Portland Picks Website  
  life + style in Stumptown
December 4th, 2009

Let's face it guys... women are the shoppers. It goes back millennia to the hunter/gatherer model. And just because their job is to "gather" the Christmas presents, don't think they are any less fierce than someone trying to take down a saber-tooth on the tundra. Why, just last week, on Black Friday, we attempted to get a little shopping done. We lasted all of about five minutes before giving up. It was like a thousand Mrs. Tiger Woods' out there, fellas. 

So what to do? We'll probably do what we do every year: go the Gift Certificate route. For an excellent option on this front, please see the special on our homepage (plus, look for more last-minute gift certificate ideas in our next issue). And to round out the shopping, as in years past, we'll be out frantically grabbing up the last-minute leftovers way too late in the game to get anything good.

See you out there Christmas Eve, gents.


Portland Picks for Men:


Chic Bro-tique

It doesn’t take much to keep a dude happy: a rocker tee, some vintage Playboys, a stick or two of mid-century furniture. And, oh yeah, a stuffed cat.

That’s what makes NoPo’s most unassuming antique outlet, Eric’s Odditorium, a super savvy (and super cheap) supply store for the modern man. Conveniently located on the Max Yellow line, this random room of rummage and estate-sale goodies is jam-packed with all sorts of 20th-century collectibles including art, books, and random oddities (like stuffed pussies). As for vintage coverings, EO has plenty of cold-weather clothes from the likes of Jantzen, Lacoste and Oregon’s own Pendleton Woolen Mills. It has also an incredible collection of rocker tees that will cost you anywhere from $5 to $50 (that would be for the highly-coveted Frank Zappa “Titties N’ Beer” tee).

And speaking of boobs, make sure to check out the just-arrived shipment of vintage Vargas-style wall calendar cuties… perfect for the man pad or pad-ette.  Boobs.

Eric’s Odditorium
7600 N. Interstate Ave.
Portland, OR 97217


We Heart Montmartre

When we’ve got a hot date in the wings, picking the perfect restaurant suddenly requires a lengthy mental checklist. But when too many large red Xs start appearing where green checks should be, we’ll look to a reliable Portland institution that has finally returned to the area after a three-year absence.

The resurrected favorite is none other than the Brasserie Montmartre, an upscale Parisian-style restaurant with an Old World charm. Decked out in old wood, large mirrors, chandeliers and local art, the Brasserie calls to mind the kinds of places F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about, complete with dry martinis and forkfuls of juicy steak. We would expect to find something like this in Manhattan—some relic of the old days operating like the last century never even happened, but to experience it in postmodern Portland at a fraction of the cost is a total triumph.

The cherries on top include live jazz and American standards music most nights, late hours (until 1 or 3 am Friday and Saturday), and a Happy Hour menu with drink and dish deals. So scrap the mental checklist and concentrate on what you’ll be wearing instead.

Brasserie Montmartre
626 SW Park Ave. 
Portland, OR 97205

  3 Punk and Wagnalls

The best part about painting by numbers is that you don’t have to draw to be creative. There is no blank canvas to intimidate the would-be artist, and with creative color combinations, scissors, glue, and a separate canvas to build on, you can even create a piece of pop art.

Sway Bar on SE Morrison is a lot like that—a new bar with great open space, handsome lighting, friendly staff and enough existing blanks to be the bricks and mortar equivalent to a Mad Libs. There is a revolving cast of deejays, two pool tables, pin ball, decent to downright cheap prices and a menu that includes some killer sandwiches, salads and thin-crust pizzas.

Being new in town (only a year), this place remains unclaimed by any one crowd and maintains the echo-y vibe of a place yet to fulfill its potential. But one man’s Shrinky Dink is another man’s homemade Ducati key fob—Sway would be a great place to take over for your next party, or to get all “manifest destiny” for the long run. Enjoy the lack of overcrowding and have a $1 PBR while you’re doing it.

Sway Bar
627 SE Morrison
Portland 97214

  Gratuitous Photo of the Week:  

Photo courtesy of www.flirtylingerie.com.


Mandatory Gear:


Cut to the Chase

This Thanksgiving, we were in charge of the bird. Now, if you’re going to be cutting something in front of a group, you want things to go smoothly. The whole experience left us knowing we needed an upgrade to our cutlery.

Love him or hate him, Guy Fieri is master of man-food, and in our search for something ergonomic, precision and of professional quality, we found it in his Knuckle Sandwich series of blades. They’re awesomely masculine to boot.

Guy Fieri Knives


Wax On, Wax Often

There are certain things in life that just need to be taken up a notch. Cases in point: everything Emeril touches, most alcoholic drinks, and of course, moustaches.  If you’re not going to take care of your ’stache, why bother having one at all?

Man’s Face Stuff makes taking care of your facial hair fun and easy with their handmade, unscented (or scented) moustache wax.  Made from beeswax right here in Portland, this stuff will keep you smelling nice and in control all day long.

Moustache Wax


We Love Log

When our mom was a 20-year-old newlywed, one of her first wifely duties was cooking a traditional holiday dinner. She chose to top it off with the most difficult dessert from the Julia Child cookbook—the Buche de Noel—a traditional French Christmas cake that’s shaped and decorated to resemble a Yule Log.

We don’t have her cajones for attempting complicated recipes, so we’re ordering our own Buche from St. Honoré Boulangerie. Available by special order through Dec. 31.


  Cocktail of the Week:

When it gets cold and dreary, we love a hot toddy as much as the next guy (maybe not as much as the next girl, however). One thing we really tend toward, though, is drinking summer drinks to transport ourselves via beverage to a sandy warm beach somewhere. That often means a Margarita, but we drink Palomas like actual Mexicans, with grapefruit soda and quality Tequila, like 1800…

1800 Paloma

1 ½ oz. 1800 Silver Tequila
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
4 oz. of Mexican Squirt or Grapefruit Jarritos

Rim a tall highball glass with salt, combine ingredients over ice, stir, and garnish with a lime slice. Quick and delish, the Paloma is a lesson in Mexcellence.


Hip Happenings:






Don’t know what to get your best boys for the holidays? Don’t waste time, mang… sign them up for a free subscription to PPFM. It’s just one click away at www.PortlandPicksforMen.com.


Be sure to visit www.portlandpicksformen.com and check out past issues in our archives. If you like what you see, forward to a friend and encourage them to check out www.portlandpicksformen.com and subscribe for free! It's easy--there's a box in the upper left to enter your email address.

If you would like to make a suggestion, please email us at contribute@portlandpicksformen.com. Share your favorite ideas for Picks, tell us about terrific products or services, announce a sale or event, or let us know what you think of Portland Picks for Men!

Website and weekly issues maintained by Studio Ridge.com.