The Hot Water Drinkin’, Espresso Connoisseur, RJD2
At the tail end of promoting his new album The Colossus , we were able to speak with RJD2 on everything from the best espresso across America, to cooking with the best ingredients money can buy (or at least found at Whole Foods)
His Mother, The Frugal Gourmet
“I grew up in a household that was very frugal and budget was a factor in everything. I ate a lot of mac n cheese, and hot dogs and things of that sort when I was a kid. On occasion, my mother would make a cheesecake.”
“Every now and then she would really put some added love and effort into dinner. If she was making a handmade pizza, she got a ton of toppings to put on.
The Frugal Gourmet’s Influence on Adult Life
“My biggest influence was that I rarely ate out as a kid. So now I like to cook with the best ingredients I can. I go to Whole Foods and buy the $13.99 hunk of gruyere instead of going elsewhere and buying the cheapest cheddar I can find. More importantly, I cook almost as much as I can.”
“My preferred meal are fish and vegetables. I cook for myself and my lady. We don’t have the same taste in meals, she’s more comfort foody than I. When I have my druthers, I make some sort of seafood, like a piece of tilapia or salmon, halibut or cod, with homemade sweet potatoes or maybe some asparagus or mixed vegetables.”
Advice Once Heard From a Nutritionist Friend
“I usually just drink water, or lately I’ve been having a glass of red wine with dinner which I really enjoy. My friend is a nutritionist and she said our bodies absorb more nutrients if we don’t drink any liquids while we eat. For example, we get more out of water by just drinking water, and more out of our food by just eating the food. I can’t tell a huge difference but I certainly don’t feel bad. It’s counterintuitive, since you’re supposed to drink lots of water with your meal. If anything, I feel pretty good by drinking water throughout the day and not drinking anything while I eat.”
“I have a pretty big list of favorite places to eat, but I definitely know where to find the best espresso across America,” says RJD2. He adds, “If there are restaurants that have a particulary great breakfast, I’ll stop there. In almost every town in America at this point, I have my favorite places except for New York and LA. New York is so overwhelming.”
Tasi Cafe, Columbus Ohio – “They have an amazing breakfast!”
Ruby’s BBQ, Austin Texas
For a delicious burrito in the bay area, Pancho Villa Taqueria. “There’s so much good food in San Francisco.”
Dirty Bird To Go, New York City – “It’s an organic, free range fried chicken place and it’s amazingly good!”
What Makes a Good Espresso?
RJD2: “In Detroit, San Francisco, Atlanta, Philly, New York, Columbus I have my favorite espresso places. Café Brioso in Columbus OH that I think makes the best macchiato in America, and Bluebottle Coffee Company in San Francisco are in my opinion the two best places for espresso in America.”
EM: “What makes the best espresso?”
RJD2: “Well, if people are making cupcakes for example, and aren’t themselves into eating cupcakes themselves, they probably wont be so good. With espresso, the people making the espresso drink it too, so they put more care into it”
Check RJD2′s schedule and see if you can catch him live!