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Musician Matt Sweeney’s Grub Street Diet

Matt Sweeney along with his ramen, sushi, and tacos.
Illustration: Lindsay Mound

Final Friday, the guitarist Matt Sweeney and singer-songwriter Will Oldham (a.okay.a. Bonnie “Prince” Billy) launched their album Superwolves. The follow-up to their 2005 cult favourite Superwolf, Rolling Stone writes of the duo, “the 2 are completely matched collaborators.” That’s not all he did final week: Sweeney additionally ate a number of Superiority Burger, the place he’s a accomplice whose key contribution, proprietor Brooks Headley says, is “unbridled enthusiasm.” But, due to the pandemic, Sweeney has spent the yr grounded in New York working the door on the restaurant, too. “Clearly, yeah, like each different one that travels for a dwelling, I’ve been fucked in that regard, he says. “On this case, it was okay, as a result of I’m sufficiently old that I can at the least form of sit again and revel in being with my accomplice, who I simply by no means get bored with being with.” 

Thursday, April 29
10 a.m., overseeing residence transferring. No time for espresso (bummer), and I used to be fried from late Wednesday evening dinner.

Seltzer. I drink no matter model my accomplice is feeling. On fancy backstage riders in America, they began having Mountain Valley. I’d be like, Oh, this can be a fancy gig as a result of they’ve Mountain Valley, and one way or the other that has penetrated into the “folks with style” zone in New York. I’m not so unhappy about Topo Chico’s aggressive advertising and marketing, as a result of now you may get it anyplace. I don’t know if I’m imagining that it’s a bit salty, however no matter it’s, I all the time need to drink extra. A part of what I like can be that it’s aggressively bubbly. Lurisia water is type of fantastically bubbly water, however I haven’t been ingesting it that a lot. These are three I’ll give shout-outs to. I’m a bit disillusioned as a result of I really feel like Mountain Valley and Topo Chico are so widespread — I want I may identify an underdog.

Reheated a potato taco from Yellow Rose, and drank a “Berry Maxx” smoothie — strawberry, blueberry, banana, peanut butter, hemp protein — and huge watermelon juice from Juice Vitality after my transfer. Then I did a reside interview for Workplace Hours, Tim Heidecker’s present. That was enjoyable.

Dinner from Superiority Burger: polentils (a spicy purple lentil stew over seared Anson Mills cob grits with griddled ramps — fuuuucking sick), smoky farro salad with kale rapini, Bodhitree herbs, and pickled fennel, candy potato; bright-assed lettuce salad; benne-seed focaccia sandwich with kale rapini (they ran out of collards), and roasted strawberry poppy-seed vegan gelato.

I usually simply eat Superiority Burger meals, as a result of I’m not a fucking fool. Why would I not eat it as usually as doable, you realize? After we opened up the restaurant, I simply began consuming at fewer eating places, as a result of I desire Superiority Burger.

There are a number of locations I like, particularly across the East Village. The East Facet has largely been my zone. I first began crashing on seventh between C and D round ’89 or ’90. I positively have a mushy spot for the East Village, and I like all of the previous Japanese locations, significantly Takahachi. I really feel like that opened a pair years after I got here to this neighborhood, if it wasn’t already open. I simply consider that as a perennial. The unique ramen spot, Rai Rai Ken, which I haven’t, once more, through the pandemic I haven’t been to any of those locations. I obtained to go to Takahachi the opposite day, it’s so fucking good, however I’ve barely ate sushi throughout this complete pandemic.

I grew up within the ’70s and ’80s and there wasn’t a sushi spot I knew about. Actually, I used to be possibly 21 when any person was displaying me the way to combine the wasabi into the soy sauce. Once I look again on it, I’m all the time shocked, as a result of I eat a lot Japanese meals, nevertheless it’s not one thing I grew up with. From what I can inform, it was extra typical of L.A. Watching Repo Man, he was like, “Let’s get sushi and never pay.” That was form of, like, Oh, it could be cool to get sushi and never pay as a result of I don’t even know what sushi is. Definitely because the time I realized the way to use chopsticks, I’ve been consuming Japanese meals like a motherfucker.

Additionally drank a seltzer with Zeigler’s apple cider, and bites of various treats from Confectionery: oat bar, salted turtle, chocolate chip walnut cookie. It’s vegan sweet treats, it doesn’t sound prefer it’d be significantly thrilling. Brooks put me on to it. It’s grow to be a go-to spot, every thing there for me is nice. When you’re into adventurous form of sweets they’ve that for you, too. I’m not. They’ve some wild shit I haven’t tried. They’ll fuck with onions and stuff. I’m not courageous sufficient.

Friday, April 30
Capacity espresso pour-over at dwelling. I don’t know what it’s. It’s good for me. I most likely do like two or three a day, which is 4 to 6 large cups of black espresso.

About 4 years in the past, my good friend Fergie in Nashville gave me a type of good hot-water pots that every one the espresso outlets have. I obtained a Chemex, and Jaime from Abraco walked me by way of. He gave me a scale and grinder, he instructed me the way to do it. Clearly a toddler can determine it out, so I can determine it out. The second that I did it I used to be like, I’m by no means ever going to purchase espresso out. I’m now a type of dickheads who likes speaking about how I like my espresso within the morning, after being somebody who, for some purpose, would all the time get livid when folks would discuss their espresso ritual. I all the time discovered it to be insufferable.

I bear in mind being with Billy Gibbons from ZZ Prime — I used to be fortunate sufficient to work with him — after we had partied down the evening earlier than and have been each fairly savagely crawling by way of the wreckage. We one way or the other ended up with somebody speaking about how a lot they love their morning espresso ritual and I bear in mind Billy Gibbons, all hung-over, and being like, I by no means need to be considered one of these guys who talks about my morning espresso ritual. As a result of I’d somewhat be hung-over, ZZ Prime–type than have my shit collectively, and right here I’m speaking about how my shit is collectively and I like my espresso ritual, so I formally fucking suck.

Ran 5 miles to a photograph shoot at midday. Had extra espresso through the interview. Faucet water!

Went to Juice Vitality for my “Berry Maxx” smoothie and watermelon juice once more. I virtually all the time hit it after I run.

Forgot to have an actual lunch.

Glided by Superiority Burger and tried a Massacre, Sheryl Heefner’s drink of rosé and sorbet. Sheryl simply made this up. She has been a very nice presence. I really feel like issues actually modified for the higher as soon as she obtained concerned. She was like, “After we get our liquor license I’m going to provide you with some fascinating drinks.” She stated she actually needed to do one thing with the sorbet, and he or she made good on that with the Massacre. It’s merely about maximizing what we’ve obtained, nevertheless it’s loopy. I don’t love rosé the way in which folks do however that is so fucking good. It’s larger than the sum of its components. Perhaps there’s a tiny little bit of citrus in there, too. No matter it’s, it’s not too candy, it’s not too boozy. I’d positively say it’s harmful.

Ate some items of apple, was fuckin’ ravenous.

Extra Superiority Burger for dinner: the crunchy potatoes with BBQ mayo and pickled jalapeño, pea shoot soup, smoky farro asparagus, and the tofu-fried tofu sandwich. I additionally had the roasted strawberry-tangerine sorbet and vegan black-sesame gelato.

I confirmed Brooks my notes for this, to verify I obtained stuff proper. He was like, Jesus Christ, you eat so fucking a lot. However, look, a number of instances with these sandwiches, I’ll lower in half and have one later.

Saturday, Could 1
Two Yellow Rose tacos to go — bean and cheese, and  bacon and egg — and a tamarind honey bun. I hadn’t had Yellow Rose breakfast tacos since Dave Rizo was working at Superiority Burger. Thursday and Friday I simply ate quite a bit much less.

We’re transferring into this stunning home and I’m so glad, we’re by no means going to have to maneuver once more, however irrespective of how you narrow it, transferring actually is traumatic. I don’t know why I get so bizarre. This was the simplest transfer ever however I used to be nonetheless emotional and unusual about it, so I ended up consuming quite a bit much less. By Saturday I simply awakened so goddamn hungry. 

Dave opened Yellow Rose with his wife Krystiana, and it so occurred that they’re from San Antonio. I began my band Chavez with a man from San Antonio, who is that this San Antonio meals snob, so I obtained to eat a number of meals in San Antonio, and certainly the meals tradition is superb. When Dave got here to city and began making these San Antonio–type treats, I used to be well-primed for Yellow Rose.

Ate at dwelling with Capability espresso, then my Juice Vitality “Berry Maxx” smoothie with hemp protein.

Met my pals Jack and Chris for a stroll in East River Park, which they’re attempting to destroy. I need to telegraph that I’m not some man who’s bitching that issues are altering, however I like this place and we have now to carry on to it. It’s actually the most effective issues about New York, and folks don’t find out about it. There’s one thing about it that for no matter purpose — it’s been simple for these goons to say they’re going to destroy it.

Once I first heard in regards to the plan a pair years in the past, it was like, Oh, due to Sandy they’re going to fuck up the park, and create these partitions. It made sense in a approach: The East Village flooded, we’ve obtained to do one thing about it. After Sandy, they spent 4 years determining a plan that made sense. They spent a lot cash, and a plan was able to go, after which they scrapped that plan and have been like, “Oh, we’re going to cover the park with eight toes of dust due to the atmosphere or some bullshit.”

That’s when it obtained bizarre. There’s not been one assertion from any scientist or anybody from town explaining what the fuck they’re doing. None. Zero. Nothing. That’s after I obtained concerned, as a result of I used to be like, Wait, what the fuck? It type of reads like a Sidney Lumet film. It looks as if a giant foul fucking plan. What they’re planning on doing is protecting the park in dust for 5 years? What does that imply? What they clearly need to do is starve out the park, wait for everyone to neglect, wait for everyone to die, and construct condos.

I’m only a ding-dong who runs there and performs music and has some Instagram followers. The East River Park Action is so well-organized, and the ladies who’re working it are unimaginable. Spend one minute studying what they need to say. The plan is so clear, that it’s poor individuals who reside alongside the park, let’s simply wreck it, and finally they’re going to go away. They’re additionally actually choosing a foul time. That is throughout a pandemic when it’s been made clear inexperienced areas and open areas are the way in which to go, and now they’re going to wreck one of many greatest and probably the most precious ones to individuals who actually need it? Fuck that.

After the park, all of us stopped by Superiority Burger for a focaccia snack plus Massacre and a shot of tequila with tomato water again. (Ask Sheryl.)

Later, I picked up Superiority Burger for dinner: yuba verde, pea shoot soup with jalapeños, smoky farro salad with asparagus, Sloppy Dave over rice, the beets, and quince sorbet. Drank a Topo Chico with Ziegler’s apple cider. I’m not a vegetarian, however I’m actually glad consuming principally SB after which some meaty issues each occasionally.

Dwelling in New York and bouncing from place to put, I by no means had an incredible kitchen to work in. Whereas I actually wish to cook dinner, it’s simply one thing that I used to be like, Okay, possibly someday I’ll get extra critical about cooking. Now my accomplice and I obtained a spot and we have now a very nice kitchen, so I believe every thing goes to vary, and I’ve to be a extra regular human being. However then once more, I’d be an fool, as a result of I nonetheless reside blocks away from Superiority Burger, and the meals tastes higher and makes me really feel higher than something I may cook dinner.

There are another locations I’ve been going to for years, like Gaia Italian Café on Houston. That girl is unimaginable. Sizzling younger guys working for this cool girl. The pricing is so cheap to the purpose that I don’t know the way they afforded to remain open.

Sunday, Could 2
Leftover Superiority Burger household meal (rice, yuba, and mushrooms) with two eggs on prime.

Capability espresso. Ran, obtained Ninth Street Espresso for Superiority Burger employees and an iced espresso for me. I actually do stroll by there every single day. Everyone likes the man who brings the doughnuts. I make myself helpful.

Once you’re not superb at one thing — like, I’m not superb at music and I’m not superb within the kitchen — you deliver espresso to the kitchen and everybody thinks you’re okay. Or, when you deliver good meals, folks will allow you to play music. Like, I turned Neil Diamond onto Russ & Daughters — I can relaxation simple — when he was taking part in on a TV present. He determined to do a low-key, invite-only present at the Bitter End, the place he did a few of his early gigs, and we spent the day rehearsing. I confirmed up with luggage of meals, thereby shopping for my approach onto the stage.

Snacked on a Gainsborough sandwich with mustard from Le Petit Parisien. When you’ve ever been to Paris or France and had a baguette sandwich, you’re like, God, why is that so good? They nail that. It’s a baguette with ham and cheese. That’s what they promote. I believe they use some form of fancy ham. Speaking about it makes me need to get one proper now. It’s exceptionally good, and I’m glad to present that place a shout-out as a result of I really feel like no one ever does. It’s throughout from McSorley’s.

Extra Superiority Burger for dinner: smoky farro asparagus salad; Sloppy Dave over rice; a hoagie with marinated inexperienced bell peppers (!), Campo Rosso Farms broccolini, tahini, and fried yuba; and pasta fagioli that I reheated at dwelling. The linguine was insanely good. Brooks gave us this bottle of olive oil through Rick Easton, I dumped that on the pasta fagioli too. CONE-flavored ice cream.

Monday, Could 3
Pour-over espresso at dwelling, then errands for my accomplice, JR.

Ate a Black Seed salmon traditional on toasted every thing bagel. I’m probably not a bagel man. I’m a bit extra again on bagels, however normally they’re simply gross, or may be actually gross. I assume I’ve a sophisticated relationship with bagels. I used to be fortunate sufficient to develop up going to Sonny’s Bagels in South Orange, New Jersey, which is likely one of the biggest bagel spots ever.

Juice Vitality “Berry Maxx” smoothie with hemp protein.

Leftover Sloppy Dave over rice with two eggs on prime. I do know that is horrible for any of the fantastic followers who’re strict vegans, however an egg over Sloppy Dave over rice? Holy fucking shit, it’s so good. That’s at the moment my jam.

Insane tangerines from Brooks. They have been so a lot better than sweet. Simply astonishing. Typically when Brooks offers you fruit, it’s as a result of it’s actually, actually exceptional. He’s by no means like, “Oh yeah, we’ve obtained these further issues right here, attempt them!” He’s like, “You need to do this.” Anybody who commonly goes has probability of being a random beneficiary of some fruit that’s higher than anything you’ve had.

Dinner was the La Morena burrito from Downtown Bakery. What an incredible spot. I put vibe over fancy meals virtually any fucking day, for positive. Definitely the vibe of Downtown Bakery is simply improbable. The dudes are so candy there. There’s a purpose why folks adore it. However it’s additionally simply so good. That burrito I obtained is so kick-ass. It’s actually spicy, actually tacky, it’s actually satisfying, hardy and comforting. It’s obtained one thing particular about it.

I additionally ate some leftover burnt-broccoli salad, and for dessert had oatmeal cookies from Bowman Baked. They’ve a bit little bit of salt on them, they usually’re type of crunchy, type of not, type of chewy, type of not. They’re so insanely good. Ask Brooks. He was like, “Whoa, actually good cookie.” I do know that Andre 3000 is a fan as effectively.

After dinner I had company over, confirmed my good friend the way to do pour-over, obtained jacked on Capability Espresso. Weirdly ecstatic and good. Earlier than I obtained into making pour-over, I by no means drank espresso black. Now I do know what everyone seems to be speaking about. It hits completely completely different, particularly when you’re somebody who likes medicine. I don’t know what it’s.

I assume this might simply be me getting previous and doing much less medicine.

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