Fast Casual 2.0 brands that are helping turn Washington, D.C., into a new capital of restaurant innovation.
Mike Haddad and Travis Elton are childhood friends and D.C. natives who, as long-time fans of the city’s foodservice scene, wanted to contribute their own restaurant destination. Neither had a foodservice background—Haddad was a record producer and Elton a business consultant—but they thought a fast-casual concept that married high quality with strong service could be a success.
Haddad says the two—who are joined by Haddad’s wife, Ariadne, on the leadership team—wanted to offer something unique to the D.C. dining masses, something beyond sandwiches and salads.
Enter the jumbo sushi roll, aka the sushi burrito.
“We married our love for sushi in a grab-and-go format, making it portable,” Haddad says. “We also wanted to explore unique flavors and ingredients, the unexpected and not traditionally Japanese or even Asian—basically elevating the flavors you’re used to eating in sushi.”
The menu at Buredo (which means “blade” in Japanese) includes signature options like the Pai Mei, with salmon sashimi, asparagus, pea shoot leaves, pickled red onion, daikon, katsuo mirin crunch, and toasted sesame mayo; the Sofie, with shrimp tempura, avocado, pickled cabbage, carrot, toasted sesame seeds, red tobiko, and sriracha mayo; and the Hanzo, with yellowfin tuna sashimi, avocado, cucumber, pickled fennel, arugula, tempura crunch, and lemon aioli.
The sushi rolls are between $8 and $12. There are also snacks like Rice Chips and Wasabi Peas for $2.
Buredo’s single location is small, with one communal table running down its center and colorful art from a local artist adorning the wall. Haddad says the team is already in growth mode, with plans to open additional D.C. locations and then to explore additional markets outside the District after that.