By Alison Rosen
Photo: Jeff Minton
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, the Portlandia co-stars (and first-time cookbook authors) have plenty in common. Partying isn’t one of them.
What are your biggest pet peeves as guests and hosts at a dinner party?
Fred: I don’t think I’ve ever hosted anything in my life. As a guest, I’m always flattered just to be invited. But I do enjoy when there’s food out on my arrival. Olives, cheese, crackers…
Carrie: The few times I tried to throw a party, my anxiety level was off the charts. I ended up in my room, alone, waiting for people to leave.
Describe each other’s relationship with food in one word.
Fred: I’d say Carrie’s is ‘private.’ She really likes eating in her car.
Carrie: I always joke that my car is my favorite restaurant.
Fred: Whereas my relationship is more of an ”emergency.” When I’m hungry, I need to eat right away.
Who’s the more adventurous diner?
Carrie: We both love sushi and getting the omakase, but Fred is more daring. He’ll try anything the chef brings to the table. I make him eat the sea urchin.
Fred: And the eel.
In The Portlandia Cookbook, you refer to “the tapas ghetto.” Explain.
Carrie: I like tapas. It’s an adventure in getting to order more off the menu. But I know it stresses Fred out.
Fred: If you’re on the wrong side of the table—the tapas ghetto—you actually miss out on a lot of the items. Everyone picks at the mushroom thing or the toasty thing and you end up with nothing.
Any favorite Portland restaurants?
Carrie: I really like this place called Expatriate, run by Naomi Pomeroy and her husband. They make a great cod sandwich.
Fred: Screen Door, Pok Pok, and Tasty n Sons, which has this ridiculous radicchio salad. I’m not a salad person, and I could eat it forever.
Best and worst Portland food trends?
Fred: Best is anything with eggs on it. I am not, however, a fan of whole fish; I like my food to be cut up for me.
Carrie: The worst is that people will line up around the block for ice cream, but they won’t line up to vote.
Strangest items in each of your fridges.
Fred: A Flaming Lips record with a big white-chocolate skull and brain coming out of it.
Carrie: Syringes full of teeth-whitening gel.
A food you would like to be reincarnated as.
Fred: A wax hamburger, so no one eats me.
Carrie: Breakfast cereal; it rarely disappoints.
What food can you not control yourself around?
Fred: Breakfast tacos. They’re like a drug.
Carrie: It’s hard to find a good one outside of Texas, but HomeState in L.A. is a blessing and a curse. We’ve eaten there the last six days.
Death row last meal.
Fred: Styrofoam peanuts from packaging so that my cause of death is questionable. Like, “What happened?! Was it the peanuts or the lethal injection? We don’t know.”
Carrie: That’s very kind of you to spare the executioner the guilt, but I’m going with a cheeseburger. People can fight over the death penalty after I’m gone.
Who’s on your dream dinner party guest list?
Fred: Among others, Yoko Ono, Cindy Sherman, John Waters, Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian of The Damned, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of The Clash, all of Sleater-Kinney, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh…
Carrie: Jeez, such a big dinner party! I’d be overwhelmed. I’d probably show up for a little bit, say hi to everyone, and then sneak off to eat in my car.
Want even more Portlandia? Check out this food map!
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