Moore, who will happily get the last drops of sauce with her finger. Illustration: Margalit Cutler
Like any New Yorker, the comedian, musician, and author Lane Moore has her go-to spots, but she’s not necessarily the one who gets recognized. “My dog, Lights, is more known than I am,” she says. “Whenever I go to Orchard Grocer on the Lower East Side, they really love her there.” It’s not lost on her that dog ownership opens up a different dimension of the city: In her latest book, You Will Find Your People: How to Make Meaningful Friendships As an Adult, she writes about the ways in which even fleeting dog-park interactions can feel deeply gratifying. This week — after a combination tour for her book and her long-running comedy show, Tinder Live — she grabs dolmas from her local deli, matcha lattes, and some vegan caramels. And Lights got plenty of treats along the way.
Friday, June 23
I wake up early for no good reason except I’m too anxious to continue sleeping. I have to be somewhere in the afternoon, and sometimes that’s enough. I have a hair appointment in Williamsburg, so I decide to grab something to eat beforehand. I realize I’m going to be right by Little Choc Apothecary, which is an intensely cute and good vegan crêpe shop I used to go to all the time when I lived nearby. The second I think, Oooh, pizza crêpe, I’m sold.
I order the pizza crêpe and add coconut bacon. The takeout guy tells me I can actually add two toppings. I panic for a moment and then decide a mushroom-bacon pizza would rule. After I order, I overhear the cashier say, “Can you handle it?” and the person preparing the crêpes says they used to be scared to make them, but they feel more confident now. I am rooting for the crêpe-maker.
I get marinara sauce and creamy cashew cheese. They tell me they don’t usually put sauce on top for takeout orders but will do it this time since I’m right here. I beam. Yes, please — as much sauce as possible. They tell me: “Oh, this will be saucy.”
I love sauce. I will always ask for more. A “lightly dressed salad” is a failure to me. If I get a burger and the sauce isn’t dripping down the side, I feel cheated. I want to need five napkins.
The crêpe is so wonderfully saucy that I use my index finger to gather what’s fallen to the bottom. The sauce a fork cannot gather. One day, eating with a friend, I said, “This sauce is so incredible that I’m tempted to dip my finger in it. But I know you can’t do that as an adult.” My friend, a great person, said, “Screw that! I’ll do it too — that sauce is good!”
I have some work to do at home, so I head back after my haircut and hope for the best about what’s in my fridge. I’ve been on my book tour, and I love touring, but the return to my fridge and whatever scraps are in there is often my least favorite part.
At home, I unearth a Harmless Harvest coconut water (the pink ones that are like $5 and you wonder if that price is really worth it) that I opened maybe a month ago. I do a sniff test — like that achieves anything — and decide it’s still good. I get to my desk to work on the next episode of my podcast and listen to some call-in relationship questions. Eventually, I remember I haven’t eaten dessert yet. Some days, every meal needs dessert. I find a half-eaten Hu Kitchen chocolate bar filled with cashew butter that has been preserved in my fridge. I am really happy right now.
I still have a lot of work to do, and I begrudgingly order delivery from one of the demonic delivery apps. As is common with those apps, my order is late and wrong and I’m sad, so I head over to Ananda on Thompson Street. I get the same thing every time: gunpowder-chile dosa, which has chiles in the dosa itself and ends up tasting kind of like a giant Dorito filled with potatoes and onions. You get so many chutneys and dips and sambar, which may be my favorite soup of all time. I’ve looked up how to make the dosa and the chutneys and the sambar so that one day I can re-create them in my own kitchen, but the process seems so complex and daunting that it makes me appreciate this place even more.
Saturday, June 24
I set my alarm for 6 a.m. because I’m going on Good Morning America to talk about my new book, but something keeps beeping on the street below and my windows are open. Plus I’m doing that thing I do when I need to be up for an early flight where I keep waking up to check the alarm in case it didn’t go off. I concede that the mystery beeping has won and get out of bed. Six in the morning is too early to eat anything, so I get ready and hop in the car they sent to pick me up. There are two mints and two bottles of water in the backseat. I drink the water and decide I’m gonna eat that little mint. I don’t usually get hungry this early, but I wonder if maybe they’ll have snacks in the green room — that could be fun. They do not.
After the interview, I get back in the car and drink the other bottle of water and eat the remaining mint, feeling like an Almond Mom who tells herself “this is breakfast.” Back at home, my adrenaline is still going from the live TV and the free mints and the lack of sleep, and I would like some real food. I head to the Lower East Side with my dog, Lights. I start at Matchaful, which to me is the holy grail of “matcha drinks that are pretty colors and taste like you’re drinking the bathwater of a moon goddess.” I get the Earth Glow, which is what I ordered the first time I had a Matchaful latte. It was years ago at Smorgasburg with a friend I’d met on social media. It was the first time we had hung out in person. We both got the same latte, and when I took a photo of us together we looked like old friends.
Next I hit up the vegan deli Orchard Grocer, where I’m forced to make a hard choice between a (faux) bacon, egg, and cheese or one with chicken and coleslaw and buffalo sauce (which I love). The cheese will win. The sandwich is so hot that I can see the steam. I should wait to eat it; I do not.
So far, Lights has gotten treats at Matchaful, outside a newly opened restaurant with a dog bowl full of Milk Bones, and the beauty store Credo, whose employees always act like a celebrity just walked in the store because she’s equal amounts adorable and wildly affectionate. Orchard Grocer gives her the best one yet: really big peanut-butter treats.
The lack of sleep is getting to me, so I swing by Trader Joe’s for the right mix of aspirational groceries and foods that will actually make some kind of meal. I bond with my cashier, who tells me he also has a chihuahua–Italian-greyhound mix and that there’s a meetup for Italian greyhounds.
I eat the microwave enchiladas I got there, and they are good, and I finally sleep.
Sunday, June 25
Today I feel hungover. I am firmly a night owl, and waking up very early messes with me, like it’s some sort of jet lag.
After a slow morning, I meet up with my friend Ryan, who is the bassist in my band, It Was Romance, at a Vietnamese American restaurant called Money Cat. I get the spring-roll vermicelli bowl, which I douse in hoisin sauce, chile oil, and sriracha. I show Ryan some ideas I sketched for the album cover for our next record in between trying to figure out the best way to incorporate the spring rolls into this bowl. I settle for taking little bites of them with the noodles, which works well. Lights sits patiently by the sidewalk table to see if there will be anything for her, and she is rewarded with some of the carrots and noodles from the bowl before I douse them in chile oil. She is very pleased.
Dinner that night — I am not going to lie to you — is curly fries, dolmas, and hummus from my local deli. It’s great.
Monday, June 26
I make a matcha latte for myself that I keep forgetting to drink, but if you forget to drink your latte in the morning because you keep getting distracted, you can just throw some ice in there and then it’s an iced latte. I don’t think I’m hungry yet, but the unknown quantity of rice crackers dipped in spicy hummus I eat says otherwise. That tides me over through two podcast tapings talking about the book and why making friends as an adult can be so hard even though TV makes it look easy. As soon as those wrap, I excitedly think about lunch.
I walk over to Toad Style in Bed-Stuy, a classic for vegan comfort food, and get the nacho burger tacos, which have a fake-meat burger patty, nacho sauce, and chipotle mayo. I try the tacos but something is missing. They need more sauce, and the people at Toad Style are cool as hell and give me some more chipotle mayo. I’m still working on the album-cover sketches between sauce-filled bites and the use of many napkins. Some sauce gets on my pen, which isn’t unusual.
Dinner is a series of bites of different things in my cabinets that aren’t quite what I want until I ultimately settle on some noodles that aren’t quite it either — I didn’t get the condiment ratio just right. I admit defeat and go to bed.
Tuesday, June 27
I have back-to-back press interviews today and want to draw some new T-shirt designs for my band that I’ve been putting off, so I have to really focus. Often my focus makes me forget that food is vital for life, but I vow not to let that happen today. I make avocado toast for breakfast, but I have some variables that make it tricky: a new bread I’ve never tried that I got from a deli and avocados from a grocery store I’ve never gotten them from. It’s a risk: When buying avocados from a particular place for the first time, you have no clue if they’ll be the best or worst version you’ve ever eaten. Tragically, this one is one of the worst I’ve ever eaten, but I tell myself it’s better to eat a bad avocado toast before a long day than to eat nothing. I doctor it with a big squeeze of lemon and red-pepper flakes, which helps.
After the interviews, I get the genius idea to go to Confectionery, which is my Holy Grail. It has the best macarons, chocolates, fudge — oh God, the fudge — I’ve ever had. I get a mango-chile-lime caramel, which is new, and an assortment of macarons: rose, strawberry rhubarb, black currant, and almond. I’m meeting friends for dinner, so I tuck the box away in my bag like it’s holding the Hope Diamond. Every time I go to Confectionery I talk to whomever is in there like they are a celebrity of candy. They do not have the fudge right now because it’s hard to ship fudge in the summer; I know this because I asked about it many times before I got the answer. I draw my T-shirt designs on a bench down the block before hunting for more treats.
I pick up an Earth Glow at Matchaful again, and I feel comfortable enough to ask what makes this drink taste so freaking good. The barista tells me it’s taro powder, and something magical inside me has been unlocked.
I meet up with my friends at Chow House, a Sichuan restaurant on Bleecker Street, where repeat visits have uncovered the perfect order: mapo tofu, Chinese broccoli with chiles, and cabbage with a side of chile oil. It’s so good I have an out-of-body experience every time I eat there, which is as often as I can make it. We almost went somewhere else tonight, but fate intervened and brought me to the right place.
I get home and finally try the chocolates. The mango-chile-lime caramel is one of the best things I’ve ever had, and I am very proud I managed to have a day of nothing but food hits (striking the avocado toast from the record).