Top Guys Have Dark Moods // Something For Your Stomach: All The Food That Does Not Satisfy in the First Season of The Sopranos

Your name is Anthony Soprano. The year is 2004, and you are listening to Bille Joe Armstrong sing “American Idiot” on your Philips Expanium combination CD/MP3 player on a five-piece sectional sofa. You are not a top guy, and nothing satisfies you.

What kind of a club manager eats this many casseroles? You should be eating period-specific sliders on a frosted tray in a corner booth. It’s the casseroles that have been weighing you down, not depression. A thousand leaden Corningwares and a thousand sauce-heavy lasagna noodles. My mother’s cooking was too heavy, you’ll tell your own psychiatrist later that year without removing your reflective aviator sunglasses, a gift from the Jessica Simpson Dukes of Hazzard East Coast premiere. I never stood a chance.

Anthony, see who’s there.

I’m eating.

You won’t have any teeth left if you don’t go see!

You are Carmela Soprano, and you have layered the biggest sigh into the world into a casserole dish. The casserole dish is in the freezer. The freezer is full of suggestions. Do you want (heavy sigh) some maccheroni alla pastora? There’s some in the (heavy sigh) freezer. I could heat some up for you. I’ll start breathing on it now, get it warmed up.

I told Lilliana to put some giambotto in the microwave for you.

—Don’t eat capocollo, Grandma. It’s all fat.

I made it with the low-fat cheese…Well, maybe your friends will eat it.


Try the salad bar. We got a chemical brightener. It keeps lettuce crisp.

You are Artie Bucco, and cooking for a living was the biggest mistake of your life. On your way home last night, you drove past a big sign that said GAMBLE ALL YOUR MONEY HERE, with a red button underneath it marked GAMBLE, and you called your wife, and she said Artie don’t you press that big red gamble button, but you did press it, and then the sign said BAD LUCK ARTIE, and so you drove back to the restaurant and tried to set fire to the hostess, see if you could collect the insurance money on her legs.

Peppers and eggs? That’s what I should have had.

You are a top guy. You are a top guy to top guys. You are the top guys of top guys. You are the guy top guys want on their T-shirts. You are what top guys want to eat for breakfast.

I was worried! You usually call me when you’re this late.

I bought us some barbecued chicken, salad and lemon meringue pie. But I got hungry and ate.

Does it help to hear about it afterwards? Women seem to enjoy listing food. I can tell you the food I ate before I got here, if that helps with your woman’s hunger.

Speaking of dinner, Carmela’s got some lasagna upstairs.

I’ll pass. I got a few people to see that are late with payments.

I think you have this MO where you manipulate spiritually thirsty women and I think a lot of it is tied up with food somehow, as well as the sexual tension game.

He was a good guy, my father. Everybody liked him. He knew how to have a good time. He loved shellfish, clams, oysters. Taught us how to eat them. You put Worcestershire on, suck them down. It’s good. My mother never ate anything raw. But he wasn’t around much.

You are the ghost of Tony Soprano’s father, and you live in the laundry room, where you hate Anthony Soprano, and tuck curses into his socks. A disgrazia, this boy and his sliders, who never takes off his sunglasses or sees who is at the door. What kind of a man takes so little pleasure in being a man?

I have a jones for your baked ziti.

I have some in the freezer. I can reheat it. It’s so much better that way. The mozzarella gets nice and chewy.

I like that.


You want some lunch? I got eggplant.

No, no, I just ate.

When you marry a made man, you make your own vow: To be ever prepared to list all the food that’s in the kitchen, any time, day or night. You want something? I have Calabrian chili.

We’ve been driving since 7, nobody’s eaten.

I got no power, I’m closing soon as these last people leave.

Let’s go to Mickey D’s.

Yeah, all right, let’s go.

Nobody’s eaten. Whose fault is that?

You like crème anglaise?

Always the questions he never had an answer to. Anthony, answer the door and see who’s there. Anthony, do you like crème anglaise? “I don’t know how to answer fag questions,” he had tried to explain to his mother once, who accused him of trying to be a smart-ass. “A fag question,” he tried again, “like something I don’t know, that’s a fag question.” Beyond the limits of the known was all faggotry, like California and strangers and unfamiliar highway routes and how to make espresso.

You’re using mesquite. That makes the sausage taste peculiar.

Hi, Grandma.

Happy birthday, my big boy.

There are two kinds of fat in our profession; work fat, or fat incurred in the line of business, which nobody remarks upon, and private, or non-occupational fat, or fat incurred off the books, which everyone is entitled to bust your balls about, including guys junior to you, forever, and it’s part of the job to take it.

You want me to make you pastina? Something in your stomach?

Any major dude with half a heart surely will tell you, my friend. Have you ever seen a squonk’s tears? Have they settled in your stomach? You are Anthony Soprano, and it is 2004, and the 4th-generation iPod coming out later this year is supposed to have a color screen, and your stomach hurts.