Rick Gencarelli knows his way around a sandwich. The chef at Lardo, a popular sandwich shop with three locations in Portland, is the force behind crave-worthy sandwiches like the Griddled Mortadella with provolone, marinated peppers, and mustard aioli (his personal favorite and the first sandwich on the Lardo food cart menu), Cold Fried Chicken (served "leftovers style" with bacon, ranch dressing, and pickle slaw), and Spit-Roasted Porchetta with gremolata and caper mayo (a special item, available on Saturdays).
With so many knockouts on his own menu, Rick doesn't have to go far to score a solid sandwich, but even so, his cravings take him all over the city for everything from barbecued pork banh mi to PB&J. Scroll down to discover his top sandwich picks in Portland.
Rick Gencarelli's Favorite Sandwiches in Portland
The #5 from Binh Minh: A traditional and delicious banh mi that inspired Lardo's popular Pork Meatball Banh Mi sandwich. Barbecued pork and all of the usual fixings on a house made baguette. Pro tip: eat it while it's hot and wash it down with a Vietnamese iced coffee!
Grüner Burger from Grüner: Hands down the best burger in Portland! I will fight anyone that disagrees. House ground meat, house made pickles, house made everything right down to the ketchup. This is what I eat when I want a true "restaurant" burger. Nothing slutty about this.
The Double Down from Brunch Box: And now my dirty little secret. This thing is slutty and delicious. Two eggs, choice of two meats, and two cheeses. I'm not proud of it but sometimes it's gotta be done.
The Gallego from Evoe: Portuguese sardines, fennel slaw, pickled peppers and lemon aioli on warm ciabatta. An exercise in simplicity and restraint.
Bacon Egg & Cheese from Bunk: A classic! This always makes me homesick for New York. Tommy and Nick didn't reinvent this sandwich but recreated it perfectly right down to the poppy seed Kaiser roll.
The Spicy Thai from PBJ's Grilled: Forget everything you know about peanut butter and jelly. Get anything on the menu, even the ones that sound like they don't work. They do. The Spicy Thai has basil, orange marmalade and curry! I'm going to get one right now.
Fred Carlo Sausage at the Portland Farmer's Market: He makes his own and has for a very long time. There is nothing like one of Fred's sausages fresh off the grill. I like the spicy one with mustard, peppers and onions. Just delicious!
The Super Lamb from Aybla Grill: I find myself making excuses to go to Pittman Restaurant Supply so I can visit the new brick and mortar version of Aybla Grill right across the street. They do it right! Lamb meat carved right off of that lovely, compressed, garlicky meat stick and on to the griddle. It gets served on a warm, soft Alexis flatbread with a delicious sour cream based Tzatziki sauce...and Saied is one of nicest guys you ever want to meet.
Ice Cream Sandwich from Frice Pastry: Maybe I'm cheating a bit here, but it IS a sandwich, and an amazing one at that. Rich vanilla ice cream and salted chocolate cookies. The cookies are impossibly thin and crispy and it all stays together.
Bikini Sandwich from Ataula: This is what happens when a super talented chef imported from Spain makes a ham and cheese sandwich. Serrano ham, Mahon cheese, quince paste, and truffle butter.
Ultron Get Along from Eugenio's: A meatball sub that's like an old friend. Delicious meatballs and sauce on a roll that is soft and yielding but hearty enough to hold things together. And thank you, Eugene for putting the mozzarella on the bottom, like my mom used to make it.
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