Lardo, I love you. Here's why:
Lardo, with the classy motto of “Pig Out” provides you every opportunity to - and now in two locations. When I learned they would be opening at Washington and 11th, dangerously close to my downtown apartment, I knew things were getting serious between us. I cannot resist the sweet siren song of pork belly calling to me - and why would I? Lardo makes amazing sandwiches, salads and fries. l’ll provide you with a taste of what they have to offer, but don’t take my word for it: I highly suggest tasting it yourself. My favorite, for example is the Double Burger. Cascade Natural Beef, sharp cheddar, crispy, fatty pork belly and a gigantic hunk of pickle? Yes, please. How about the Cold Fried Chicken Sandwich, served with bacon and a spicy buttermilk blue cheese dressing? It’s so good, my dog jumped on the counter to eat half. New Year’s Day, they had a special sandwich with thinly sliced rib eye steak, fried egg and cheddar. I could have wept, it was so good. Their Pork Meatball Banh Mi is always a popular choice in my household, a flavorful take on a classic Vietnamese sandwich. My favorite part about Lardo is that if you order your sandwich without the bread (if, for example, you’re gluten intolerant), they offer to serve it on a bed of greens OR a bed of fries. “I would love the fries, thank you!”
Italian Tuna Melt with provolone, Mama Lil's pickled Ribeye Sandwich with sharp cheddar, egg over medium
peppers, olive tapenade and shaved fennel salad. served with Secret Aardvark spicy ketchup (not shown).
Shown with a side of Fried Cauliflower with chimichuri.
And we haven’t even gotten to the sides OR the tap list. For sides, the obvious choice is always going to be Dirty Fries, unless they’re out (which happens fairly often). As a self-described connoisseur of fries, Lardo’s happen to be magnificent: fried crispy and served with Parmesan cheese and fried herbs. Dirty Fries take it to the next level, throwing in spicy pickled peppers and pork scraps including bacon, belly, ham and who knows what else. If you’re hoping to make healthy choices, they've got your back. Try the Raw Kale Salad, packed with Greek flavors of cucumber, feta, kalamata olives and fried chickpeas. Don’t let the “BRINGING FATBACK” printed on their t-shirts fool you! (As an educational note, fatback is a specific cut of meat from the pig)
For drinks, they have over two dozen taps including a couple on nitro and always a cider. For the past two months, the Hawthorne location has had a Tieton Hop Cider, based out of Washington. It’s really different- and really good. You have all the essential dryness of a cider with apple and fruit notes and then BAM, did I just drink an IPA? I hope not, because I’m super gluten intolerant. Oh wait, that was just a slap in the face of hops. Somehow, it works. They also have some fun cocktails but I’m so smitten with the cider, I haven’t tried most of them. Their Harvest Toddy is certainly warming on a cold, rainy evening. Let me know how the others are!
Lardo has two locations, one on SE Hawthorne and 12th, right across from the food cart pod (if you didn't get enough fries, Potato Champion is RIGHT THERE) and the second in downtown at SW Washington and 12th. They’re open late - until 10 pm every day on the west side and on the east side, until 11 pm Monday-Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday. East Lardo is closed on Sundays, unfortunately.
For more information about the author, Bethany Huntley, please visit their profile page.
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