Dinner at Don Antonio’s with Spencer and Heidi Pratt
Spencer Pratt enters Don Antonio’s like he’s Donald Trump at the 21 Club. Barely a minute goes by before he whips out his iPhone assuredly and begins firing off Snapchats from the restaurant, which he memorably put on the culinary map with his frequent visits on The Hills, before reinventing himself as a bona fide content producer and occasional pop culture commentator. “He gets in trouble for being on his phone everywhere,” says his other half, Heidi Pratt (née Montag), who is relishing her second life as a mom-to-be. “It’s 2017,” Pratt says defensively. “If you don’t have a phone out, I’m concerned about you.” Over a two-hour-long dinner, the former reality TV villains, who just celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary, spoke candidly about their love of Mexican food, Taylor Swift, and, of course, crystals.
InStyle: First things first: How did you discover Don Antonio’s?
Spencer Pratt: When I was 16, there used to be a muffler place down the street where I used to drop off my car. My older sister, Kristen, brought me here initially. After that, I was hooked. I brought all my homies and we made it the spot. I used to take meetings in the back. Then, for our first TV date on The Hills, [the producers] were like, “Where do you wanna take [Heidi]?” and I was like, “Obviously Don Antonio’s.”
Heidi Pratt: We had a few dance floor dates before that.
SP: Yeah, most of our dates were dance floor dates.
HP: I didn’t even know what the west side was.
SP: She thought this was the hood.
IS: When was the last time you ate here?
SP: When we lived in Santa Barbara and I commuted to USC, we’d always stop here after class—about two or three times a week. Then all of a sudden we didn’t get our discount, so we stopped going.
IS: But you do have a menu item named after you: the Spencer steak.
SP: The owner will say it’s named after me, but I’m pretty sure there is an actual Spencer steak brand, so I don’t really know for sure whether it’s true or not. But the legend continues. I will not argue with it.
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IS: You both seem to be on a bit of a health kick these days, judging by the amount of juice you post on Snapchat.
SP: I’m taking digestive enzymes for my gut health—basically trying to repair it from getting mercury poisoning from eating sushi every day for, like, 10 years. I had to quit sushi, which was good timing with Heidi’s pregnancy. I’m also gluten-free now. My whole body was covered in rashes so I’m working hard to clean up my diet. I even stopped drinking for the most part.
HP: I’ve always been the bigger drinker of the two of us.
SP: Yeah, Heidi’s the partier. I’ve just been a guest.
HP: It’s actually weird that I’m the DD now.
SP: I always say I would be the best Uber driver. Part of me wants to do it for a month and become the most-liked Uber driver in history. Not only would my playlist be bangin’ so hard—I know these streets like crazy.
HP: You could do carpool karaoke!
IS: Spencer, when did you start practicing jiu-jitsu?
SP: When I was 15, my next-door neighbor Susie was my best friend, but her boyfriend was this guy Rawkson from Brazil. He just started choking me out, like, “This is my family’s martial art. Come to my garage and my dad and I will teach you.” So my mom took me to his garage and that person wound up being Rockson Gracie, who’s the equivalent of Michael Jackson in jiu-jitsu. Elvis-level, you know? I stopped training when I was 20. Then, when we moved back to Santa Barbara, I got back into it. Now I do it every day and it’s pretty much changed my life.
HP: He’s a brown belt.
SP: [Soup arrives to table] Ohhh, look at this soup!
IS: Alright, what do we have on the table right now?
SP: We’ve got tortilla soup, albondigas soup, the Spencer steak, carne asada tacos, which are off-menu, rice and beans, corn, and guacamole. Heidi always gets the hard shell chicken tacos. And steak fajitas. We’re testing to see if we’re getting our discount back.
IS: Heidi, what has been the hardest food to give up while pregnant?
HP: Sushi for sure, in the beginning.
SP: And wine.
HP: And wine. But actually, I haven’t wanted alcohol, which is crazy. Even if it were good for you, I wouldn’t drink it at all, because I feel sick all the time. I’m collecting wine bottles now. I’ve never been able to build a cellar ‘cause I always used to drink it.
SP: [To Snapchat] “Oh, you think just ‘cause we’re at Don Antonio’s soup life stops?”
IS: Why did you decide to move back to L.A.?
SP: There were lots of factors. First, my parents were like, “Okay, it’s time to leave our beach house.” Second, they wanted us closer because my mom wants to be a grandma and not be two and a half hours away. And then third, we got a TV show, and they want to shoot it in L.A. Living on the beach for seven years was amazing, but you start to feel like you’re living on a boat. Now I appreciate the energy in L.A. I actually appreciate when people yell at me.
IS: What can you share about the show?
SP: It could be six or twelve episodes, but you never know if it will make it on-air. I’d much rather do a show for free and get back on TV.
IS: You’ll always have Snapchat.
SP: I missed the damn boat on Snapchat. I wish I had been on it back when YesJulz had it. Back then, there was no video; there were no stories. By the way, Evan Spiegel, give me my verified crystal ball emoji! Vanessa Hudgens does not deserve it. She never posts any crystal anything. Wait ... we have to get some hot peppers.
HP: We do?
SP: All of the waiters here all grow their own peppers and they have a competition to see who grows the hottest one. The secret is chasing it with tequila, then shoving a hot tortilla in your mouth.
HP: You get a high off of it.
SP: I Googled it once and it releases some type of dopamine. It does do a druggy thing.
HP: Pregnant women all over the world eat spicy food to expand the baby’s palette.
IS: How else are you prepping for the baby?
HP: We have a fake baby for dog training. I want the dogs to get used to him being around. It’s much different when it’s a cute little baby and a plastic doll, though.
SP: I saw this guy driving down Sunset in a Turbo Porsche with two baby seats in the back. That’s my goal.
IS: Nearly all of your co-stars from The Hills just had kids. Has anyone given you parenting advice?
HP: Kristin Cavallari told me that every baby is different, so you really just have to figure it out with your baby. There’s no formula.
SP: I told Brody [Jenner] to hurry up and have a baby before he gets married.
IS: What shows do you watch on TV?
SP: We just finished Game Of Thrones. We just finished the Real Housewives of New York. Now we’re on Real Housewives of Orange County, Real Housewives of Dallas. We’ve never missed a Real Housewives.
HP: Bachelor In Paradise.
IS: Who’s your favorite cast member on Bachelor In Paradise?
SP: Yeah, nobody pops enough on that show.
IS: How about Siesta Key? People are saying it’s the new Laguna Beach.
SP: I’m not into the sharks. I wanna go to Siesta Key and have a sit-down and be like, “Why do you think this is okay?” But I do like Madison. Madison is a star. We need more Madison. Visually, it looks like Laguna Beach—it’s the same director of photography—but the drama, no way. Pauly Paul actually DM’d me a photo with Sham [Hisham Abed], our old Hills director, so I definitely think I could get a cameo on Season 2. That’s a long flight though. What else do we watch? Heidi’s obsessed all the Real Worlds.
HP: They’re my favorite.
SP: She has not missed a season.
HP: I’m excited for Total Divas. Total Bellas is coming out.
SP: Our favorite show is probably Celebrity Big Brother. We watch that through our secret plug ‘cause you can’t watch it in America unless you’ve got the connect. And we’ve got the connect. Once you’ve been on it, you watch the show so differently and it becomes the greatest thing ever to watch ‘cause you realize you’re not in there and you’re like, “I can go to the bathroom by myself right now!”
IS: Has your daily routine changed much since you moved?
HP: I do a lot of housework: I look after the dogs, Spencer, the house, and do the laundry and dishes and dog training and accounting. I’m also our manager. He feeds hummingbirds all day. [Laughs]
IS: What is with the hummingbirds, by the way?
SP: When we first moved into our house, there were only two, and slowly but surely, there were more. Now we have about 30 or 40 that show up every morning. Once they started landing on my hand, it became greatest thing that ever happened. It’s unbelievable. My mom loves them, too. She made me a hummingbird hat. I posted a video of me wearing it and it got 8.5 million views on Facebook.
IS: Hummingbirds haven’t replaced your love of crystals though, right?
SP: I’m wearing an aquamarine crystal right now. It was a baby gift from the owner of Crystalarium, the best crystal store of all time. It’s the Hermès of crystals.
IS: How often do you go there?
SP: At least once a week, but mostly just to look. Heidi won’t let me buy anything. Today I went to buy a moonstone for the pregnancy though, because it’s supposedly super powerful. We are going to wrap it in silk and put it on Heidi’s stomach when the baby is born.
IS: What prompted you to make your own music video for Taylor Swift’s new single?
SP: “Look What You Made Me Do” is the best song of the year.
IS: Are you Team Taylor or Team Kanye?
SP: I was definitely Team Kanye in 2008. We were recording Heidi’s album at The Hot Spot Studio and Kanye and Common were in the studio next-door. I busted in and they were mid-writing. To blow me off, they were like, “Do you have the new CD?” and I was like “No, hold up,” and I called whoever I had do things for me and I was like, “Give me three CDs.” [Kanye] handled it so chill and that made me always like him. But I did not like what he did to Taylor. She was set up! It was entrapment. I’m not believing anything until I see a live stream.
HP: And regardless of any of that, you cold-call Taylor, you play your song, what is she gonna say? You’re not asking for her permission. You’re just saying, “Hey, listen to this.” So what is she supposed to say? She’s in a really awkward position. So no matter what, there’s no winning.
SP: In my opinion, Kim and Kanye shouldn’t even be able to get Taylor on the phone to ask that question. That type of business should go from Kanye’s manager to Taylor’s. It should not involve Taylor. There’s major business at stake.
HP: They totally took advantage of her.
SP: We love the Kardashians. We just don’t like what they did to our pop queen.
HP: No matter what, Taylor’s still her image. She’s a queen, a young role model—she’s never veered away from that. She’s not drinking, she’s not being crazy, she doesn’t write horrible lyrics. She’s still in her lane, even though she changed her genre.
SP: One hundred percent. And then everyone is hating on [Taylor] for not speaking out during the election. I don’t want to hear about who Taylor Swift is voting for, with all due respect to her political views. I want to hear “Look What You Made Me Do”. I want to see her dance. I want entertainers to entertain me.
HP: You have to think of why people are so vocal, too. They’re doing it to get press. They’re not actually completely dedicated. So it’s good for her to not to be a fame whore and jump in with everyone else. To be honest, the better thing to do is let people make their own decisions.
SP: I don’t know who Angelina Jolie voted for and she’s a damn superstar.
IS: Did you vote?
SP: No, we didn’t. But in California, it wouldn’t have mattered.
IS: Do you plan to stay in L.A. for the long haul?
HP: I wouldn’t mind living in the country.
SP: Like in Meet Joe Black. That’s the vibe I want.
IS: What would be your ideal job?
SP: We’d be on tour for Heidi’s pop superstardom. Or a TV show.
HP: I’d love to have two or three kids. Or five.
SP: In a perfect world, I would be directing and producing and writing comedy movies. The chair, craft services, star trailer.
HP: I can’t wait to be a housewife.
IS: Did you ever think that this would become your life?
HP: Yeah. I used to tell everyone I was gonna be famous.
SP: There’s video of Heidi calling her step dad “Mr. Cameraman”.
HP: When I was like, four.
SP: I’ve seen the footage: “Mr. Cameraman, come here!”
HP: I’ve always loved fashion, too. When I was living in Italy, I was friends with the Missoni family, so I got a taste of that world. Then I came back for high school and met Lauren [Conrad].
IS: Have you ever binge-watched The Hills?
SP: We’ve seen some episodes, but we’ve never watched it from start to finish.
HP: It’s not my type of reality show.
IS: How did you decide that you’re ready to have a baby?
SP: Heidi’s been wanting to have kids for years. I was waiting on our check for Celebrity Big Brother All Stars. Then literally, the day after we got kicked out of the house, Heidi made a baby.
HP: The first week we started trying, we got pregnant. I’m due October 19!
SP: The baby’s gonna get trained in jiu-jitsu from day one. We already have his kimono. And his own iPhone 8. I’m gonna put all his accounts on it and actually take his cute little fingers and click the buttons. He’s gonna upload all of his own content.
HP: He’s not using his little hands. He’ll hurt them!
SP: We’ll see. I’m putting all of my energy into his takeover. I know what not to do now. You gotta play it like Taylor—I was playing it like Kanye, and you can’t win that way. You will peak, but there’s no longevity.
SP: Oh my god, we got the discount. Fifty percent off! [To Snapchat] Hold up, hold up. That’s it. It’s official. Got my discount back at Don Antonio’s. Back in the game, playas.
This interview has been edited and condensed.