The second season of "Portlandia" premiered last Friday on IFC, and its standout scene was this segment where Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein attempt to order from the menu of an overly complicated theme restaurant -- with no help from their waiter (played by Kumail Nanjiani, comedian and host of the podcast The Indoor Kids).
In the episode, Carrie and Fred travel to Southern California to reclaim the love of Carrie's life, a mixologist played by Andy Samberg. But after walking for days (which comes after a taxi ride from Portland to another part of SoCal), they're starved for something to eat, and drop into a restaurant called Around the World in 80 Plates.
Taking aim at family eateries whose unfocused and hollow cultural cuisine makes the experience overwhelming rather than exotic, Nanjiani's waiter character refuses to let them order a cheeseburger, but will let them order "Slamburgers," and dozens of other combinations of meals, sides, and preparations, like "super spiking" their meal (which is just pouring Jack Daniels all over all their food).
Some of the best humor in "Portlandia" has been mined from dining experiences. Who can forget Fred and Carrie grilling their waitress about how local their organic chicken is, or discussing what they've read over brunch?
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