Reuben, Manhattan, NY

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How many people does your fridge need to feed?

What do you usually eat for breakfast?
I don’t.

Is there anything you eat every day?
A bowl of All-Bran. I have Jewish bowels.

Every week?
Veggie juices—for similar reasons. And because I feel like I don’t get enough veggies in my day-to-day. I buy them at the corner. They’re $5 as opposed to the ones you get at Juice Press or at Liquiteria, which is on the corner right here, where they’re $11, $12, $13, or $14 for the same thing.

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What item are you forbidden from purchasing right now?
My main problem is chocolate. I try to limit it. Right now there’s just half a bar in there, but there will often be a whole stack of bars. Actually the problem for me is not just chocolate: I do chocolate and peanut butter. When I’m feeling really deserving—when something big is happening and I’m not moderating my chocolate intake—I can go through ten king-size chocolate bars and two or three jars of peanut butter in a week. I take the chocolate and I dunk it in peanut butter. I’m just disgusting.

What’s the most delicious thing in here? I
t’s kind of like music, you kind of favor what’s new. Right now, it’s this expensive, imported Japanese spice. I get it at the Japanese grocery store. Unfortunately it’s not that hot, that’s the problem. But it’s garlicky and has intense smoky flavor.

The most disgusting?
Most people would say it’s my veggie drink. People hate it. I have one of these a day and I’ve grown used to it, but it’s just veggies, no fruit, no sugar, no carrots, no beets. I think I like it better because it’s not tasty. It’s like an ascetic thing. If it tastes good, it can’t be that good for you, right?

The oldest?
Those cigarettes in the freezer are Maryana’s. I haven’t seen her for three or four years.

Anything you regret buying?
I make it a point to try a new hot sauce every few weeks and when you do that, you’re going to get some stuff that’s not good. This one is tasty but I don’t like it that much. It was expensive. I got it on Amazon.

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What's your guilty pleasure?
I melt chocolate and peanut butter over rice.

Where do you do most of your food shopping?
I don’t really shop for food but I have a deli/grocery on the corner of Ninth and Second. It’s very overpriced, the selection’s not that good, and that’s where I buy most of my staples: All-Bran, milk, the green juices, chocolate, and peanut butter. Nothing else.

What percentage of your meals do you prepare at home?
If cereal counts as preparing your own food, I probably have 1.5 meals at home per day. I’d say I prepare my own food at home five times a month if you don’t count the All-Bran.

How much do you spend on groceries each week?
More than you think given how few groceries I buy, because chocolate, peanut butter, and those veggie drinks are expensive: 100 bucks.

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Is there anything in here that we would have found in your childhood fridge?
Peanut butter, although we kept in the pantry. I keep stuff in the fridge not necessarily because it’s the best thing for the food, but because I have a roach phobia. You may have noticed that the All-Bran is in the fridge: nothing that’s open can be outside the fridge. Definitely not chocolate, which is probably why I like it so much now—because I wasn’t allowed to eat it. My dad kept beer in the fridge. Actually, he kept Sam Adams in the fridge. I don’t drink beer—these are just for entertaining. They’re very old.

What do you wish you had in here?
There’s a Mexican chocolate that I treat myself to on special occasions, although there’s no rhyme or reason as to what counts as a special occasion. Taza chocolate—I like that powdery texture. The best is the salted almond or the salt and pepper. I take them to work a lot as treats for my residents. It’s made me very popular.

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Reuben is a doctor. He lives in the East Village. He’s holding a jar of garlicky Japanese spice.