Meet & Eat: Joe Roy, 'TGI Fry-Day'
Editor's Note: Joe Roy is our fried food expert, something you should have noticed from his many TGI Fry-Day posts. He has opinions. He orders his fries extra crispy. He doesn't suffer too much grease. But you might not know that he also harbors a passion for Thai food, Italian subs, and perfectly griddled burgers. I'll let Joe take it from here.
Name: Joe Roy
Location: Chicago, IL
Occupation: 2L at Chicago-Kent College of Law
Website/Twitter: @joedroy, joeroyeatsbest.tumblr.com
Guilty pleasures? Boxed macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, salad bars, and movie theater popcorn. Apparently my guilty pleasures haven't graduated high school...
Describe your perfect meal. It's a Saturday afternoon in late spring, my wife and I are sitting on a park bench in Hyde Park enjoying carry-out from Uncle John's BBQ, I've ordered the rib tips and hot links combo (with hot on the side), and our two-year-old daughter is playing on the swing set nearby. Just perfect.
What food won't you eat? Mushrooms. I've tried repeatedly, but I can't get over the texture/smell. Blah, blah, blah, I know I'm missing out...
Favorite food person? Roger said it last week, and I'm going to have to concur: Alton Brown is where it's at. I don't really follow many of his recipes, but I owe everything I've learned about purposeful cooking technique to Mr. Brown. And as a close second, everything I've learned about snide comments and maintaining a general disdain for the collective culinary conscience, I owe to Jeffrey Steingarten.
When did you first realize you were a serious eater? During my sophomore year of high school, I went on a class trip to Philadelphia. I had heard of Philly cheesesteaks, and decided to research where to go for the best one. Keep in mind that this was 2002, when the Internet was still wet behind the ears. I found a few sites where someone photographed steaks around town and rated them. I've been hooked since then. Unfortunately, the chaperones didn't appreciate the shimmering culinary manna laid out before us, and I never actually got to try one. One day...
What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? It ranges from tolerance to excitedly reaping the benefits of my obsessive research.
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? Mine's actually LTHForum, and the Great Neighborhood Restaurant list, specifically. The in-depth discussions on the site and the resulting restaurant list is an invaluable resource for eaters in the Chicago area. We should consider ourselves lucky.
What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? I'd say dinner, and I get it at whichever restaurant I'm currently obsessed with trying out.
Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make? All the time. My best dish is anything pan roasted in my cast iron skillet, served with the resulting pan sauce, a starch, and a sauteed veg.