Lardo Lardo
1212 SE Hawthorne Blvd. (SE 12th Ave.)
Portland, OR 97214
Cuisine: Italian / Sandwiches
Choice destination for indulgent sandwiches served with creative sides.
Openings: Lunch & Dinner daily

Lardo Restaurant Review:

Don't let Lardo's name and slogan --- "Bringing Fatback" --- give the wrong impression. True, the kitchen does not fear fat. A sturdy, robust spirit infuses everything here, and pork plays a major role. Along with the fried mortadella and pork belly umami bombs, there are plenty of healthful options on the daily chalkboard menu, ranging from seasonal salads to sandwiches, such as the roasted chicken gyro with beet harissa, tzatziki, pickled cauliflower, mint chimichurri and, yes, french fries. The pork meatball banh mi features four huge meatballs slathered in a mildly spicy sriracha mayonnaise. Pork shoulder with house-made kimchi blissfully merges fat and spice. All side salads use quality, crunchy greens and include such creative combos as "Sheila's chopped salad" with kale, Asian pear, Marcona almonds, blue cheese and sherry vinaigrette. Lardo's fries are fried in rendered fatback, whether standard (with herbs and Parmesan) or "dirty" (with pork scraps and peppers). A "chefwich" series features monthly specials from local chefs, such as an Olympia Provisions frank with sesame sprouts, kimchi and pickled mango (courtesy of Kim Jong Grillin). Pair your meal with an Italian beer, soda or cocktail based on Italian liqueurs. Dogs are welcome in the large, enclosed outside area.