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DID YOU READ

Stuffing Your Face in PDX — The Healthy Way

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Martin Cizmar moved to Portland last year as a skinny man. I bring up his weight because 1) he struggled with it for years, 2) he wrote an entire book about losing it, and 3) as a new-ish resident of one of the country’s rising culinary meccas, he’d like to keep it off.

In the following guest blog, Cizmar — who’s day job is A&C editor at venerable Portland publication Willamette Week, a paper I also contribute to — offers dine-out tips for PDX tourists and freshly minted citizens alike who want to eat well in the city while also eating well.


Portland wants to make you fat. It’s not, like, a malicious thing. It just sorta happens when a city’s culinary mascots are a bacon-topped doughnut and a plate of chicken wings covered in fish sauce. So much Stumptown food seems to be creamy and bacon-topped: Perfect for bike messengers, but not the rest of us. Yet there are plenty of awesome and very Portlandian food options that won’t make you fat.

I wrote a whole 200-something page hipster weight loss guide about how to stay awesome on a diet—Chubster, which is available now at Powell’s or wherever else people buy books—but here’s a little cheat sheet.

Banh Mi from Best Baguette
8308 SE Powell Boulevard
thebestbaguette.com, (503) 788-3098

Banh Mi are Vietnamese sandwiches. Like Subway, they feature a little bit of meat and a pile of vegetables on an light, springy bun. Squirt on some Sriracha and you’re set. As the New York Times notes, they’re big up and down the West Coast. Portland’s Best Baguette is an outlier, though, since the joint has a drive-thru. Yeah, I know, who drives in Portland, right? It’s still cool to see, and they’ll (probably) serve you on a bike.
Order: Grilled Pork, hold the galic mayo, $3.25. Best Baguette doesn’t publish nutrition information but a similar offering from California’s Lee’s Sandwiches is only 300 calories.

Coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters
128 SW 3rd Ave
stumptowncoffee.com, (503) 295-6144

Portland’s two favorite beverages are coffee and beer. Any visitor should definitely check out at least one craft brewery (the Rogue and Deschutes tasting rooms do not count) but if you’re doing the tour thing, plan to get caffeinated instead of tipsy. While a pint of most craft brews has 150 calories or more, coffee is, like, five calories per cup. Portland has some of the best coffee roasters in the world, including Stumptown, Coava, Kobos and Ristretto. Stumptown—the original location out on D Street or the downtown location by Voodoo Doughnut—offer great experiences. The location on Belmont does free tastings…erm, “cuppings,” every day, which is an joyfully geeky experience.
Order: Any of the single-origin beans, made with the Chemex pour-over system. Price varies.

Apples from Sheridan Fruit Market
409 SE Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard
sheridanfruit.com, (503) 236-2113

If it’s summer and Portland’s farmers markets are in full swing, you should plan to stop by with a tote bag and a wad of cash. If it’s winter, it’s rainy and cold, so that’s not really an option. Great produce is still available at Food Front, New Seasons and Sheridan Fruit Market. The latter has been around since 1916 and has a small-but-excellent, local-oriented selection. This is a big berry town (marionberries!) but this time of year it’s a lot easier to find Pacific Northwest apples.
Order: A pound of Fortune apples, approximately $2. A large apple has only about 110 calories.

Meringue from Petite Provence
1824 NE Alberta
provence-portland.com, (503) 284-6564

Bakeries are a challenge for dieters. Portland has a lot of very excellent offerings (Ken’s Artisan, Little T American, St. Jack, Pix) but most tend to make large and dense pastries topped with sugary concoctions. Petite Provence is a little too elegant to be a hipster hangout, but with locations on Alberta and D Street and very light meringue cookies in the case, you should visit. Meringues are made with egg whites and a little sugar which, when baked, give a cookie-like crunch without the calories of a dense dough. PP does fun ones in the shapes of dogs and chickens, and they’re both cheap and low in calories.
Order: Meringue cookie, $2. Depending on the size, it probably has between 100 and 200 calories.

Omelet at Stepping Stone Cafe
2390 NW Quimby St
steppingstonecafe.com, (503) 222-1132

Portland is a huge brunch town—possibly because it’s also a sleeping-in-until-noon town—which offers both the chance to skip a meal and the chance to stuff yourself full of pork and baked goods. Omelets are the way to go: protein-packed and low in calories, especially if you get egg whites and veggies inside. Stepping Stone is a cute little diner in Northwest Portland that’ll do egg whites for a small upcharge and replace your hash browns with cottage cheese or tomato slices for free.
Order: The Grazing Goat (spinach, artichoke, portabella mushrooms and feta cheese) with egg whites, wheat toast and cottage cheese on the side, $11. This will be about 750 calories.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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