JOE I think consistency is comforting to me. If I go to a restaurant — and let's say I'm hungover — and I know exactly what I want at the time. Part of that whole experience is going to the restaurant and getting that food and eating it and it doesn't involve necessarily talking to people. I'm there to do one thing. I'm on a date, I'm already occupied with this bowl of pho.
IS IT GETTING HARDER FOR YOU TO GO OUT IN PUBLIC AND EAT AT A RESTAURANT?
JOE Well, it's a small town. I feel like more people recognize me now — when I'm out people do a double-take thing. (Kurt laughs). It's like how the Kennedys felt! Sometimes I have Alex follow me around with my head in a bag, hustling me into cars. Aside from that, it's the exact same thing!
ALEX I mean, but I won't even pretend. When we went to Empire a few nights ago and we left right as last call. It was weird because everyone was like, oh hey we saw that thing and it was awesome. I'm an egoist. I was like, yeah awesome, we did a fucking good job. Thanks for liking it.
JOE I find I have a lot of 50-year old men who like me.
ALEX Absolutely. Like (philosopher Herbert) Marcuse was asked once, do you enjoy being famous? (by someone) looking for some deep response, and he was like, yes, of course.What other answer is there? I don't even care that it's in fucking Portland. I'm happy.
WHAT ARE SOME ASPECTS OF THE FOOD CULTURE THAT YOU COULD DO WITHOUT?
JOEL Informing your patron of the origin of every single ingredient. I don't care. You know, I'm an intelligent person. When I walk through the door I can usually discern whether the place sources their —
JOE Basically, it's being like, you should pat me on the back for using good ingredients, but you gotta fucking use them anyway! That's what makes food taste good. If your food tastes good without using good ingredients then I don't need to know. And sometimes the best ingredient is not a local ingredient, so I don't need to fucking know. Just use whatever's best.
JOEL I don't care where the fucking onion comes from, you know what I mean?
JOE I like Goya products, and I don't fucking care if they're not local.
JOEL That's what I'm saying! Sometimes there's a place for a product from anywhere. It really drives me nuts.
JOE I hate buzzwords, too. Like, I hate using farm-to-table, farm-to-fork, head-to-nose, snout-to-tail . . .
JOEL Even organic is kinda like . . .
ALEX You guys should write a little poem.
JOEL Or house-made! It's like, you don't live here!
JOE It's better than calling it homemade, though.
JOEL It's not house- or homemade.
JOE It's just made! You made it! You fuckin' made it! You did it! Good job! You got macaroni to show me too?
JOEL You made that fucking ketchup! Congratulations!
JOE And it's worse than Heinz, you fuckin' idiot! You spent how much time making this shitty ketchup and it's not even half as good? Your ranch blows Hidden Valley . . . the people at Hidden Valley Ranch, they know how to make ranch dressing. You don't.