A Sandwich a Day: Griddled Mortadella at Lardo in Portland, OR
In this great nation of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Y'all are familiar with mortadella, right? The salumi made in Bologna, Italy, with ground pork sausage and chunks of pork neck fat? Yeah, I thought you knew. Texturally similar to American bologna, but quite a few notches up on the tastiness meter, thin-sliced mortadella (and other cured meats of its ilk) gets even better once it hits a hot frying pan or griddle. And this is what they do at Rick Gencarelli's food cart, Lardo, in Portland.
Thus, the base of the Griddled Mortadella ($7) is formed. Improvements continue with the addition of provolone, mustard aioli, green lettuce, and a smattering of spicy Mama Lil's pickled peppers. Mama Lil's peppers can range from sweet and perky to downright mouth-searing, and these came closer to the semi-hot end of their product line.
Anyone with an aversion to salt should probably stay away from this sandwich (and this cart in general), as Gencarelli is as generous with it as Terrell Owens is with interceptions. Gencarelli doesn't shortchange you with subpar bread, either. This is the good stuff: light, airy ciabatta rolls from Fleur De Lis Bakery. If you have even a passing interest in sandwiches with piping hot salumi and melted cheese, you'd be remiss to ignore Lardo's take.
About the author: Adam Lindsley is a Pacific Northwest-based writer, musician, and the author of the pizza blog, This Is Pizza. You can follow him at @ThisIsPizza on Twitter. He will do just about anything for a good doughnut.