Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

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Most people in Oregon snowboard because they love it. They don’t let rain, wet heavy snow, and weekend crowds ruin their experience. If you’re going to drive hour and half to ride you’re going to make the most of it. When I was growing up in Portland I had very few friends who snowboarded. Luckily I meet Andrew Nagel at the Windells winter camp in middle school and became friends with him. People watched snowboard videos, but they didn’t enjoy them to the extent that Andrew and I did. Both us become aware how inspiring the snowboarding in Think Thank videos was. I know other styles influence Andrew now, and I hope this interview shows some of those flavors he has been messing with lately. I also hope that this interview shows how funny and clever a person Andrew Nagel, is and how lucky I was to have him as a friend growing up. — Jeff Holce

Brooke: What’s it like filming with Jeff Holce the athlete?

Nagel: It’s pretty good. Me and him are on like a different wavelength from most people. I feel like we kinda read each other’s minds sometimes. We don’t have to talk we just know that maybe that wasn’t the one or maybe it was, I don’t know.

AJ: With like a look or just body language. How do you communicate when you’re not communicating?

Nagel: Telepathically. I do that with lots of people.

Brooke: Jeff Holce has really evolved from the kid who used to make fake Cobra Dogs cards in govy to the enigma which he is, do you feel like you’ve been influential at all in that?

Nagel: No, I don’t feel like I’ve influenced him in that way at all. I’ve known him since 8th grade, I don’t know he’s always been really loose and out there with the things he does. You get a lot of weird looks rolling around with him.

AJ: That’s one way to describe it.

Nagel: Yeah.

AJ: I think the project you guys worked on last summer – Jeff Holce Naturally – When I watched that, I was immediately like this is absolutely like these guys get it, obviously you had some connection like you were saying, where it’s unspoken. Why did you guys decide to go all natural?

Nagel: Well that was honestly his idea, but like everyday as the snow melted there would be more and more stuff to do. We’d kinda eye something out and like a week later there would be less snow, so we could do it. That was our 5th full summer out there, not that it’s a lot compared to some people, but our terrain park at Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camp doesn’t have the most variety, so we kinda wanted to do something different.

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Dubs.

AJ: What made you choose Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camp over the other camps up there?

Nagel: Well, I had gone to Windells during a winter camp in 8th grade and that’s where Jeff and I met, and he had been going to summer camps too. I was planning on going to High Cascade that following summer, the summer going into high school. Then my mom bailed, she was like no way that’s way too much money and I didn’t have enough money to pay for it, so I signed up for Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camp. I met people there, met the head snowboard coach Mark (RIP), and then the next summer we started washing dishes and I was like “Jeff, come wash dishes with me, maybe we’ll get another job there.” He was like, “no I’d rather sign up for High Cascade day camp.” He was definitely bummed for a bit, saying we could be at High Cascade right now, this sucks. But it turned out good in the long run.

AJ: Yeah, when I think of Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camp I think of Jeff Holce, especially on Instagram.

Brooke: Do you think the owner of MHSSC knows that Jeff Holce runs their Instagram? Do you think he knows there is an Instagram?

Nagel: I don’t think the owner knows what Instagram is.

Brooke: What’s the background of that camp?

Nagel: Well the owner Mike Anette, he’s really cool, he’s like probably at least mid-70s now or something. It was I think the first ski camp on Mt. Hood, for ski racing and stuff and at some point they started snowboarding too.

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On the set of Naturally. 

Brooke: What’s the experience like compared to the WAC camps – what’s the difference?

Nagel: Well… There’s way less snowboarding media and stuff going on, it’s kind of just like a summer camp with snowboarding. There’s no camp sponsors, no product tosses or whatever, no activities to win like snowboards and stuff. It’s just way more low-key.

Brooke: How’d you get into filming?

Nagel: When I was really little, I did some random filming with my friends, skateboarding in Portland and stuff. We were probably like 12, and then I didn’t do it for a while. Then Jeff and I started filming each other at Timberline, I think freshman year of high school. Then he went away to boarding school after that and I kept filming random people and friends at Timberline, and that’s how I got into it.

AJ: Did Jeff’s parents not love him enough for him to got to school here, so they sent him away?

Nagel: No, I think they love him enough to send him away. He went to a boarding school in New Hampshire where he got to snowboard all the time.

AJ: Oh, that isn’t that bad.

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Filmer stee.

Brooke: Portland is changing a lot, what’s it like compared to when you were growing up here? Has the scene here changed or evolved or is it the same shit?

Nagel: I don’t know, when I was growing up here I had no idea about a snowboarding scene. I wouldn’t hang out with anybody from my high school except for this one kid who lived on my street, but I would just spend all my weekends and some weeknights at Skibowl or Timberline. I had a group of friends that I’d snowboard with, so I guess that was my scene.

Brooke: You didn’t realize this was where pro snowboarders go to die?

Nagel: No, I realize that now I guess, which is cool. Portland is really fun.

Brooke: What’s your favorite thing about Portland?

Nagel: Well, I guess I really like all the trees and fresh air and stuff, there’s always different types of outdoor stuff to do. In Utah some days spent outside are equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes. The winter that 3deep5me was filmed, Salt Lake City had the worst air quality in the world.

Brooke: Why did you decide to move there?

Nagel: For college originally. I’m done with that now but now most of my friends are still there. So I feel I’d like to keep snowboarding and filming with the friends I have out there.

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Stunts, captured. Photo: Ryan Bregante.

AJ: What would you tell someone that’s living in California and wants to move to Portland, reasons why they shouldn’t move to Portland and stay in California?

Nagel: Get back on San Vicente, take it to the 10, then switch over to the 405 North and let it dump you out into Mulholland where you belong. But for real, all the people moving here are changing the landscape a lot. I’m not down with these condos and townhouses popping up everywhere. People move to Portland thinking it will help them live a lifestyle that’s like straight out of a catalogue or something.

AJ: I like the people here more. They’re more down to earth.

Nagel: Yeah I don’t know, the only times I’ve been to California was like Disneyland with my family when I was little and then snowboarding at Big Bear and Mammoth. I don’t have any care to go to LA and hangout.

AJ: Yeah, it’ll drag you down. It’ll crush your soul.

Brooke: You’re gonna waste a lot of your time in traffic. That’s another reason Californians shouldn’t move here is traffic. They’re causing way too much traffic. So, let’s talk about your early video influences. I mean obviously, you’ve watched a Bronze video before…

Nagel: Yeah I love those videos, there is nothing better. Obviously there’s some influence, but I mean I feel like there’s more to it than that. Everything is influenced by something.

AJ: How much does tumblr influence your videos?

Nagel: I haven’t been on tumblr in like a year, so I don’t think that much at all lately, but tumblr is cool. You can find some fun stuff on there.

Brooke: What do you shoot with and edit with?

Nagel: I have a Panasonic HPX170, which is very fun to use, and I have a MacBook Pro with Final Cut 10, or X. Also, last year I picked up this camera called the Pixelvision 2000, that’s kinda what I filmed some of the B-roll with. I don’t know if you noticed that grey blocky stuff, that’s what I filmed that on.

Brooke: What do you think makes a good snowboard edit? What makes something that you wanna watch?

Nagel: I mean first of all there’s gotta be good snowboarding. I really like to watch videos of people I personally know. If you know someone’s personality it’s fun to tie that into how they snowboard, or skateboard or do anything else. But, good snowboarding is kind of something you gotta have these days too.

AJ: How would you define those things, like what – is good snowboarding just either you know it or you don’t know it or is there like a formula?

Nagel: I don’t think there’s any specific formula, I guess some people do stuff that’s more interesting than others. Also, I agree with what Deadlung said about carving.

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The gentleman. 

Brooke: Who do you think is doing interesting stuff?

Nagel: First of all I guess I’d say Tucker Brown is. He’s currently sitting in the #1 spot on tour.

AJ: He’s got a sick beard.

Nagel: Yeah he’s got a huge beard. And he’s got a girlfriend now too.

AJ: Does she have a beard?

Nagel: No.

Brooke: What about video wise, whose edits do you watch and get psyched on?

Nagel: I always watch Beef’s videos, I feel like he and I are both psyched on each other’s stuff. Skyler Riley, when he makes videos they’re good, and I like watching the people he films. Footyfiend videos, those are always great too. Whenever Lucio is in a video I watch it. Garrett Read makes great vids too, especially when Kevin Hanson is in them. Seamus is dope. And then there’s some other kids at Brighton that always make cool videos too. I like Chad’s videos.

Brooke: Chad Unger. Is that the deaf kid?

Nagel: Yeah, he’s deaf, so his videos don’t have music or anything so it feels like the most raw it could possibly be. If he puts in lifeys he doesn’t know what they’re saying, he just kinda puts them in cause they look cool or seem funny I think.

Brooke: Yeah so it’s like more visual and he’s not like relying on multiple senses.

AJ: That’s wild. You never would think about that, like I feel like it’s so audio driven, in some respects, you know.

Nagel: I know. Sometimes it’s really hard to find music or whatever, but he doesn’t even worry about that.

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The shot is all the filming stance, really. 

Brooke: How do you find your music?

Nagel: Most of it’s found on Soundcloud these days. There’s a lot of stuff on there. You can get lost in Soundcloud and youtube portals.

AJ: Soundcloud is changing, cause I think Universal bought them. They have this whole record deal, so like they’re taking a bunch of songs off there. But what are you gonna do. And ShareBeast is down…

Brooke: What do your parents think of your videos?

Nagel: I think they’re down, and they’re supportive. I mean if I link a video to them like hey check this out, they’ll watch it, but I don’t think they like follow my Vimeo account or anything. I bet it’s hard to relate for non-snowboarders.

AJ: I feel like some parents are, even if they don’t snowboard – some people I talk to are like yeah my parents watch this shit they think it’s awesome.

Nagel: I’m sure they watch it sometimes, but they got their own stuff going on that they’re more interested in, like playing tennis or something.

Brooke: Yeah, what do your parents do?

Nagel: My mom is an accountant, or a CPA, and my stepdad has a company called Bernhardt Golf that builds sports fields and golf courses and stuff. I actually did a video for them this summer, they’re doing a new football field at this high school, got some money.

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Guy in the sky shot. 

AJ: So is that how you like monetize your video skills?

Nagel: That was like the first non-snowboarding video I’ve made money on.

AJ: Ah really, so you’ve made money on snowboarding videos?

Nagel: Yeah in the past. I did some stuff for Saga, which was actually a lot of fun. I’d do it again.

Brooke: What’s it like working for Jerm?

Nagel: It’s good, he seems pretty fair, he’s nice. He got me tickets really late notice going to Bear one day, so he’s a good guy.

Brooke: Do you think that snowboarders should accept Saga as equals?

Nagel: Yeah, I don’t see the big deal. Sean Whitaker rides for them, right?

AJ: Oh and he’s sick.

Nagel: Yeah he is sick. I like Jeremy too. And yeah they’re mostly a ski company, but it’s not a big deal. I know some skiers that are far cooler than some snowboarders.

AJ: So are all the other cool snowboard brands – Salomon and K2 are ski companies.

Nagel: But Saga is a pretty small company I feel like too. They’re big, but they’re small. They’re not a huge corporation.

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Not Mt. Hood.

Brooke: What’s your favorite resort on Mt. Hood?

Nagel: I guess, in the springtime it’s Timberline because that’s like the most fun I’ve ever had snowboarding, and then probably Skibowl too. I grew up going there a lot at night and stuff and it’s really fun.

AJ: So Meadows is third?

Brooke: Why don’t you go to Meadows?

Nagel: Well first of all I haven’t been here in a while in the winter, but the crowds and stuff. And it’s even farther of a drive from Portland. Skibowl is less busy, and they have a rope tow park sometimes. You get like all of Portland at Mt. Hood Meadows. It could take like an extra 2 hours to get home if you go there.

AJ: Well, whenever we get driver-less cars, and you can just Netflix and chill with wifi in your car, then I don’t really see the issue. That’ll be rad, but right now that sucks.

Brooke: Why can’t people in Oregon drive in the snow. Do you know how to drive in the snow?

Nagel: Yeah, I feel like I’m great at driving in the snow. I have a perfect driving record – no crashes… Couple close calls, but that’s it.

AJ: Do you wear your seat belt?

Nagel: Yeah.

AJ: Do you text and drive?

Nagel: Well – a little bit, then I catch myself, tell myself it’s stupid, and stop. Plus if you – sometimes it’s cooler to wait longer to return texts. Especially to a girl.

AJ: Yeah you don’t wanna hit them back right away. Then they question like oh, was that nude I sent good enough?

Nagel: I’ve never gotten nudes sent to my phone. Because I didn’t have picture messaging in high school, and I feel like that’s when most if it went down.

AJ: I didn’t have a phone in high school. Like a cell phone – I had a home phone, but you can’t really send nudes over home phone. Like aye can you mail me a nude? Here’s my address. Kids have it so good nowadays. They have Tinder and Snapchat.

Nagel: Yeah, it’s messed up.

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Photographers be like, Nagel is always getting in the shot.

Brooke: What did you go to school for?

Nagel: Well, I started going for communications, and that was too hard, cause I had to be like on the newspaper and my first task was to sit in on a school board meeting and interview the president of the school and I kind of had a freak-out and quit. And I took a little tiny bit of time off, then went back for film and media art. And that was far less challenging.

AJ: What school?

Nagel: University of Utah. I started at Westminster.

Brooke: What’s the difference between Westminster and the U? Which one did you like better?

Nagel: The U is way better, I actually felt like I was at a college. You get the real university feel. If you want you can basically be invisible and sit in the back of class and not talk too. But at Westminster, you’re still doing “Ice-Breakers,” to get to know all your class buddies and stuff. I don’t know it’s tiny, it’s like a high school all over again.

AJ: What’s it like, like culturally coming from, Portland, which is a be a pretty liberal place, to Utah, which I consider to be fairly conservative?

Nagel: I guess that never really crossed my mind but, living out there for school people weren’t maybe as open to things as I thought everyone was. Like things that would be kind of a shock out there are nothing to me. I don’t know, a lot of people out there probably still hate gay people or something. I feel like I was cool with them since age 3 or something. Salt Lake City is a fun city though, it’s got its own quirks and stuff.

AJ: And when they have snow in the city it’s great.

Nagel: Yeah.

Brooke: Do you think it makes sense to save things for a web edit or for a full length video or with Instagram and the opportunity to just put it out – does it matter anymore?

Nagel: I mean, I like save stuff, if it’s just not some random stuff that you do everyday in the terrain park or whatever. Especially if I’m like working on a video or if say you’re at a street spot that no one’s been to. In the past I definitely have told friends too not post anything at the spot. I feel myself starting to care less about that stuff now though.

Brooke: Do you value your worth in likes?

Nagel: Vimeo likes maybe. But I feel like comments weigh even more. If they comment, that means they really like it, or they really don’t like it.

Brooke: As long as they feel something, right?

Nagel: You gotta kinda like it to hit it with a heart on Vimeo, but if they comment something’s up.

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Not-so-subtle Signal advertising?

 

Shout outs?

Nagel: Nick Sappio and SEGCOS.

If you haven’t heard about Portlandia yet, you should first watch and enjoy this incredibly accurate portrayal of the fine city I call home. It’s true, this place is a freak show, which is what makes it such a great place to live, and I’m happy I’ve come here to retire. Speaking of patently Portland things, yesterday I finally checked out the new DIY ‘crete in Southeast. When I heard about this place (via the Mercury) it made me realize just how detached I’ve become from skateboarding in Portland. Seriously, how ridiculous is it that I only found out about this spot, mere feet from the former location of this ramp, by reading about it in the paper. (In defense of my belief that print is dead, I didn’t actually read it in the paper edition, but rather saw a link on a blog.)

Anyway, yesterday morning we wanted to snowboard, but apparently when you buy a $200 pass, it’s not good during “peak times,” including this week and next, so instead I took advantage of the brief sunshine and practiced my detached boarding. It’s still a lot harder than snowboarding, and this spot is not exactly user-friendly. Challenging, would be a good word. This is not to say that I will not be back, as it fits into my two-foot-or-less requirement, and also is just challenging enough that pulling off my half-assed tricks is really exciting. Please enjoy this iPhone photo of one of those half-assed maneuvers, which Jaredsouney.com was kind enough to capture as he froze his ass off waiting for our first trip to the new H & M.

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I have a confession to make: the showing of Respect Your Elders and Cheers in Portland was the first movie premiere I’ve made it to this year. And it’s currently October. This pathetic fact was made possible because I spent most of September in random places (such as Orlando and Ohio), and also that I am anti social and go to bed early. The latter may also be why I showed up at the Clinton St Theater promptly at 7 PM for the first, all-ages showing.

Ok, another semi embarrassing confession: despite my position as allegedly all-knowing member of the snowboard media, I had no idea there was an “adult showing” at 9 pm. The Facebook event invitation said 7, dammit. However, I have no regrets about getting there early and checking out both movies with a crowd not pounding back beers, because once again, I am anti social. But enough about me.

The movie pairing of the evening was a bit odd. Things started with Resourceful Gnome’s Respect Your Elders, a 20-minute movie about snowboarding people actually want to do (read: riding pow), with all original music, and very few after effects. Then after the obligatory product toss for goods from Airblaster, K2 and even some passes to Timberline, People’s Cheers fired up. If there’s one thing that can be said about Justin and Pierre, it’s that they definitely know how to put together a movie. But compared to the very raw Respect Your Elders, immediately watching Cheers was sort of like going from the outskirts of the Sundance Film Festival directly into a Will Smith summer blockbuster. Basically the only thing the movies had in common was being sponsored by K2.

While the disconnect made my head hurt a little bit, both movies had their certain charm, and you can’t beat watching GoPro footage on the big screen (seriously, way cooler than on the ‘net!) Once the kids were kicked out, the real party started as pro-bros and ironic-mustache-clad dickheads crowded into the theater. Since I’d already watched both movies, I did my schmoozing, got the shot, and left before the second showing. Having been to a few of these things though, I imagine the 21-plus showing was a bit rowdier, and the movies were exactly the same. Oh yeah, and a good time was had by all! Of course.

It certainly took long enough this year, but it is summer! I know I am supposed to be a snowboarder, but I have no complaints about this season. I’ll take the heat, the sun and happily trade dirty mountain condos for luxurious lakeside houses any day. I did attempt to snowboard, twice, before deciding I’d rather save it for winter. It seems now that I’ve retired from stunts, there’s not much for me to do up at summer camp other than leg burning laps through slushy snow. Plus, there is plenty to do down here.

Summer Fun idea #1: Oaks Park

You know those scary-looking carnivals that pop up on the side of the road in the summer. The ones with rides that may fall down at any minute? Well Portland has a permanent one! Jared and I went down to check it out last weekend, got nauseous on a couple rides, and then he won me a candy necklace by throwing a dart. I had my choice between the candy or a plastic hat, and while I may have gotten more long term use out of the hat, I feel good about my decision.

Summer Fun idea #2: Wakeskating

After more or less retiring because I was too lazy to ever drive to Salem, I discovered a friend with a boat 15 minutes away. Yes, the water is downstream from downtown Portland, and it’s sort of cold, but man is it fun. With enough evening sessions, after the kooks have gone home, I might even get good at it. But probably not.

Summer fun idea #3: Eating!

This morning I rode my bike to the fruit stand and bought raspberries to put on homemade waffles. If that doesn’t scream summer, I don’t know what does. In the last week, I’ve also made a cherry pie, cherry stuffed grilled chicken, fresh pesto with the basil plant you can buy at Trader Joes for cheaper than you can get a package of the stuff at Safeway, etc etc etc. I always make sure to eat well, but in the summer it’s even better.

Summer fun idea #4: Gardening

The cold spring was not really that nice to my garden. My beans didn’t come up, and my cucumbers died before they even started. I did harvest some peas (made shrimp with pea pods and a pea pod salad that were pretty good) but those have died off in the heat now. The zucchini are looking promising though, and even though I have spent way more money on plants, fertilizer, etc then I would spend on produce, it still feels like free food when you pick it and eat it.

Summer fun idea #5: Outside Time

I realized recently that this is the 4th summer I’ve been in my house. In that time we’ve managed to take the yard from useless, to fricken sweet, so one of my favorite things is to just sit on the back deck. Today, Tyra mastered fetch, which was probably the most productive thing that’s happened back there this summer, to give you an idea of what goes on. I’m into it.

Of course, there are other things too. Skateboarding is cool, I do that sometimes. Yesterday we floated the Clackamas, which is a good once-a-year occasion. (I can only handle so many bad tattoos…) And there is no better way to spend an evening than a BBQ. Seeing as the CW is already advertising it’s new September shows, summer will be over before we know it, so I’m gonna quit this blogging crap and go work on my tan!

Toney Bento

Posted by Brooke in Bento | Sushi - (0 Comments)

toneybento

1423 SE 37th

Toney Bento on Urbanspoon

Date of visit: June 28, 2010
Cost for 2 (with tip): $20

Our “new” options on Hawthorne are limited, so there have been a lot of trips to the same old places lately, but yesterday we finally decided to get back on blog-wagon and try out something new. Toney Bento is tucked just off the strip on 37th, and is one of the few places left on our list that isn’t a dingy-looking sports bar. In fact, it looks quite appealing and even has sweet samurai swords on display. How can you go wrong with swords!? Despite the name, there is also more on the menu than bento, specifically a sushi bar. The menu is quite long in fact, and after staring at it for awhile I finally opted for one of the many combo meals.

A decent value at around $8, the Hawaiian combro included a spicy shrimp roll, a giant bowl of udon miso soup and a salad. On the other side of the table Jared went with the Vegan combo: an avocado roll, pot stickers, rice, salad, and a small bowl of miso. Seemed safe enough. As usual, Jared didn’t have much to say, this time blaming the food for being “too basic” for him to formulate a real opinion on the place. But I have no problem forming an opinion, so here goes.

The soup come out first and started things off well. It was simple udon noodles in regular miso, and was actually quite tasty. Unfortunately though, it would be the highlight of my meal. The shrimp roll was made with pre-cooked (and probably previously frozen) shrimp meat and if the sauce it was in was spicy, I couldn’t tell. There was also avocado and cucumber, but overall, it tasted no better than the stuff you get in the grocery store: like it had been made and then refrigerated for hours, if not days. The salad was also a miss for me. Basically just chopped napa cabbage in sweetened rice vinegar with a garnish of carrots and black celery seeds, it was not particularly good as far as consistency or flavor were concerned.

Overall, Toney Bento proved to be a place I would have been fine with never eating at (but at least it didn’t make me sick, or anything!) I think the lesson here is when a place has “bento” in the name, probably best to stick with chicken terriyaki.

Speed: Fast
Veggie options: A couple veggie combos, fairly basic veggie rolls

Vegan Combo

Vegan Combo

Hawaii Special

Hawaii Special

June 19, 2010. Portland, Ore. A fairly typical Saturday night. Temperatures were hovering in the low 60s and the moon was peaking through the clouds. Perfect weather for an estimated 10,000 people (or more) to strip off their clothes and ride bikes in a giant pack through the city. It was my first naked bike ride (and if you know me you know I’m not big on bikes) so I took pictures.

The onslaught of the Burnside Bridge.

The intersection of 2nd and Burnside, and a bunch of naked people.

What, you don’t want to get naked and ride your tall bike through the city sometimes?

Another night on the job for PDX police.

Many participants yelled for spectators to get naked. Eventually, these guys did.

Pretty sure these spots were all natural.

See ya next year…

magnolia

1522 SE 32nd Ave

Date of visit: February 3, 2010

Price for 2 (with tip) $20

We’re really winding down this project — basically the places left to go are either not really on Hawthorne, or just plain scary. Magnolia fell into the former category with it’s slightly off-the-beaten-path location on 32nd. We were actually trying to go to Chance of Rain cafe, the former occupant, but it’s gone, Magnolia is open and there we were.

I gathered this was more of a breakfast spot, the waitress was sure to let us know they served it all day, although the menu options were not very extensive for either meal. I was feeling lunchy, so I went with a BLT. Actually, I realize this has become my normal Wednesday meal, as we often hit up Hungry Tiger on hump day, and that’s what I always end up getting (even though they have $1 corn dogs.) Not sure what that says about me, guess I am getting old and boring.

Anyway, the menu reads very gourmet, so when my sandwich showed up on what appeared to be cheap toasted white bread, I wasn’t particularly excited. Luckily, the bacon was really, really good– perfectly thick and crispy — and instead of lettuce it was served with spinach (BST?), which was also a nice touch. The house chips were a definitely highlight, I can’t think of another place in Portland that makes their own that are so thin and yummy. Oh and the pickle was legitimately spicy, as promised on the menu. It was an overall decent lunch, until I realized it cost $7.50. Not trying to be cheap, but at Hungry Tiger I get the half- order (more than enough for me) and it’s under $5 (and it has avocado on it!)

Jared got a veggie burger, which may have been the only true veggie option on the menu, and since he won’t ever tell me what he thinks, I will go off looks. The bun and burger patty seemed mismatched. The burger was thick for a veggie patty, but the bun was even thicker, almost bloated. Maybe it was soft and delicious, but it looked a bit odd. The sides were the same so refer to my review above for those.

I wasn’t entire upset up the offerings at Magnolia, the food was very ok, and I’d bet it would be a good choice for line-free weekend brunch. Overall, it seemed a bit to0 unnecessarily gourmet. Instead of offering fancy food, a better plan would just be offering good food, but maybe that’s just me.

Veggie options: Limited

Speed: It was empty and the service was good, accordingly.

BLT

BLT

Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

jam

2239 SE Hawthorne Blvd

Jam on Hawthorne on Urbanspoon

Date of visit: January 13, 2010

Price for 2 (with tip) $18.50

Jam on Hawthorne is a pretty typical Portland breakfast joint, and if you know any thing about Portland, that’s a good thing, at least foodwise. Ample portions, lots of variety and a full bar with all sorts of specialty cocktails are a must for any go-to breakfast spot in this town. But of course, there is a dark side to almost all of the good ones: the are small and usually crowded, and unfortunately, this much is also true for Jam.

We managed to arrive at prime lunch time, and had to put our names on the list and wait a good 10-15 minutes for a table. On a Wednesday. So accordingly if you try to hit up Jam on a weekend between 10-1, plan on standing out in the rain.

The menu boasts more breakfast options than lunch, but solid choices for either. Jared went lunch, with a grilled cheese and tomato with hash browns, and I went breakfast, with “The Bizness.” Not only did this corned beef, egg and onion sandwich have an awesome name, but I felt “blog-ligated” to get it. Yes, I just made that word up, but as the menu had an entire corned beef section, with the words “house-made” and “slow-roasted” in the description, it seemed like something I needed to try to get the true Jam experience.

My sandwich was giant. Like giant to the point that I looked at it for a few minutes trying to figure out how to get it down, and when I finished half of it, I rewarded myself with a pat on the back. As for the quality of the corned beef, well, as I realized shortly after ordering, I am in no way qualified to review corned beef. Aside from the occasional St. Patty’s Day dinner, I never really eat the stuff. But given my unsophisticated palate, I’d say it was pretty damn good, and definitely tender. The whole thing was quite tasty– soft rye bread and sweet and tangy long island dressing. Next time I would definitely opt to split it with someone else though, eating as much as I did mostly succeeded in making me need a nap.

We were both happy with our meals, but I am not sure that the food at Jam is worth the wait. I mean, it’s good, but like I said before, if you’re going to serve breakfast in Portland, it better be good! There was no shortage of variety and the hash browns were nice and crispy (I like to think of them as healthy french fries!) but I don’t think you’ll be seeing me sitting outside in the rain waiting for a table next Saturday.

Veggie options: tons, basically everything except the corned beef can be ordered vegetarian

Speed: Aside from waiting for a table it was respectable

Grilled cheese and tomato

Grilled cheese and tomato

The Bizness

The Bizness

spaceroom

4800 SE Hawthorne Blvd

http://www.spaceroomlounge.com/

Space Room/Brite Spot on Urbanspoon

Date of Visit: 1/12/2010

Price for 2 (with tip): $14.50

After yesterday’s round up of places yet to go, it became clear we’re pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel on Hawthorne. 80% of remaining restaurants are of the scummy bar variety, and, well, my ass is already fat enough. But one place I hadn’t thought of was Big Bertha’s; a-ten-dollar-and-under gyro sounded mighty delicious today. It turned out though, that there was a reason we hadn’t tried it: this is is exclusively a late night spot. So we hastily opted for the Space Room, directly across the street.

I’ve been to this bar before, with its cosmic theme and black light-laden decor, for fishbowls. Really, the pursuit of fruity drinks is the only good and reasonable reason one would ever step inside. But on this day, we were there for lunch. I felt like I would need a lunch beer to really enjoy, so I ordered a Session as the 11 fluid oz seems a safe lunch beer option.

The menu is actually surprising extensive, though all of the pub food variety. One bonus is $1 off menu items every day before seven. Score. I figured I’d play it safe and go with a burger and tots, while Jared did the same with a grilled cheese and onion rings. Again, the choice of cheeses and bread was impressive for the overall scumminess of the bar, so I was hopeful. Some of my favorite food in Portland comes from bars: Slow Bar, Night Lite and Dots to name a few, so I figured best case scenario this could be a hidden gem.

The food came though, and was pretty much what you’d expect from a bar lit with black lights. Dripping in grease. It wasn’t terrible, though the tater tots we’re a bit over cooked. It just wasn’t anything to write home about.  And shortly after eating my burger, well, if both meals including the beer didn’t come to $12, total I would have been pissed about my stomachache.

Speed: Took a little bit to get service, but food came out quickly

Veggie options: standard bar options: veggie burger, grilled cheese etc. ixnay on the being vegan though.

Burger and tots

Burger and tots

Grilled cheese on dark rye with Onion rings

Grilled cheese on dark rye with Onion rings

chopsticks

3616 SE Hawthorne Blvd

Chopsticks on Urbanspoon

Price for 2 (with tip) $16

Date of visit: 12/21/09

The Chopsticks on Hawthorne is one of four restaurants so named in Portland. Is it a chain or just a common name? I have no idea. But I do know it was a place we drove by a million times without even thinking of eating at. Sandwiched between the Bridgeport Ale House, and some sort of retail establishment, the somewhat classy Asian restaurant almost just blends in. Once we did tune into it, there was still some hesitation, because from the fancy sign and ornate decorations, frankly it looked expensive. But we finally made it inside actually right before embarking on this project, and made it back for the official review right before the end of 2009.

While there are some pricier items on the menu, this place has an incredible (and cheap) lunch special. The lunch menu has two basic routes to go: stir fried items with rice (choice of white, brown or fried) or noodle dishes, which come with salad and an egg roll. Either option comes with Hot and Sour or Egg Drop soup, and both times I’ve gotten the Hot and Sour, so I guess I must like it! No but seriously, it was made with basil, which made it a bit unique and fairly tasty.

On this trip I went with shrimp with broccoli, mostly because it was an option. Usually the lunch menu doesn’t even have chicken with broccoli as an option, so I happily paid the extra buck for shrimp instead of beef. Jared got General Tso’s Tofu, another somewhat unusual menu option. And in general the menu here is just that: a little bit different than your standard Asian. I suppose it’s definitive Asian fusion cuisine, and everything I’ve had was flavorful and relatively healthy (read: not dripping in grease.) Plus one for Chopsticks and another good Asian spot to try on Hawthorne.

Veggie options: lots, although neither soup is technically vegetarian as they are made with meat broth

Speed: quick and easy

General Tso's Tofu

General Tso's Tofu

Shrimp with Brocolli

Shrimp with Brocolli