Michelle Buteau has a lot on her proverbial plate right now: She’s juggling a move from Brooklyn to City Island; a new comedy tour called Buteaupia; and the premiere of a new show on BET+, First Wives Club, an adaptation of the 1996 comedy about three divorcées who come together for a little revenge. (“I don’t even know what life is like right now,” she jokes.) But on her actual plate, Buteau has been putting food from some of the neighborhood favorites she’s leaving behind, including pasta from Saraghina and jerk chicken from what she likes to call “the jerk corner.” Read all about it in this week’s Grub Street Diet.
Thursday, September 12
Oh wow. A food diary? This is so cute! What am I? The brown-titty Bridget Jones? Here for it.
September 12: 190 lbs
Alcohol Units: 20
JK! I don’t smoke cigarettes. In all seriousness, I’m pretty excited to document this week. It’s bittersweet. This was my last weekend in Brooklyn before my family and I move to City Island. With everything going on, this weekend was going to be pretty jam-packed. My husband and I love to cook, but we have zero time with 8-month-old twins — did I mention we have twins?!?! — so we’re just eating our way through Brooklyn, and now I get to share my most favorite Bed-Stuy spots with you!
My day started at 4 a.m. when baby boy woke up. I shushed him back to sleep, then baby girl woke up. This went on for about two hours, when I just decided “Hey! We up!” and fed them. That’s the twin life, but I’m not mad, because they look like me, very cute. Husband and I are a great team, like a low-budget Brooklyn Baywatch David Hasslehoff–Pamela Anderson situation, minus the beach wedgie. He watches the babies as I sleep in.
I promise this’ll get more exciting — JK! It probably won’t. But if you’re overwhelmed yet still smiling, then you’re my people and you’ll enjoy this.
Around 10 a.m., I had a cup of strong-ass Stumptown coffee with frothed oat milk and a big banana. Yes, milk frothed ’cause I’m worth it! Taking care of twins is truly a cardio effort, physically and emotionally. You want to make sure they’re entertained, fed, changed, and that they can’t hurt themselves. I need my caffeine. I took babies for a walk with my dog, Lola (she’s a Lab-and-mastiff mix and is just the sweetest pony you’ll ever meet). At a general store in Bed-Stuy called Chicky’s, I picked up a sandwich that essentially was my brunch. I love me some protein, so I always get the tuna-salad sandwich. It’s one of my most favorite things ever; I could have one every day. It’s toasted sourdough, cut-up hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, and homemade olive aïoli with marinated olives. YUM. And Italian lemonade in one of those big bottles, ’cause why not?
When I came home, I did some packing, writing, laundry, and food shopping — online of course. What am I, Superwoman? True luxury for me is not leaving your house!
I headed over to Saraghina, another top Brooklyn spot. Saraghina is a pretty special place for me. It’s the first restaurant my husband and I went to when we moved to Bed-Stuy. It’s the first restaurant we took both our moms to, and it’s also the first restaurant we brought our babies to. Everything is so damn delicious. I’ve never had a bad meal there in the seven years I’ve been going.
I also go once a week to write, and the staff is always friendly. I even have a “spot” where I sit. Finally! I’m Norm from Cheers! My go-to is an Arnold Palmer, homemade spaghetti, and green market salad with diced preserved lemons. YUM, BITCH.
When I came home, I did my “Bed, Bath and Beyond,” which is what I call my bath, bottle, and bedtime for the twins. I switched outfits and changed into meh glam look for an event I had that evening. The Tribeca TV Festival was premiering the first episode of First Wives Club, so husband and I made it a date night! Gotta get it in where ya fit it in.
Around 11 p.m. at the after-party (it was at Vandal), I got a couple of little mini-slices of pizza with fontina cheese and mushrooms, half of a slider, and a weird bean thingy that I shoveled into my face. When people pass by me with trays, I HAVE TO STOP AND SEE WHAT IT IS. There’s no time for FOMO when it comes to appetizers!
Note: We had to leave the party immediately because I got tired from the pizza.
Friday, September 13
No time like the present when you don’t have time to brush yo teeth! It was Friday the 13t,h and I’d already been up, on and off, for about three hours. Babies!!! By 10 a.m., I’d already had three cups of coffee and my morning banana. I had a custom fitting for my upcoming Today show interview, when I realized I had bad breath because I hadn’t eaten. Yuck. Yes, this feels more like a cry for help than an actual food diary. I’d love to be like, “I’m eating full, leafy greens and broiled fish,” but yeah, this ain’t that!
After my fitting, it was time to purge my house and throw some shit out! I ordered a blackberry smoothie and a mushroom bowl for lunch from a place called Fuel. It’s healthy, organic goodness. I love mushrooms so much. They’re the meat of the earth. If I ever decide to be a vegetarian, I’ll buy stock in a mushroom farm. My mushroom bowl had forbidden black rice (which could also be my nickname if I’m a vegan stripper), marinated mushrooms, guacamole, pico de gallo, and cashew-nut cheese.
I packed for for a few more hours, bathed, fed the babies, put them down for sleep, and had a cup of coffee for dinner. Stumptown with oat milk. I’m about that oat-milk life. I can’t do whole-fat milk; that feels like you’re going down on somebody.
The babies were sleeping, and I had to head to Stevens Institute of Technology to perform for college kids. The school’s greenroom was just that. Full of greens. JK. It was like a mini Super Bowl party. Chocolate cake, chips, hoagies. I grabbed the fruit cup and went to town. I’M TRYING TO BE GOOD. Plus: Eating anything with a crazy amount of sugar right before a show will make me crash and take a nap like a child in day care.
Saturday, September 14
My nanny is off on the weekends, so it’s important that I think about feeding myself as well as the babies because if not I’ll get lost in the sauce.
I started the day with my usual, banana and covfefe. As I took the babies for their first walk, I swung by a cute lil’ Brooklyn joint in the hood called Skål. They’ve got mini plates of deliciousness, like soul-food tapas, but I’m here for the drank. Juice, honey — it’s in the a.m., and I’m the mom! They’ve always got some exotic passion-blah-blah-blend juice, so I’m all about the juice of the day! And I was not disappointed. I copped a sage-strawberry lemonade and drank that like I was paying state taxes on it.
When I got home, guess what I did? Packed bags and boxes because I’m moving. Hello? Watching babies and packing bags is pretty tricky. Every time I’d put something in a box, I’d make a meal out of it and in a baby voice say “What’s this?!?! Mommy’s gonna take this, but she knows she doesn’t need it!!!” Two birds, what can I say? I’m a genius.
The afternoon passed by so quickly. It was already 4 p.m. and the babies needed another walk outside, and, let’s be honest, I did too. While I heart the restaurants in Brooklyn, some of the best food you can get is from a street corner. I made sure on my twins’ walk to pass by the jerk corner. That’s not the name of the place, although that is a great name. It’s just literally a corner in Bed-Stuy where you can buy jerk chicken! Ha!
I picked up dinner for husband et moi from Wadadli Jerk. Oh lawd, it’s always good, fresh, and spicy. I don’t wanna eat it in front of people because I’m gonna be licking my fingers like I’m learning math for the first time. I got jerk chicken, rice and peas, salad, and … wait for it … jerk mac and cheese. Thank you very much. You’re welcome. Bye. If you’d like to ruin your diet but also live your best life at the same time, please come check meh.
Sunday, September 15
It was my husband’s birthday, and as if moving, having a premiere, and going on tour wasn’t enough to handle, I decided to throw him a birthday party with some of our friends and their kids at our house ’cause … I don’t know any better? We love to barbecue — but hello, if you’ve made it this far down in my diary, you know we ain’t got the time!!! I ordered like a Thanksgiving amount of food from another one of our most favorite restaurants in Brooklyn that we will miss dearly, Speedy Romeo’s. If you haven’t been, then what are you waiting for? Everything is made on an open fire or wood stove. It’s life-changing. The pizza, the fish, the beets on your salad. Get ya life!
For my party of 15 peeps, I ordered burgers, stuffed peppers, chicken wings, the beet salad, and the Caesar salad. I grazed the chicken wings and Caesar salad and had a half of a burger in between big cups of ice and rosé ’cause #thatmomlife It. Was. Dee. Lish.
I usually drink rosé over ice. I felt weird doing it because people would shame me, and then I went to the south of France and they served me rosé with ice. I’m like, I’m living my best life like a fucking French person, and everyone is shaming me. Now I’m just like, Fuck that. It doesn’t compromise the integrity of the fucking grape. Everyone calm the fuck down.
I’m sorry I’m saying fuck so much.
Of course, ain’t no birthday party complete without CAKE. I bought a birthday cake from Betty Bakery in Brooklyn. Their cakes are always delicious, festive, ’n’ classy. Since husband wanted a carrot cake, husband got what he wanted. I love carrot cake, and I love to make it, too. People think it’s hard to make, but it’s not that hard. But ain’t nobody got time to make a carrot cake. I’m not Mary Berry. He kindly let me know that he was #grateful for the cake but next time would do cream-cheese icing instead of buttercream. Wow. The thing you most love about someone is also the thing that annoys you the most. Put that on a magnet, huney.
Looking over this diary, I’m seeing I’ve spent so much money on food! But it was truly worth every single penny. I’ve made so many great memories in all these places. They’ve been my go-tos for the past seven years or so in Brooklyn. I’m gonna miss them but will visit. You should too.
More Grub Street Diets
- Matt Sweeney Is a Vibe Guy
- Haley Nahman Is ‘Very’ Anti-Parfait
- Laurie Woolever Loves a Raspberry-Butterscotch Sundae