The off-the-clock dabblings of pro athletes can get ugly: Michael Jordan's fiendish gambling, Michael Vick's gruesome dog-killing, Tiger Woods' compulsive boning of soft-chinned floozies. Bless his heart, Portland Timbers midfielder Sal Zizzo just wants to sell reasonably priced meatball subs. That simple dream came to fruition last month with the opening of Zizzo's FC, a ultramarine Italian wagon parked downtown that peddles three sandwiches along with fried calamari, a meaty baked pasta and ruggedly crisp chocolate cannoli. Demand is high: The wait for a Tuesday lunch stretched 30 minutes despite the cook's obvious efficiency. Lightly toasted hoagie rolls weren't sturdy enough for the loads asked of them—sliced meatballs bathed in a zesty sauce, and the caprese's thick slices of tomato and gummy mozzarella. The caprese's roll, softened by a squirt of balsamic vinegar, dissolved back into batter. (Turning the vinegar into a syrupy reduction and toasting the bun until crusty would help.) Kudos to Zizzo for drawing people in the colder months. The next cart was empty and renting for the princely sum of $75 a day, so someone like Rooney or Ronaldo could feasibly open Chav's Chip Shoppe or a Bacalhau à Braz cart without risking bankruptcy. The Timbers Army will find a perfect pass toward an empty net. Less partisan diners might wish to play the field.
- Order this: Salsiccia sandwich ($6).
- Iâll pass: Caprese sandwich ($6).
EAT: Cart pod at Southwest 9th Avenue and Alder Street. zizzosfc.com. 11 am-4 pm Monday-Saturday.