About That Time Nick Kroll Tried To Book A Table At Red Lobster
Comedian talks Quiznos, problem with eating feet
Comedian Nick Kroll admits that he is probably at his chubbiest right now. “I just have no willpower,” he says after detailing eating adventures at Pok Pok in Portland and breaking bread (ridiculous barbecue) with Jason Sudeikis and Paul Rudd at Jack Stack in Kansas City.
We can all agree that eating a really great meal — and then Tweeting about it — is the hot meme of the moment for actors and comedians. Aziz Ansari sort of kicked it off a few years back and the fanaticism within the jokes-for-money crowd has only grown stronger.
That said Kroll, who has starred in The League and Children’s Hospital on Adult Swim and performs standup around the country, does not eat everything. For instance, he will not mess with marrow. “I have some trouble getting in on the marrow craze,” he admits during our morning call. It’s OK, we’re not judging. But Aziz on the other hand…
What was the first thing to hit your lips this morning?
I’ve taken to eating cereal that looks like twigs and stems.
Is that good for your colon or something?
I guess so. It’s all to not be tempted to eat bacon or a croissant with a cheese filling.
Do you have any eating rituals before you perform on stage?
If I can, I try to eat an hour before. Otherwise, I’ll be on stage and half of my body energy is worried about digesting barbeque, as opposed to finding some interesting operations about everyday life.
So, I can assume you’ve had a barbeque incident on stage?
I had an incident where I was in New York doing an audition for a comedy festival, and I ate just a ton of barbeque beforehand. I got on stage and could barely speak the words because my body was trying to break down five pounds of burnt ends.
So you’re a fan of Texas-style barbecue! I like that brisket reference.
Oh, yeah man.
Where were you eating barbecue that night?
It’s a place in Midtown near Times Square.
Virgil’s! It’s gotta be Virgil’s.
Yes, it was Virgil’s. It was actually on Valentine’s Day and I was with Aziz Ansari and Ricky Van Veen. We thought it’d be funny to go and eat in Times Square at Red Lobster, not realizing that a lot of people were going to Red Lobster on a romantic evening out. So our “ironic chuckle” at chain restaurant dining came back to bite us when every single one of them was packed: Olive Garden, Red Lobster, TGI Fridays…
You really went down the list…
Well that’s truly the beauty of Times Square.
When was the last time a chain restaurant satisfied you?
I had a Quiznos sub in the Kansas City airport yesterday. That did the job.
Quiznos is kind of cool because they have that conveyor belt thing going on, right?
Yeah, yeah. They really revolutionized the sandwich industry.
Is there a food that you just can’t look at?
I know I’m supposed to like marrow, but I have some trouble getting in on the marrow craze. I do have issue eating certain parts of a pig that seemingly have gone for centuries without being eaten. I’ve probably eaten a fibula or two that I’ve liked, but I get a little squeamish on the more adventurous body part consumption.
Like the trotter?
Yeah, stuff like that. Chicken feet for example. I can eat chicken breast all day but there’s something about eating somebody’s feet that really feels…
So Nick. Are you a foodie?
I really like food, but as someone who I believe is almost entirely “hobby-less” — to call myself a foodie would go against that. I like eating really good meals and I’m always looking for good restaurants, but I would not consider myself a foodie.
Your man Aziz is a foodie, though, we can agree on that?
Well, he would have to label himself that. Aziz is pretty serious about what he eats and where he eats it.
Do you guys eat out often?
I’ve eaten some crazy meals with him. It’s funny – there is something about food and comedians right now and I think it’s a combination of comedians always traveling and going to new cities. It’s an activity that whether you’re drinking or sober, it’s something to do with your time that’s both pleasurable and interesting to see local spots.
I remember I was on a tour with Chelsea Peretti, Danny Glover and Whitney Cummings three years ago, and we were driving, maybe somewhere in the middle of nowhere Ohio, and we stopped at some fish shack and just ate insanely good smoked trout in this shack right off the river in this industrial part of town. So there are places like that and then there’s going to the sick restaurants – I was just in Portland and ate at Pok Pok. I ate some of the best chicken wings of my life there.
They are good, they have great wings there.
Oh man, I thought the food there was terrific. Portland was so good. Also, Bunk Sandwiches. I asked if there was anywhere to eat in Portland, and Aziz wrote out to me on Twitter: “Bunk Sandwiches and Pok Pok.”