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If Wanz From 'Thrift Shop' Only Had $20 in His Pocket, Where Would He Eat in Seattle?

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Welcome to Open Wide, a new column from KIRO Radio's Rachel Belle that explores the eating habits of Seattle notables.


[Photos: S. Pratt]

You know him as Wanz, the dude with the deep, velvety voice, in the Creamsicle-colored pimp suit, who sings about how f*cking awesome it is to pop tags in Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop." But before 52-year-old Michael A. Wansley embarked on a world tour for "The Heist," he was a Seattle software tester, famous for his homemade banana pudding, who had never set foot outside of the United States. Now, with last week's three sold-out Key Arena shows marking the tour's end, Wanz talks about the only thing he loves more than performing: eating.

What was the best thing you ate on tour?
The favorite meal was reindeer steaks with a cranberry sauce, potatoes that I can't even describe, with braised asparagus, and it was in Trondheim, Sweden. [Reindeer] is not a delicacy, it's one of those things they consume regularly. That restaurant was called Two Rooms and a Kitchen. Craaaaaazy good food, crazy good food. People who didn't finish their portion, I just kinda slid it onto my plate and I ate it and then put some into a box and took some to go. The creme brulee for dessert was great. I had four of them! It was soooo good! It was so good. I tell you this though, when I was in Europe, they joked at me a lot because you know what was my go-to food? McDonald's. It was comforting. It was food that I knew what I was gonna get.

So does that mean you're a meat and potatoes person?
I am a stone...cold...carnivore, okay? Going around this country, you know what the meal of choice was? Whatever ounces, as long as it was more than 16, rib-eye, medium well, with a vegetable. That's it. So, we're in Omaha, what am I gonna eat? I'm gonna eat a steak, man. We're in New York, what am I gonna eat? (Wanz deepens his voice) I'm gonna eat a steak, man! (Wanz erupts into giggles) We're in Texas, what am I gonna eat? (His voice drops even deeper and he slowly drawls) I'm gonna eat a steak, partner.

The cliche question must be asked: If you only had $20 in your pocket, where would you eat in Seattle?
I got done with the show [at Key Arena] and what's across the street? Dick's Drive-In! I get the Deluxe, two fry and a strawberry. You know what, it's comfort food. That's how I knew I was home. The other thing that I always make sure to eat when I'm here, there's a little teriyaki joint in Shoreline that I always go to. Bento Teriyaki in the Gateway Plaza rocks.
· Wanz [Official Site]
· Thrift Shop Video [YouTube]

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