Anger Burger

Now I Have the Energy to Punch Portland in the Face

Posted by Sunday on Nov 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I have heard every major city argue that they have a heinous population of hipsters, and that their hipsters are unique and awful.  Brooklyn, San Francisco, Austin; I have lived alongside Los Angeles hipsters, who are a magnificently infuriating sub-species that cannot be reproduced elsewhere, but are nevertheless still just hipsters.  Seattle doesn’t quite show up to the Department of Hipsters Faculty Meeting the way others do, they are stuck in a charming and dated spiral of a post-grunge, lingering goth thing.  But then there is Portland, Oregon.

There is actually a reason for the TV series Portlandia.  It is not inaccurate.  There is a well-educated smugness laying over the city like a vintage Pendleton blanket.  There is a joke/not-joke here about “when Olympia moved to Portland” and indeed, I know a lot of people in Portland whom I knew here, in Olympia, back in the day.  And the one thing they do, in all their vintage boutiquing, chicken cooping, streetside composting, gourmet food trucking bumptiousness that drives me insane is that they never stop talking about how fucking perfect Portland is.

“All I ask for is a decent goddamn donut shop,” I wrote on my Facebook page one day (my private one, not the Anger Burger one – don’t go fact-checking, you’ll be disappointed).  MOVE TO PORTLAND my friend in Portland writes, as though that were helpful¹.  And after complaining about healthier energy drinks, my friend Jason tells me: DRINK VISO.  IT IS MADE IN PORTLAND AND YOU CAN ONLY GET IT IN PORTLAND.  WOE IS THE FOOL THAT CANNOT DRINK VISO.  I may be putting some words in Jason’s mouth, but that is the gist of it.


This last summer I was at a local store and did a double-take at a beverage cooler case.  There on the shelf were three cans of Viso.  I had never seen them before, only heard of them.  And here we were, 120 miles from Portland.  It must be some kind of mistake – surely Portland wouldn’t allow one of its precious products outside the fortress walls?  I bought one, and a few hours later drank it.  And then went back and bought the other two at the store because it was fucking delicious, and asked them when they would be getting more.  Never, they said.  The distributor wasn’t answering their phone calls.  I write Viso and asked them if they were distrubuting to anywhere in Olympia.  They didn’t answer.  I wrote again.  They didn’t answer. Their Facebook page is a sea of crazed Viso fans asking questions, complaining about availability of favorite products, and all without answer from Viso.  As near as I could tell, Viso didn’t really exist.

And then a few days ago it shows up at my local Co-Op.  The label is different, the flavors different.  The flavor I tried before was “Will” a sour cherry and grapefruit flavor, now it is cranberry and grapefruit.  The sugar-free flavors are now stevia instead of sucralose.  So it would appear that Viso has quietly reinvented itself in preparation for — I assume — national distribution, with preliminary accounts in Wholefoods in the Pacific Northwest (in addition to my local Olympia Co-Op).  I certainly don’t recommend ordering from their website, as a case costs $21 with SEVENTEEN DOLLARS SHIPPING.  You are fucking kidding me, you guys.

Speaking of caffeine, each bottle contains 300mg, which is the equivalent of three and a half small cans of Redbull, or between four and five shots of espresso.  So, basically it’s a fucking disaster in a bottle.  And I love it.  The flavors are truly well-balanced: faintly sweet-sour, and bitter and mineral from the caffeine and vitamins.  It’s a poor description, but they taste, well, real.  Like fruit juice and vitamins. And 300mg of caffeine?  Holy shit.  I basically live in an eternal state of sleepiness, like some nodding junky without any of the fun heroin parts.  The last few days of having a Viso around for quick drinks here and there have left me productive and alert.  My god, the possibilities.  I may now have the energy to shower every day!

So, I am sorry if you can’t find it, but I have a hunch that you will be able to within the next year.  Keep a lookout for them and remember after drinking one to take a couple laps around the block just to keep from tearing your own eyelids off.

¹ As an aside, Voodoo Donuts? Total bullshit. I’d rather have a Krispy Kreme served to me by a pleasantly bored teenager after I have stood in line for zero minutes.

November 5th, 2012 | Food Rant

11 Responses to Now I Have the Energy to Punch Portland in the Face

  1. quagmire says:

    I’m sorry, but that is about the lamest script ever on the bottle. It might as well read; ‘ARSO’ or ‘VISO’ or whutev. Ignorant. I would imagine they will be hearing From The Church of Scientology, as I think that is the name of their arch-nemesis, the alien God they are battling with Tom ‘Cruiser’. I could be wrong. ‘Razor’ … isn’t that a scooter or a shaving device or something Occam USED?
    Imagination: an endangered species.

    • KamiKaze says:

      Yeah, very lame script. I just thought it was a bunch of squiggles and not the actual name of the product.I thought the name of the product was Razor.

      Of course, I’m one of those sad folks who can’t read cursive too well. My eyes go cross as I try to decipher the letters and some people write cursive like Charlie Brown and the Peanuts and I have no clue what they are writing at all.

    • Sunday says:

      I actually don’t hate it, but I don’t find it especially well done or anything. What surprises me is that hipsters are total font and graphic design blow-hards. The bottle should be a masterpiece of Helvetica and kerning.

  2. meg says:

    We definitely stood in line for about 20 minutes at Voodoo Doughnuts, and then, while eating my absurdly flavored fried pastry, I thought back to my childhood, when we would go to the local Krispy Kreme (in Winston-Salem–the home of KK–represent!) and get a dozen hot, glazed doughnuts. So wretchedly wonderful, and you could even get one of those paper hats and watch the doughnuts glide past on a film of fat and sugar. Sorry, PDX, still not as good as Krispy Kreme.

  3. Vita says:

    THREE HUNDRED milligrams of caffeine?! Holy crap. I might have to track down a bottle, and get me a new toothbrush with which to scrub the grout in my bathroom.

    Do you still have that kilo of caffeine powder you bought? Have you done fun stuff with it? Recipes, I mean.

    I think voodoo donuts is bullshit, too. When faced with the holy grail, the maple bacon bar, I couldn’t do it. I got a froot-loop encrusted sugarbomb that my teeth still haven’t recovered from.

    • Sunday says:

      I do still have the caffeine powder, but I am having a strangely difficult time incorporating it. It’s laziness, ironically. Caffeine is very bitter, and hiding the flavor in some fruit juice/stevia blend would be a tricky balance. Also: for serious, I am too lazy. It was a good idea (LOOK AT ALL THE MONEY I WILL SAVE) but in practice I guess I prefer to pay for the convenience of someone else making my energy drink for me.

  4. Vita says:

    Oh, also? Portland, in its self-aggrandizing toddleresque ‘Lookie me! Lookie me!’, has SanFranciscoItis. SF thinks of itself as just too twee. I can’t take it. Here in Oakland we go FUCK YEAH OAKLAND, and then get back to the business of just being awesome. We don’t have to sell it to you.

    • Sunday says:

      See, I’ve never been to SF. And I have a softer spot for hippies (see: Olympia) so I think maybe I would be able to tolerate SF? I don’t know. A few people have told me I’d really like it, all the food and weirdness.

      • Vita says:

        omg. And bring gold bars and an extra stomach.
        I think you would like it. I think you, like me, might like Oakland a titch more. More weirdness, less self-importance.

  5. Angie says:

    San Francisco feels like home to me. I was born there, so maybe that’s why. I have spent most of my life in Washington on the east side of the Cascades, though. Right now, home is an old farmhouse at the end of Tigner Road just outside Cashmere. This is handy because there is an abundance of free pears and apples after harvest. Agreed about Portland. Never have I been to Voodoo, but after you’ve eaten a fresh Krispy Kreme, nothing else matters. Eastern Washington has a heinously low ratio of the educated. That’s why it votes Republican, but at least it has no air of educated smugness. Instead, you can be driven crazy by uneducated dogmatists! Sunday, if you haven’t read “The Orchardist”, please do! You will love it. It was written by Amanda Coplin, who was born in Wenatchee and lives in Portland. At least grab it off the shelf at the bookstore and read the first couple pages–then you won’t be able to stop yourself!

  6. Margot says:

    I was about to ask if you ever get backlash from characterizations made of different locals, but based on the comments I see, your audience certainly gets you. If you did get some backlash, how would you respond? I ask because I recently did to one of my posts about Newport Beach (privately, not on the blog), and am confused about how/if to respond.

    Love your snark, laughed out loud. Keep writing!

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