Sardi’s – Pollo a La Brasa
There exists a humanistic appeal to eating at small, family-run restaurants which you cannot find in chain restaurants. Chain restaurants have no face, no personality; they’re places that serve food but not much more. Restaurants like Sardi’s, on the other hand, have history. Local restaurants begin with people who believe that happiness can be born through food and that others will appreciate their food. So naturally, I want small neighborhood restaurants to succeed. Eating at one of these restaurants becomes more than just a foray into cuisine. Eating becomes an act of support for local eateries and a motion of rebellion against incorporated restaurants.
Sardi’s carries a friendly, family-vibe even though the restaurant felt cold—temperature-wise—when I went. Seating is spacious and the atmosphere carries noise fluidly. I can imagine that the noise might become unbearable on a busy night, but luckily, I visited on a quiet day.
According to their website, Sardi’s specializes in charcoal broiled chicken, so naturally, I ordered a family-sized meal of one whole chicken and two large sides. Actually, I ended up with three sides, but I am not sure how.The chicken itself was flavorful, well-cooked, and fairly juicy. However, the skin lacked in comparison. I am not complaining though, since I do not give chicken skin more than a taste—neither should you! Paired with Sardi’s three special sauces, the chicken packed quite a kick. The green salsa verdé sauce had a subtle spiciness that increased as I dug deeper and deeper into the dish, and the white sauce—well, quite frankly, I forgot what it tasted like. The yellow sauce was still good nonetheless, since I do not remember complaining about anything.
The seasoned rice at Sardi’s could serve as a stand-alone dish. A mix of spice and salt lays a foundation for the odd pea or corn kernel mixed into the soft bed of rice, and a light glaze of oil covers each individual fragment of the dish.
The french fries were bland, but the fried plantains overshadowed such pale flavors. Although I had never tried plantains before and, therefore, lack a standard for comparison, Sardi’s fried plantains were soft and mildly sweet. The only disappointment was the excessive amount of oil in which the plantains were covered in.
While the food does not merit any accolades—it is merely good, the price does. Sardi’s portions are generous, and individual plates are mostly under ten dollars. In most restaurants, a single dish will cost ten dollars, but at Sardi’s ten dollars yields a main dish and two sides. Plus, if you choose the sides correctly—vegetables and other low-carb options, Sardi’s can become an arguably healthy restaurant.
430 N Frederick Ave
Gaithersburg, MD 20877