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Best BLT in the Bay Area

So where's the best BLT in the Bay Area?

I understand prime tomato season has just passed, but I just read a post about Aidell's bacon and a BLT, so it got me thinking. (Search came up with nibbles.)

In late July I went to Lulu's, expecting an exceptional BLT as in the past. Perhaps tomato season wasn't fully in swing...but it was disappointing. Well at $12.95, it was, if it was $7 bucks, I'd probably say very good.

In the past couple of weeks I've had BLTs at Lee's Deli (hard to argue w/ $3.50) and Mel's (surprisingly good) but neither were outstanding.

So the question then is: where's the best BLT in the Bay Area...and what were the specific components like (bacon, lettuce, tomato and bread) like?

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  1. My favorite is a little more overdone than traditional, but the whole it just soooo good. Zazie on Cole Street in Cole Valley makes a BLT with a tomato grilled with provencal seasonings, dressed baby greens, bacon that is crispy enough for me me but not so crispy that it breaks and falls out of the sandwich and goat cheese. I never thought I would like a BLT with a cooked tomato and cheese, but I was wrong.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Meredith

        ditto this -- the Zazie BLT is near perfection, and like Meredith, I thought I was a BLT purist until I ate it.

      2. The Cardinal on Meridian in SJ makes a darned fine BLT and a lot cheaper than $12.95! John's Xlnt Food on Lincoln (again in SJ) makes the best I've had in the South Bay. The Or'ginal Hickory Pit in Campbell on Campbell Avenue once made a GREAT BLT but I haven't been there in two years so a very mild recommendation there.

        3 Replies
        1. re: The Ranger

          You seem to be the only one from the San Jose area. Have you tried the BLT at the Flames. Always good quality and add a piece of the Neopolitan and life doesn't get much better. Happy dining!

          1. re: othervoice

            I never think of hitting Flames unless I'm at the Century theatres on Winchester... Which Flames do you recommend? There's a few: El Camino in Santa Clara, Winchester in SJ, Meridian(?) in the Willow Glen area... The one on Winchester does a mean stroganoff on egg noodles and their cakes are HUGE!

            1. re: The Ranger

              I know what you mean about those cakes. Winchester was always my favorite. I hear they bought up Bill's Cafe in Willow Glen and I'm sure that would be a good choice. Santa Clara was always a disappointment, I believe it was owned by different family members. I miss them all!! Try the carrot cake it's six layers and mouth watering. Spent many a breakfast there also, can't think of anything that wasn't good.

        2. The BLT is the Saturday special sandwich at Chow in the Castro. They add avocado. The bacon is thick, and the avocado is generous. It's one of the best I've ever had. Around $8 I think.

          1 Reply
          1. re: david kaplan

            I'll second the Saturday special sandwich at Chow.

          2. There is a delicious BLT (or blt-ish) bocadillo at cesar in berkeley. I don't remember the precise components right now, but I remember the whole being at least equal to the sum of its parts, and the parts used at cesar are high-quality.

            1. I think Taylor's (in the ferry building & Napa) makes a damn good BLT.

                1. Alrighty then, now I have a list. I'll probably try Taylor's in the Ferry Building tomorrow and Chow (Park probably) if I'm near in the future. If I'm in Cole Vally, definately Zazie. (One problem with all this info is keeping it handy while you're driving by.)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ML8000

                    Keeping your restaurant lists handy is the subject of this ongoing thread on the Not About Food board: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                  2. Ah yes...need a smart phone or PDA...technology...makes sense...grr.

                    On the subject note, I had the Hayes St. Grill BLT w/ Hobbs bacon on baggett today at the Ferry Bldg Farmer's Market -- v. good, but two pieces of bacon on a baggett is really an hor'dourve.

                    1. If you're in the neighborhood, Crossroads Cafe (of Delancey St family of businesses) made a great BLT when I worked in the area. Good thick Hobbs bacon, good tomatoes in season, crisp lettuce, not too much mayo, all on good sandwich-quality toasted whole wheat bread. Option to add avocado. Not destination food, unless it's a lovely day and then their back garden is an excellent place to while away an hour or tow, in which case you sholuld finish with a shake (and a long walk).

                      1. Neli's Deli on Stevens Creek in Cupertino. Near the post office. nothing fancy they just have it down right.

                        1. Prime tomato season has not passed! At least not in my backyard. My tomatoes have just started ripening in the last two weeks. I made my 1st batch of sauce a week ago.

                          1. Caffe Intermezzo on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley has a ridiculously big BLTA (the A is for Avocado) sandwich that can feed 2 people for $5. More importantly, it's delish.

                            I recommend getting the half sandwich, half salad deal and getting that with salad with their signature poppyseed dressing.

                            1. My best BLT was at Eddie Rickenbackers on 2nd St in SF. Early afternoon, barely any customers. It's really a bar but the BLT was perfect. White bread was perfectly toasted(any other bread is not authentic). Tomatoes were ripe and tasted like tomatoes. Perfect amount of mayo. Bacon was thick and perfectly crisp. Oh yeah...the lettuce was fresh too.