Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Favorite Guilty Pleasures

I think a lot of people often are curious as to how chefs eat at home.  And, to be perfectly honest, the cooking at home for chefs is likely to be a good deal better than a regular home cook’s attempts at putting together a dinner.  Unfortunately, that’s not normally the circumstances that food professionals seem to eat under.  If you cook all day and night, sometimes you just don’t have the energy to put the time and effort into the same thing at home.  Given the chance for dinner at home (rare for night staff), the meal at home can sometimes be the most egregious 3 minute slap-together hodgepodge you can imagine.  So I thought it’d be kind of fun to give you a honest window into my favorite guilty pleasures and after work meals.


In no particular order:


Insatiable Morning Craving: McDonald’s Sausage Egg McMuffin 

Yes, from the processed cheese to the slightly overnuked egg…oh sweet perfection.  I could probably eat 3 of these.  It remains as 1 of 3 things I can still enjoy from McDonald’s.  No, fries are not one of them.  Shocking, huh?


Favorite Late Night Four Minute Meal: Nissin Ramen w/ Over Easy Fried Eggs

I’ve timed out perfectly that while it takes 3 minutes for the noodles to get soft, I can effectively cook the eggs on the pan simultaneously without any wasted effort.  If there was ever an instant ramen hangover late night joint, I’d rock that station.


Favorite Mutant Habit: KFC and Costco Chicken

I get about 1 or 2 chances every couple of months to eat at either establishments, but I dare and challenge you to deny how good that mutant chicken tastes.  Seriously, $6 for a juicy rotisserie chicken.  It’s actually cheaper to buy the cooked chicken than a raw one at Costco I think.   


Favorite Processed Goodies: Tater Tots

Oh my crispy fluffy golden globs of goodness.  Tater tots are like human kryptonite because they pair crispy fried potato with memories of fun childhood indulgence.  Not enjoying tater tots might just be un-American.  I’m just saying.


Most Wrong Creation That Was So Right: Fried Rice Blanketed In Egg Omelet

Yes, I cooked fried rice with leftover pork parts and green onions, then I made a 4 egg omelet and wrapped the fried rice in there like it was a golden quesadilla.  Because some egg is good, but lots of egg is great.


I Don’t Know Why I Occasionally Drink This: Red Bull and Vodka

Everything about Red Bull and vodka is wrong.  Decent vodka is already tasteless, which means that the generic stuff is just shit.  Red Bull speeds you up and vodka knocks you back a little.  It’s like getting kicked in the nuts and enjoying it.  It sucks and I suck for somehow reasoning that this is a good idea on certain nights.


Sweet Lovin: Powdered Jelly Donuts

I love semi-fake fruit filled donuts.  The messier, the better.  The only negative thing about the jelly donut is when they go cheap on the filling.  Hate it when that happens.  I hate you for suckering me out of filling and I hate myself for wanting more. 


Worst East Coast Addiction: Dunkin Donuts Ice Coffee “Regular”

A “regular” ice coffee at Dunkin Donuts for non-East coasters is a coffee that is filled with cream and filled with sugar (I ask for splenda substituted).  East Coasters drink this because they enjoy the subtle hint of actual coffee in there.  It’s what you can call a sugary “half and half latte”.


Most Overindulgent Sandwich/Sub/Grinder: Hot Red Pastrami, Provolone, Lettuce, Tomato, Mayo and Ketchup

When I say pastrami, I don’t mean that lean black stuff.  I want the red shredded fatty good stuff and I want a ton of it.  The pastrami is seared on a hot plate and then cheese gets laid on top.  Everything goes into a long sub roll and then into an oven for toasting.  Ahhh, greasy goodness. 


Favorite Soda That No One Else Buys: Diet Sunkist

I think I contributed to 50% of their sales at one point when I was working a zillion hours.  I don’t know why, but after a long service, nothing appealed to me more than getting a Diet Sunkist soda from the gas station across the street.  Yes, I am likely the reason that Diet Sunkist is on your supermarket shelves.


Favorite Meal That Makes Me Feel A Little Dirty: Chorizo and Lengua Super Burrito

If you have not had a combination chorizo lengua super burrito, then you are missing out on a oral orgy of flavors and textures.  And when you finish this monstrosity, you will likely wallow in your own food coma and shame for a good 3 hours.


Favorite Thing That Nobody Else Really Wants To Eat: Crispy Fried Pig Intestine and Chinese Red Sauce Braised Chicken Feet 

Pretty much self explanatory.  The intestines are so good with a little sweet sour sauce.  The chicken feet are normally found at dim sum spots under the pseudonym “Phoenix Talons”.  People have issues with the texture, but I love that chewy little cartilage.   


  1. its astonishing how familiar this all sounds. i go for 2 standard McMuffins every morning, washed down with a diet redbull, dinner is usually Maruchan "pork" ramen with a poached egg and after lunch service is a massive samich from the jimmy johns a few blocks down. must be some sort of unspoken code.

  2. Love this! I am a die-hard fan of Egg McMuffins!!! We will have to take you to Katz's when you're in NYC. The best pastrami there is! Also, my secret guilty pleasure is Spam. But because you grew up in an Asian household, I doubt you think it's weird. God I love Spam... especially in fried rice.

  3. yes! i love diet sunkist!

  4. where do you go to get good pastrami?

  5. That pastrami sandwich makes me hungry!!

    I swear, weird hours make for weird eats - I used to come home from teaching until 10-11 pm, everything was closed, I'd stop at the bar for a hello and then go home and cook filet mignon with all the trimmings. For myself. Alone. Now that I cook "fancy" on a regular basis, yeah, so-called crap food has its moment in the sun.

    Do you care if you're eating healthy? Because I find that frozen stir-fry veggies in ramen make it a more balanced meal. Although cap'n crunch serves as dinner in a pinch (oooh, Cap'n), so who am I to talk?

    Please, pretty please, please send me one of those pastrami sandwiches!!

  6. Mmmm! Chicken Feet!

    Pastrami sandwiches and reubens are my number one go to hangover foods.

    You lost me on KFC, McD, and Red Bull, though. Too old to fuck myself up with that shit.

    Love them chorizo burritos, though.

  7. From the second I saw your blog's name and banner logo I knew I was going to enjoy reading this! And man, that pastrami sandwich STILL has my mouth watering!

    I love how people think that if your in the food biz all you do is eat Beef Wellington at every meal. We know what's good though, eh?


  8. Curried fried bologna, over easy egg, cheese. Dirty but decent.

  9. We will absolutely take you to Katz's, fool.

    Oh, and there are two types of McDonald's french fries eaters. Those who love them and those who lie. Don't front.

  10. Man, that is a pretty wicked list...I personally think the fried rice blanketed in egg omelet is such a sick, twisted and wickedly awesome idea!! Perhaps lop chong as a substitute for the pig parts?? mmmmmm...