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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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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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