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By Laura Hahnefeld
By Laura Hahnefeld
Bite Me has come to count on Portland's downtown for its delectable desserts, chicken Caesar topped with epic black bread croutons, and sinful duck breast. She had no idea, however, that the place also served Raging Lunatic Pork Belly.
Let Bite Me explain.
Portland's had recently started a wine-tasting night at its fabulous bar, and Bite Me had been meaning to check it out. So she perched herself outside the joint, in her usual fashion, and interviewed folks as they stumbled out. Things went swimmingly until your curious host spotted a trio of folks inside who looked like they'd be the perfect conclusion to her evening: energetic, smiling, and three sheets to the wind.
105 W. Portland St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Region: Central Phoenix
Well, fuck me. Ever find yourself trapped in a conversation with miserable people who compensate by spewing venom and hellfire? And why is it always the oversize gal who looks like she ate a small village who can't shut up? Bite Me had no choice but to ride it out to the bitter conclusion, while debating with herself whether she could throw a punch and still keep her job. (She decided not to find out.)
After the freak trio finally split (to go in search of dessert number three, no doubt), Bite Me got good and raging drunk. She got so plastered, in fact, she can't remember where she dropped off her film that night. She knows it was a Walgreens. No, maybe it was an Osco. Whatever.
Anyway, y'all will have to make do with Bite Me's renderings of the folks she encountered. She's no artist, but trust her, they're accurate portraits those faces are seared into her memory and will haunt her for months.
Bite Me one. Freaks zero.
Bite Me: So, did you drink some wine in there tonight?
Alissa: Four wines, but I didn't care for the Zinfandels very much.
Bite Me: Ah. Zinfandels. You's a wine connoisseur, I see.
Alissa: I usually drink Merlots but today we tasted mostly Zinfandels, something new. It was our friend's idea, an excuse to get out of the house.
Bite Me: Are they selling wine in there? What's the deal?
Alissa: They show you how to look for flavors, specific colors and body and how to better describe the wines you drink.
Bite Me: Do you drink wine with dinner or just pour yourself a glass when you come home?
Alissa: I drink maybe a bottle a week.
Bite Me: You're my kind of gal. So, what do you two do for a living?
Alissa: I do acute inpatient rehab and Scott's a photographer.
Bite Me: So, Scott, who or what do you shoot?
Scott: I do a lot of acting test shots. I do corporate annual reports, brochures, modeling test shots and I just started shooting some weddings.
Bite Me: What's your favorite?
Scott: Model testings.
Bite Me: Well, yeah. But how come you're not in Hollywood?
Scott: Well, I did that. I was in New York and in Miami for four years. I actually worked for the New Times in Miami. I moved here about seven years ago. I had a lot of clients in L.A. but then I got real busy here in Phoenix.
Bite Me: So are there like fancy people here?
Scott: Here? No.
Bite Me: I don't mean Portland's. I mean Phoenix.
Scott: Well, I just bought a historic home in Scottsdale. I love the laid-back pace here. I'm originally from Baton Rouge.
Bite Me: So where's your accent, buddy?
Scott: Don't have it. Lost it. Got rid of it. But I can turn it on if I have to.
Bite Me: A couple of whiskeys and it pops up?
Scott: Not even whiskey. But like in New York where people are real abrasive I can just turn on the Southern thing. They think I'm an idiot at first.
Bite Me: I love that Southern thing. It's sooooo charming.
Lidia Gomes and Laurel Silk
Corporate trainers, University of Phoenix
Bite Me: I saw you two from across the bar and thought you'd be a hoot. Where are you from?
Lidia: I'm from Connecticut, but I can do the trashy New Yawk thing. (Lidia, who, quite frankly, is fillin' the room with her, er, vibrant personality, is squawking like a Mike Myers wanna-be.)
Bite Me: I've had a sore throat so my voice is all funky, but don't I sound sexy?
Lidia: No. You don't sound sexy. You sound sick. And hey, I'm Lidia with an "I," not a "Y." I actually used to be a trainer for Prudential back on the East Coast but I lost my job 10 months ago and, um, ended up here. I've only been in Phoenix for three months and I'm trying to get used to the relaxed environment. I'm used to the fast pace, "Let's go, let's go, let's move, let's move."
Bite Me: Okey-doke. So who is this demure chick next to you?
Lidia: Her name is Laurel Silk. Tell me that's not a porn name!
Bite Me: Hello, Laurel! Have you been in porn long? (Laurel laughs shyly. But let's be clear, Laurel is a corporate trainer, too. This classy broad is no kneelin' Nelly.) So, do you whip people like Lucy Liu did in Charlie's Angels?