Sunday, June 29, 2014

Bardo's Grill

Bardo's Grill is located at the Cartlandia food pod (SE 82nd and Harney) in Portland, Oregon. Aldo opened this cart about three months ago.

The main feature here is burgers, but there are a few chicken options and protein-style (lettuce wrap) choices. Aldo, the owner, wastes no time in offering free samples of his secret BBQ sauce, a family recipe that goes on all burgers. To me, it's a very sweet KC-style sauce with the slightest kick. Very good stuff.

The more popular burgers on the menu include the Teriyaki burger (a teriyaki burger with pineapple and onion rings inside the burger) and the Grilled Cheese Burger (grilled cheese sandwiches for buns).

The Original Burger starts with a 1/3-lb patty, fresh veggies (lettuce, tomato, onion), a bit of garlic mayo, and Bardo's secret BBQ sauce.

Aldo let me sample the guacamole, which I am a big fan of. Again, freshly made with the slightest kick. I did order the Guacamole Burger ($8.50), which is basically the Original Burger with extra bacon and guacamole, but due to a miscommunication, I got the Original Burger instead.

High marks for the beef patty. It was a delicate patty, juicy and flavorful. I did feel the overall burger was a bit small for the price tag, which would have still been around $7.50 (if I recall correctly).

Having been to a few burger carts in the past, I immediately thought of a couple suggestions:

(1) An option to toast the bun (or at least toast it more). Love toasted hamburger buns.
(2) Be a bit more liberal on the garlic mayo and BBQ sauce, as mine received just a sliver of each. Gotta stand by your cart-made products.

The main menu has quite a few options, but it appears focused on burgers using beef, chicken, and vegetarian substitutions. It's the chalkboard that made me a little more concerned. I saw dessert and mac & cheese bites being offered at the time of my visit. I'm not sure a burger cart would necessarily need to expand that far. There's a finite amount of space in the cart, so hopefully all the space is being used properly.

Aldo mentioned he wanted to open seven days a week, starting at lunch and staying open through the late nights. That's an extremely tall order for one person to handle. While he's training employees, I hope that the employees have mastered the quality on all the menu items.

I think this cart has very good promise. I received a delicious burger. I simply hope that Aldo is not taking on too much too quickly. 7/10

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