Dinner Out @ Gordo's

For a while there, Gordo's was under the radar.  When I opened up Cincinnati Magazine last fall and saw they had listed it as one of their top 2 burgers in the city, I was worried it'd be hard to get a table.  It was only a Tuesday night, but there was plenty of space in this top notch burger joint masquerading as a Norwood dive.

The Food: At Gordo's they have things other than burgers, and if you look at the Cincinnati Magazine article above you'll see they've gotten props for other menu items.  But, in our experience, it is all about the hamburger.  They've got specialties like the Jean-Robert and Gordo's, but lately Sarah and I have been keeping it simple.  There is definitely something to be said for beef + salt + pepper = burger.  At Gordo's it's more like eating a burger-shaped meatball with lots of flavor.  If there was any place for improvement, we think they could step up their bun game a bit.  Maybe something lighter? Maybe some butter?

Next best on the menu: the wings.  They're plump (not like BW3's - I am so glad I don't have to look at their scrawny chickens!) with a crispy finish, and Gordo's has some solid sauces - we had garlic with a side of mild for dipping.  Beyond that, not too much to say.  We ordered a chicken and smoked bacon sandwich (that barely had any bacon) with Saratoga chips - thinly mandolined potatoes that come with a sweet and smoky bbq sauce to dip.  Oh, and the steak fries that come with the burgers are pretty basic - crispy on the outside, better than the limp steak fry norm.

For beer fans, they've got a full selection of micro-brews by the bottle, as well as a number on tap.

The Ingredients:  Not aware of anything notable here.  They're clearly in tune with high quality though, so hopefully they'll get on the local, seasonal train sometime soon.  We had a local, free range chicken the day after our trip to Gordo's, and it was notably better.

The Story, Setting, & Service:  As I noted above, Gordo's is a bit off the beaten path in the Cincinnati landlocked municipality of Norwood (also the home of Amateur Foodies co-founders Ryan and Juliet).  Parking is plentiful in a lot next door, and once inside there's comfortable ambiance.  Low ceilings, hardwood floors, and a sizable bar make for a cozy feel.  The service is very friendly, the music from the 90's (REM was on the jukebox as we left) made us feel at home, and with TVs with NCAA basketball games on in all corners I was not wont for things to look at.  Gordo's owner used to be the chef de cuisine for the Jean-Robert Restaurant Group, and it shows.  Along with the food, we spotted Chef Joanne Drilling formerly of Lavomatic, then of Slim's, and now at Murphin Ridge Inn.

Especially if you're a hamburger lover, Gordo's is definitely worth putting in your rotation.

Gordo's Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon


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Sam said...

I would suggest adding a maccaroni & cheese on the side. To. Die. For.

Gavin DeVore Leonard said...

Thanks for the tip, Sam! We'll give it a shot next time...

sel in walnut hills said...

oh dear god, gordo's has the best saratoga chips i have ever had. do they have one of those carnival-type potato carvers?

Gavin DeVore Leonard said...

I don't know how they cut up those potatoes - I'll have to ask next time I go. Thanks for the comment!