Dreaming of the Perfect BLT

Flickr BLT Porn.jpg
Flickr
Apparently summer is here, which means it's time to start the hunt for the perfect rendition of the greatest summer sandwich of all time: the BLT. Every season, when tomatoes start to perk up, my BLT craving kicks into overdrive. Yet stellar renditions are scarce, even though the sandwich is so simple its name is its recipe. In fact, I've never encountered a BLT better than those I make at home.

Here's what I'm looking for.

Bacon: thick cut, smoky, salty, high-quality, cured swine cooked to a crunchy texture so sublime it invokes potato chips, perfect baguettes and other crumbly things that end up in your lap.

Lettuce: crisp neutral roughage that explodes into a watery coolness as you crush it with your teeth. Freshness is paramount, and lowly iceberg, typically relegated to terrible salad bars and wedge salads at steakhouses, reigns supreme.

Tomato: the whole reason we wait till summer for the perfect BLT. Through the late fall, winter and early spring, grocery store tomatoes tease us with orbs that over promise with their crimson skins, and then under deliver dry cottony interiors. Without an absolutely stellar example at the height of it's season you're better off just eating a bacon sandwich.

The bread must be sturdy. When you find all the right ingredients you'll want to use them with reckless abandon. A simple slice of white bread is no match for a sandwich that holds an entire tomato cut into slices as thick as your palm. Find a rustic round of sour dough from a good local bakery and cut the bread into thick slices.

Your finished sandwich should stand at least 10 inches tall. It should take purposeful compression and great dexterity to manage even a first bite. Halfway through consumption, mayonnaise-logged tomato slices should slide out the sides and back of the sandwich. Tomato juice and seeds should run down your elbows.

A sandwich this good should be eaten with great enthusiasm and voracity, preferably over a kitchen sink. I don't think a single BLT has ever made it out of my kitchen.


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16 comments
Steve S.
Steve S.

One word. Wingfield's. They rightfully are known for great burgers, but the BLT is in another league altogether. Delicious!

214holly
214holly

So where is the best in town?  I keep looking and I'm usually disappointed.  I'll try Crossroads for sure.

twinwillow
twinwillow

I miss the simple BLT's my mother made for me when I was a kid.They certainly wouldn't be considered "gourmet" with all the ingredients coming from the local A & P grocery store. Including the commercial branded white bread which was toasted and of course spread with Hellman's mayo.

Mervis
Mervis

Don't bash til you've tried: Peanut Butter on one slice and Miracle Whip on the other.

sass
sass

Dude. Go have the BLT at Crossroads Diner. By itself, it is pretty fantastic. With the additional of an over-easy egg and avocado, it's spectacular. Seriously, you can thank me later.

cp
cp

Have you been reading my facebook page? Last week I posted a question to my friends, because my dad wanted to know what, if anything, could be done to a BLT to make it somehow "better". I got a ton of responses, ranging from adding cheese and caramelized onions, to using jalepeno pesto. A cousin suggested more bacon, and while I agreed, I said "another BLT". But you are absolutely right and since I happen to have all the ingredients here, guess what's for dinner? 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Far too many time the bacon comes out overcooked/burnt.  I nice crisp crunchy middle with a soft fatty end is my perfect bacon

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

I heartily approve and agree. Don't know why something so good and easy should be so rare. Iceberg is incredibly underrated and perhaps perfect for a BLT. Sometimes if I can get the spiny ridged type of arugula I will use it for lettuce. A nice French mayo is a pleasant indulgence. I am usually too hungry or lazy to make a fresh aoli.

Tomatoes are good this year now that I found some local heirlooms.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

The key is.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... 

Artist: Guy ClarkSong: Homegrown Tomatoes Album: Keepers [LIVE]Guy Clark Sheet MusicGuy Clark CDs

Ain't nothin' in the world that I like betterThan bacon & lettuce & homegrown tomatoesUp in the mornin' out in the gardenGet you a ripe one don't get a hard onePlant `em in the spring eat `em in the summerAll winter with out `em's a culinary bummerI forget all about the sweatin' & diggin'Everytime I go out & pick me a big oneHomegrown tomatoes homegrown tomatoesWhat'd life be without homegrown tomatoesOnly two things that money can't buyThat's true love & homegrown tomatoesYou can go out to eat & that's for sureBut it's nothin' a homegrown tomato won't curePut `em in a salad, put `em in a stewYou can make your very own tomato juiceEat `em with egss, eat `em with gravyEat `em with beans, pinto or navyPut `em on the site put `em in the middlePut a homegrown tomato on a hotcake griddleIf I's to change this life I leadI'd be Johnny Tomato Seed`Cause I know what this country needsHomegrown tomatoes in every yard you seeWhen I die don't bury meIn a box in a cemetaryOut in the garden would be much betterI could be pushin' up homegrown tomatoes

Allie Seago
Allie Seago

The greatest BLT I've ever had was down in San Antonio at a place called Swede's. It comes, with the BLT ingredients piled high, on sturdy jalepeno cheddar bread. Damn that sandwich is so delicious.

LJT
LJT

If the bacon came from Smoke I could do without the lettuce, the tomato, and well...the bread.  Man I love their bacon

twinwillow
twinwillow

Crossroads serves great food!. Just remember, they close tight at 2:00PM and are not open for dinner.

cp
cp

"Halfway through consumption, mayonnaise-logged tomato slices should slide out the sides and back of the sandwich." I know. You didn't read anything past the picture...

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

And the Tribute to Gary Clark CD is really excellent

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