ate cheese. A huge seagull grabbed our huge knob of blue cheese and flew off with it. We ate manchego and gouda instead, plus oysters that Eleanore had grabbed from Greenpoint Fish and Lobster before we left the city.

Grilled up some hot dogs I had from Olympia Provisions. Ate those with spicy brown mustard and Dijon. Mustard is my favorite condiment, so I double down on my dog. Also topped it with crispy shallots and crispy garlic. Oh, and one of those pickles from before.

Had stowed away a Cadbury almond chocolate bar and ate a lot of that with more wine. A bit of whisky, but mainly wine, then crawled into my tent.

Sunday, May 5
Woke up to a lot of rain hitting the tent. It definitely sounded worse in the tent than actually being outside, but still, rain sucks when you have to pack up a campsite. Kim made a Spanish tortilla and stuck a candle in it. My birthday was on Monday, so they sang to me (I really hate when people sing HBD to me), then we sliced into the tortilla, topped it with lots of hot sauce. I should mention that this all happened in one of the tents since it was raining.

Drove out to the lighthouse. Didn’t get out of the car because: rain. Went into town to get coffee and some food at Anthony’s Pancake House. Kim got banana pancakes, Eleanore got the club sandwich, and I got mozzarella sticks. We wanted soft serve from John’s Drive-In, but the rain just didn’t really get us in the mood, so we grabbed some Cool Ranch Doritos and Cheetos for the road.

Got home and put away all my wet camping crap. Showered and got into comfy clothes for the couch. I cook a ton at work, so I usually opt for easy things when I’m home that don’t require a ton of effort. My fridge is often full of only condiments. Also eggs and flour tortillas and fermented bamboo shoots.

I made a box of ash-e reshteh from Sadaf Foods. Ash-e reshteh is an Iranian soup with noodles and beans and herbs. My dad is Iranian and made something similar growing up (minus the noodles), and it is kind of the perfect thing to eat on the couch when it’s raining (warm, filling, comfort food). He’d do it in the crockpot, and you would eat it for a week straight. The smell of it reminds me of my dad in a good way.

Monday, May 6
It was my birthday. Went to the grocery store and got stuff to make BLTs (one of my all-time favorite sandwiches). The grocery store had Peter Luger’s bacon, so I grabbed a couple of those and some sourdough, tomatoes, and lettuce. Also a Carvel ice cream cake because Tuesday was my colleague Peter’s birthday and we were going to celebrate our b-days with ice cream cake (mainly because I love ice cream cake). I bought some Klondike bars, too, because if I have learned anything about myself while documenting what I have been eating for the last five days, it is that I cannot go a day without chocolate. The guy at the register sang “Happy Birthday” to me which was weird but fine. Ate a Klondike bar on my walk back to the office. P.S. Klondike bars are a lot less thick than they used to be. What’s up with that?

Laid the bacon out on trays and baked it all, toasted the bread, sliced and seasoned the tomatoes. Duke’s mayonnaise, but only because we didn’t have Hellman’s. Ate my BLT standing in the kitchen (I often find that I eat while standing at work). Got mayo on my neck somehow. Also had sour cream and onion chips. Fuck, those are the best, especially with a sandwich. I usually put chips on my sandwiches, but in the case of the BLT, sour cream and onion chips are enjoyed on the side. If you’re not putting chips on your sandwich, you’re doing it wrong.

Was delivered a package of Bagel Bites and Totino’s Pizza Rolls. I had no idea from who, until my friend Laura texted me about a package. She’s visiting next weekend from Richmond, so I decide to not immediately open and bake them all, but pop them back in the freezer and will make them for her visit. Only the best for my guests.

Left work a little early and met my friend Kate at the bar at Keen’s Steakhouse. She got there before me and ordered some crudités. I have to say, celery is fucking great. I love a celery stick. Had a dirty gin martini, four olives. We ordered and split the prime-rib hash, a wedge salad, and creamed spinach. Switched to a Manhattan and drank two of those. Came out from the bathroom to a piece of Key lime pie with a candle stuck in it. Nobody sang. The crust was very good. The pie was, too.

Forced Kate to go to karaoke and sing some songs. I may or may not have a note in my phone of just karaoke songs. Pat Benatar and 4 Non Blondes were definitely sung. We were the only ones there, which, you’d think would be cool, but I kind of like seeing other people sing awkwardly. Finished the night with a Maker’s on the rocks. Maybe two?

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