By noon today, the line at Franklin Square's new burrito-sized sushi joint, Buredo, was down the block. Who would have thought? Apparently not even the owners.
"We've been blown away. We've been grappling to keep up with the demand," says co-owner Travis Elton, who comes from a business consulting background. "We had to double and triple our orders from our vendors."
The fast-casual restaurant opened this week and serves jumbo sushi rolls with nori, seasoned white rice, and different combinations of ingredients and flavors from around the world.
"We are fusion," says Elton, who's half-Peruvian, half-Norwegian, of the fusion flavors. His business partner Mike Haddad, a record producer and former DJ whose family has operated local delis, is Lebanese.
Haddad and Elton spent a year experimenting and fine-tuning the menu with help from chef consultants, including Tom Madrecki of Chez Le Commis. They went through 30 types of nori before settling on the one they use now.
The most popular of the seven options right now is the Beatrix with yellowfin tuna, salmon sashimi, cucumber, pickled cabbage, green onion, tempura crunch, unagi. Other rolls are filled with proteins like slow cooked pork shoulder, spicy beets, shrimp tempura. (See full menu below.) Although Haddad and Elton had initially played with an build-your-own roll option, they've decided it against it because of the potential for clashing flavors. Prices range from $8.85 to $11.75.
Buredo also serves a salad as well as snacks like wasabi peas, rice chips, and chocolate chip cookies with crisped rice. To drink, there are fresh juices and an orange-hibiscus tea slushie.
Local artist/bartender Patrick Owens decorated the interior with mural inspired by Blade Runner that pictures a futuristic Capitol and Chinatown skyline.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for now, but in the coming weeks, it plans to expand until 7 or 8 p.m. Buredo is also looking to get into catering, and eventually, expand.
"That process of thinking about the next step has been accelerated," Elton says, "because we just weren't expecting all this."
Buredo, 825 14th St. NW; (202) 670-6770; eatburedo.com
Photos by Jessica Sidman