I Ate Like Liz Lemon for a Day & This is What Happened

When it comes to food, Liz Lemon from 30 Rock is our big mood. No bond is stronger than the one between Liz and her precious snacks and meals. Her unwavering devotion and emotional connection to food are things Liz and I have in common, so I decided to investigate what it would be like to eat like her for an entire day. From savory morsels to sweets, I ventured out in New York City to find the best bites that I knew Liz Lemon would sneak out of her job at The Girlie Show to get her hands on. I braced myself, and my appetite, for a day full of unabashed indulgence and deliciousness.   

Brunch: Lenwich, Midtown Manhattan

I started my day by the famed 30 Rockefeller Plaza for a truly Liz Lemon delicacy: A sandwich. Because it was almost 11:00 AM, which I figured would be around the time Liz would emerge from her apartment on her off-days, I decided to start with a hearty Lenwich, which is the store’s take on a classic New York Rueben. This is definitely the kind of sandwich Liz would choose over rushing after an estranged lover. Despite the crowd of tourists, I did not let anything stop me from obtaining my food.

Snack #1: Hot dog from stand, Midtown

Between hectic writers’ meetings and helping Jack deal with his love-life, Liz needs to keep her fuel up by finding the most convenient items to munch on, like street food. This was my first time eating a hot dog from a stand in at least ten years, and, after taking a few bites, I understood why. Let’s just say I definitely did not fall for the hot dog enough to buy the entire stand-full.  

Snack #2: Candy

In true Liz Lemon fashion, I devoted my “off-day” to treating myself. I decided to go see a movie, and, knowing Liz, she would never enter a theater without a snack or two to keep her company. Although I was still recovering from that hot dog, I munched on some candy I hid in my jacket pocket from home to avoid paying $10 for popcorn (although, knowing Liz, she definitely would have made that sacrifice had she not brought something with her).

Dinner: Mac & cheese, S’mac, East Village  

Ooey, gooey, and cheesy goodies are definitely at the top of Liz’s list of favorites, and Liz does not react well when she is deprived of her favorites:  

I thought there was no better way to honor her than by getting a big ol’ bowl of mac. At first, I was going to order a “Nosh” or a small plate, but I knew Liz would go big or go home, and I ended up eating an entire “Major Munch.” You could say I GOT MY MAC AND CHEESE!

Dessert: Cupcake, Bouchon Bakery, Midtown  

Although I was so bloated after my mac attack that the walk to the Union Square subway station felt like a year-long trek, I knew being full would never stop Liz from satisfying her sweet tooth. Back at Rockefeller Center, I stopped by Bouchon to help myself to one of Liz’s favorite desserts: a cupcake. Although it was a beautifully put together pastry, I had to pay homage to Liz’s “method” of eating cupcakes by slicing the bottom half and sandwiching it over the frosting. I realized that I have been eating cupcakes wrong my whole life.

Snack #3: Ice Cream

Back at home, I had time for a Lemon-style workout, which was basically just a 5 minute cardio burst. As my pre-workout snack, I enjoyed a little ice cream sundae because I deserved a treat, right?

Snack #4: Cheese and grapes  

After a day of food fulfillment, I ended it off by working on my night cheese. Pepper jack, red grapes, a blanket, and 30 Rock reruns were on the menu.

Deal-Breaker: Although, like Liz, my love for food is unconditional, I was a little nervous before this day started that I would not be strong enough for a Lemon diet. However, I ended the day feeling satisfied and not at all excessively full. In fact, I found myself getting more and more hungry after each time I ate. All the walking around the city definitely helps build an appetite, and having a million restaurants to choose from is a blessing for food lovers like Liz and me. I could imagine Liz seeking out not only the tastiest food, but also the best priced stuff, and I was surprised that I spent less than $30 on an entire day of goodies (which is pretty high for a normal day, but I guess being the head writer of a popular TV show pays enough to maintain this lifestyle). I realized I could save up for later and buy… more food.

Any chance to grab some inexpensive (or even free) food is a win-win for both Liz and me, and we are both willing to go great lengths for a bite. Although I probably couldn’t eat like Liz every day, I will always share her attitude and outlook towards adoring food and I appreciate all her expertise on enjoying grub. It’s not that we value food higher than anything or anyone else or that we overreact when we see something delectable… but let’s just say if anything does get in the way of our chow, there will be consequences.