Lardo, Portland, Oregon
Lardo, a food joint run out of a little clapboard cottage parked at 43rd and Belmont in Portland, has been “bringing fatback since 2010,” referring to a cut of meat from a pig’s back. Lardo’s owner and chef Rick Gencarelli compares it to bacon, just without the meat. One of his favorite ingredients, he uses it generously—especially, when preparing his hand-cut French fries.
Gencarelli, previously the head chef at the award-winning Shelburne Farms in Vermont, has centered his vision for Lardo on two things: Italian flavors and local farmers. His seasonal menu features fresh deli sandwiches, including the much-raved-about grilled mortadella. Serious Eats cooed over the sandwich in December. And, according to the Willamette Week, the sloppy mortadella, with pickled peppers and gooey provolone “absolutely kills.” – MG