"Eat your sandwiches from Lardo then come get your sugar from me," said Kirsten Jensen from the window of her Sugar Cube trailer, parked in the same lot as Lardo. Once on wheels, too, Lardo opened a brick-and-mortar this year and it doesn't get much better then eating one of their serious sandwiches, followed by an ice cream sandwich from Sugar Cube.
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Anyone with an aversion to salt should probably stay away from this sandwich (and the Lardo cart in general). Gencarelli doesn't shortchange you with subpar bread, either. This is the good stuff: light, airy ciabatta rolls. 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.
One of Portland's best food carts, Lardo puts out some of the tastiest (and, it should be noted, saltiest) sandwiches in the city. Having sampled a number of these over the past few months, I had to know if owner Rick Gencarelli's Double Burger, at a mere eight bucks, could qualify as one of Portland's best burger deals. The answer depends on how high your standards have been set.
Lardo is cured fat, usually from the back of a pig. The fat is packed in salt and herbs and left to cure for a month or so. Curing transforms the slippery fat into dense, buttery blocks of lardo. Shaved thinly and served with nuts, lardo makes a simple yet memorable antipasto dish.
"So is lardo essentially just....fat?" Someone recently asked me. Well in a way, yes, but really, it's so much more—pure pork fatback cured with salt and other spices such as rosemary, pepper, and garlic. The Lardo Pizza at Mario Batali's Otto Enoteca in New York City's Greenwich Village is an ode to the rich, slightly musky, creamy, silky perfection that is lardo.