Searching for a good BLT. The good, the bad, the ugly!

Mark-John Clifford

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Now That's a BLTN Y Times

I love a BLT. Bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches are the great equalizer for me. When I'm having a bad day, I get a BLT and eat the worries away.

I believe every chef, restaurant, owner, and kitchen workers should know how to make a great BLT. It's the mainstay of American food. Like the hot dog and hamburger, a great BLT is comfort food.

The thing I find is finding a great BLT isn't as easy as you would think. I can tell you from experience that finding the great illusive BLT is almost a quest into the netherworld in some locations.

For this review, the bad and the ugly are the same. The good comes after the bad and ugly. 

The Bad & The Ugly

Jus Jo's

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Jus Jo'sTrip Advisor

Recently, just about a week ago, I had that urge for a BLT. Patti and I were driving home from my doctor's appointment, and that urge crept up on me, and I blasted out to Patti, "I need a BLT." 

After she stopped laughing at my outburst and request, she asked, "where would we go to get it?"

So we went to our fallback site for breakfast and lunch, Jus Jo's. My first choice was Huckleberry's, our number one place for breakfast and lunch, but I knew they didn't have it on the menu. 

I knew Jus Jo's had a plain BLT and a BLTA (avocado). That's not an option for me when wanting a BLT. I like the original BLT. Nothing more.

The Rub

I mean, what's better than a juicy tomato that's in season sliced, not too thick or too thin, placed on top of fresh lettuce, that's crispy and not wilted. Then the bacon is put on top of the lettuce and tomato with mayo slathered on the bread of your choice.

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BLT on Italian BreadN Y Times

The bread you choose can change the entire taste of the beloved BLT. From sourdough to wheat to Italian (my favorite) to white, it is just a matter of your liking. I've tried them all, and I even went with rye bread one time, but nothing takes the place of plain white toast.

Back to Jus Jo's

When we arrived, we were seated quickly, and I was ready to order. Patti was still searching for something and finally decided on a roast beef sandwich on a croissant with bacon. 

We ordered, and I was drolling over the thought of finally having my beloved BLT after a day at the doctor's. 

Our lunch arrived, and the first thing I noticed was the toast wasn't hot. It wasn't even warm. It felt like it had been sitting on the counter for a little while.

Patti's sandwich looked great except for the look of the bacon. It looked cooked but not crispy like you would imagine.

My bacon looked the same. It looked almost wilted in a way. Not firm, crispy, or even hot to the touch. 

When I bit into the sandwich, expecting that crunch of the toast with the bacon, it didn't happen. I mean, nothing happened—no crunch of bacon, toast, or even the lettuce. 

The toast was cold. The bacon was cold. The lettuce was wilted, and the tomato was well juicy, but there wasn't much flavor. What the heck!

What I bit into was nothing like what I expected. I've had BLTs before at Jus Jo's, and they have always been good. Not great, but good and enjoyable. This time I was disappointed.

It wasn't just my sandwich either. Patti's bacon was like mine. It was wilted in a way. Not hot, nor warm. Just cold and limp. Disappointment on both our parts.

When something like this happens, it makes you wonder about the chefs in the back. I'm not going to blame an owner for something like this. IT's all on the chefs.

The BLT

A BLT is a staple in most restaurants. It isn't hard to make, but it does take attention to details. No one wants cold bacon or toast when they order a BLT. That takes away what you want. It takes away that crunch you expect and alters the entire taste of the sandwich and your dining experience.

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What a BLT!My Recipes

I understand that things happen, and there are days when the chef is having a bad day. I'm figuring that was what happened last week. At least, I hope that's the case.

The Good

McCoy's Coffee Shop-Selma

We go here whenever we bring our truck for service. I don't think we've ever had a bad meal at McCoy's. Whether it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner, each time we've dined there, it's been great.

Talk about a great BLT; McCoy's has one. I'm talking thick-cut bacon, fresh tomatoes, and lettuces that haven't wilted, and the crunchiest toast I've had in a long time.

You can tell the chefs at McCoy's care about their products. They care about the ingredients and how they are cooked and presented. It makes a huge difference when dining at a place.

I've had the BLT at McCoy's at least a dozen times, and never have I been disappointed at the results. Each time it's just as good as the last. There has never been a deviation in the recipe

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Classic BLTRed Sun Farms

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The bacon is always hot, crispy, and juicy. The same goes for the tomatoes they use and the lettuce. I've had the BLT on wheat, white, and sourdough and never had an issue. Even with wheat bread being dry most of the time, the sandwich is always flavorful and juicy.

It's just a perfect BLT!

Huckleberry's - Clovis

I bring this up again because, as I mentioned above, Huckleberry's doesn't have a BLT on its menu. Still, anytime I've ordered something with bacon, it's always cooked to perfection, so I asked the owner Ray about a BLT and why they don't have it on the menu?

This came about after telling him about my experience last week, to which he said, "Mark, I'll be glad to make you a BLT. It isn't on the menu, but ask, and I'll make you the best BLT you've ever had." A tall order that I plan to take him up on very soon. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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Classic BLTKraft Foods

Buon Apetito!

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Patti, my wife, and I write about life here in Fresno, California, and the Central Valley. We especially enjoy writing reviews about restaurants we've dined at along with the food that is served. We are not traditional food critics. We don't have to worry about restaurants making special dishes for us. We're just the average customer going in to dine and then we write reviews.

Fresno, CA
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