Meet and Eat: Lily Wong, Serious Eats Intern
Guilty pleasures? Eating in bed and eating cheese (I'm lactose intolerant). I also love peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. I used to be so embarrassed about this, but a few months ago there was an article in the New York Times about it, and now I don't feel so alone.
Describe your perfect meal. This is a hard question. I want to eat everything. I guess it would involve my mom's Korean cooking, a cheeseburger, oysters, and grits. But not all together.
What food won't you eat? Jelly beans, black licorice, chicken feet, and fruit cake. I once was in a pasta eating contest and ate too much pesto. It was the worst day of my life. I can still eat it, but now I proceed with caution.
What would you like to try but haven't yet? A French dip sandwich from Brennan and Carr, Rocky Mountain oysters. I have to go to Pok Pok.
Favorite food person? Anthony Bourdain, Mark Bittman. They're so dreamy.
When did you first realize you were a serious eater? It probably all started in my 8th grade computer class. I would finish my assignments really fast so that I could make Powerpoint slideshows of food pictures while everyone else was playing Neopets.
What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? My parents think it's kind of funny. Most of my friends will try anything with me. They let me be bossy and tell them what to eat for lunch or where their parents should take them for dinner.
Favorite food sites or blogs? I love Tastespotting. I check it more than my email and social media accounts. When the website temporarily went down, I actually cried. The first food website I started obsessing over is a Livejournal community called Picturing Food. At the time the Internet wasn't as saturated with food pictures and I was googling and saving pictures of things I wanted to eat, so when I came across Picturing Food I was totally hooked on it. It'll always have a super special place in my browsing history.
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? My friend Melissa grew up in New York, so when I moved here, she was my go-to person. Plus she's just as obsessed as I am. Now she and I always email each other links to places we want to eat.
And what's the best recommendation she's ever given you? Hmm, it's kind of hard to pick just one. The last place we went to together was Szechuan Gourmet, which was really great. We got the pork dumplings in chili oil and the mapo tofu and saved the leftovers for lunch, but they never made it to the next day.
What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? Definitely lunch. When I worked in the Flatiron District, I liked getting ingredients from the Union Square Farmer's Market and putting a lunch together, which mostly means I ate a lot of bread, butter, and arugula. And duck prosciutto. Ideally, all my friends and I would live in Flushing, and every day we would have hand-pulled noodles for lunch at the Golden Mall and/or dosas the Ganesh Temple Canteen.
Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make? I eat better than I cook, but I do go through phases where I cook a lot. Then I get lazy and eat a lot of pita bread. This phase went on for a particularly long time after I discovered the amazing tzatziki at Mediterranean Foods II in Astoria and ate nothing else. I like to try out a bunch of different dishes, so I haven't gotten around to perfecting any one thing in particular, except maybe turkey. I guess that's kind of boring, but this one Thanksgiving, my friend and I brined a turkey in Guinness beer. It totally ruled.