Lardo

It’s really best if you leave all dietary inhibitions at the door of these crazy-busy sandwich shops—after all, when the first thing you spy with your little pork-loving eye upon walking into an establishment is a huge lit up sign admonishing you to PIG OUT, I think we both know that as far as your Livestrong calorie tracker app is concerned, what happens in Lardo stays in Lardo.

I think we both know that as far as your Livestrong calorie tracker app is concerned, what happens in Lardo stays in Lardo.

But if you’re going to stray from the caloric straight and narrow, you might as well do it right—and there are few more enjoyable failings than East Coast-born chef Rick Gencarelli’s pork belly sandwich—glistening, hot fat-streaked slabs of this most hallowed Portland mainstay laid to rest on a pillow-soft, golden-crusted Fleur de Lis Bakery brioche bun, or the bacon-topped cold fried chicken sandwich slathered in buttermilk blue cheese dressing, or the epic Double Burger, or the pork scrap and marinated peppers-littered “dirty fries,” or the three microbrews/grapefruit margaritas you wash it all down with. You sinner, you. While the menu admittedly delves deep into meat territory, herbivores needn’t feel like they should steer clear—sit right alongside your favorite pork meatball banh mi worshipper with a hearty eggplant and fennel sandwich and light and lemony kale Caesar, or a simple, perfect dish of roasted zucchini tossed with lemon, cracked black pepper and fresh mint.

Regardless of whether you hail from the east or west, you’re covered–Lardo’s West End location, anchoring the Southeast corner of the swanky Indigo apartment building, is a bright, busy, centrally-located spot for a quick downtown lunch or casual dinner, while the east side branch prompts you to stay a while, with a vast Hawthorne-fronting patio and 14 microbrews on tap. Set inside a former filling station, the shop is tidy and no-frills—with polished concrete floors, rows of plain wood tables and white subway tile counters enlivened by light-drawing wraparound windows, bundles of fresh flowers, a miniature bar pouring plenty of beer and mixing house cocktails, and a fascinating mélange of smoked coppa Cubano-seekers for the professional people watchers’ pleasure—filling station attendants, primer-spattered house painters, government badge-bearing suits and Ladd’s Addition ladies who lunch in oversized sunglasses and Tory Burch flats all queue up in a scraggly line that’s often out the door mere minutes after opening.

Regardless of which end of the animal protein and designer accessories spectrum you sit on, most everyone can agree on the preferability of happy endings, and while Lardo’s menu may seem bereft of sugary swan songs, fear not—sweet treats await just beyond the front doors of each location. If you’re eastside, the Hungry Heart Cupcakes truck is so close you can practically place an order from your patio table, and the downtown restaurant is right across the street from ice cream darlings Ruby Jewel‘s West End shop and just around the corner from the city’s most revered chocolate church, Cacao.

Details

Cuisine: Sandwiches

Executive Chef: Rick Gencarelli

Owner: Rick Gencarelli

Atmosphere: SE: Easy, relaxed neighborhood spot to hang out and have a few beers with your meal
Downtown: Busy, bright spot for a quick lunch or casual downtown dinner

Outdoor seating: SE: Huge patio
Downtown: Sidewalk tables

Best Seat: SE: Patio
Downtown: Window bar

Noise Level: Normal to Boisterous, depending on the crowd

Dress Code: Casual

Bring the Kids: Yes

Parking: SE: Street parking is free but it's a busy intersection and parking out front can be sparse, so try a side street
Downtown: Street parking is metered (Mon-Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 1-7pm)

Cocktails: SE: Full bar, five classic house cocktails
Downtown: Full bar, six classic house cocktails

Beer: SE: 14 microbrews on tap ($3-$5), two nitros ($6)
Downtown: 10 microbrews on tap ($5), two nitros ($6), pitchers and growlers/growlettes to go

Wine: Yes

Ideal Meal: Kale Caesar, dirty fries, eggplant and roasted fennel sandwich, pork meatball banh mi, double burger, grapefruit margarita

Vegetarian Friendly: Yes

Good for the following occasions: Lunch or Dinner With Friends, Dining Alfresco, Casual Date Night, Dining Solo, Dirty Fry Cravings

Catering: Full catering menu on website, brown bag lunch service, (see delivery section), Porchetta Party--$250 serves 20 people, Lardo delivers and sets up a roasted porchetta, served with ciabatta rolls, gremolata and caper mayo. $250 Minimum Order, 20% Service Charge Included, 96 Hours Notice Required

Reservations: No

Take-Out: Yes

Delivery: Brown Bag Lunch Delivery--$12 per brown bag, includes a sandwich or salad of your choice, bag of Lardo potato chips and a Lardo chocolate chip cookie. $75 Minimum Order, 15% Service Charge Included, 24 Hours Notice Appreciated

Catering: Full catering menu on website, brown bag lunch service, (see delivery section), Porchetta Party--$250 serves 20 people, Lardo delivers and sets up a roasted porchetta, served with ciabatta rolls, gremolata and caper mayo. $250 Minimum Order, 20% Service Charge Included, 96 Hours Notice Required