- Allie D'Augustine
I've been craving BLTs lately, ordering them at a lot of places, and coming up with mediocre specimens... Is it even *possible* to find a good BLT out, or do I have to make it at home? With good warm, toasted bread, flavorful tomatoes, crispy bacon (Oscar Meyer is perfect for a BLT, I think, even though slab is better if you're eating it straight). Homemade mayonaise, maybe? Yum... I'm making myself hungry. I could put a ton of work into constructing a good BLT (no wonder they're usually mediocre!), but I'd love to find a good one out somewhere.
My favorite BLT is at "First", on 1st Ave. between 5th & 6th St. It's HUGE, and can easily be shared as an app, or one can have it as a big meal. I think it has avacado on it. I like my bacon crisp and well done, you'll have to specify it beforehand if you like it like that too, otherwise it comes out too undercooked. It costs about $12.00, but, it's the size of 4 typical BLT's.
There is nothing like a good BLT, except perhaps Peking Duck! (See Chinese Gastronomy, by Hsiang-Ju Lin, one of the great books on food ever, which makes this comparison.) Ultimately, though, I think you have to make your own.
Allie, just reading your post has me positively craving a BLT. But I can't think of a 'worthy' place on the Upper West Side to get one -- there may be plenty of places, but I haven't found them. Much as I'd prefer not to 'cook,' I think I like your idea of making them at home. Maybe with those nice Israeli vine ripe tomatoes. And yes, Oscar Meyers bacon is a must - get the Hearty Thick Slice for a more slab-like taste. I nuke it with paper towels underneath and one on top to get it really crisp. As for mayo, I like to add capers to my Hellman's. Thanks for reminding me of BLTS - one of my nostalgic favorites.
I love the Italian BLT at 'ino on Bedford Street. It's made on tramezzini (the white bread with the crusts cut off) with pancetta, very ripe tomatoes, arugula, and a lemon mayo. Paradise between two slices.
They're not perfect, but the BLT at Island Burger (9th bt 51 and 52) is better than most out there. They actually realize that the bacon needs to be good and crispy. The place also usually has very good tomatoes and lettuce, too. You can also get pretty much the same thing at the sister Sandwich Planet further south on 9th.
Unfortunately, I have sometimes seen that they have a tendency to dry out the bacon. Not sure how they actually do this, as the bacon is not burnt, just a little dry...