We’ve already mentioned that BCK Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures is big on nostalgia, with chef Jeff Fernandez using Cheez-Its in its mac 'n' cheese, offering a Shake ‘N’ Bake pork chop, and turning around a childhood classic with Psaghettio’s. But now the lunch menu is out, and there’s a tuna melt on it.
Saturdays in the Malcolm house, circa 1990, were typically simple affairs. I awoke at the absurd hour of 5 a.m. because I wanted the house to myself for a while. I retrieved the morning paper and spread it in front of me, picking apart each section while slurping the puddle of “chocolate milk” left in my bowl of Cocoa Krispies. Soon brothers and parents would awaken and join me in the living room. Mom would run errands. Dad would watch us before preparing the only meal he’d make each week: tuna fish sandwiches.
We all know tuna fish is redundant, but that’s what we called it. Dad expertly mixed the canned tuna with Hellman’s. He spread the meal onto white bread with pizzazz, then sliced the finished product into rectangular halves. No lettuce or tomato. No pickles. Not even bits of celery. Nothing fancy here, just a tuna fish sandwich, coupled with a gargantuan pile of Herr’s potato chips (salt & vinegar, preferably).
So, tuna in mayonnaise has always resided in a cozy nook of my heart, and BCK’s tuna melt hits that area, even though it’s elevated just enough. Instead of old reliable Hellman’s, BCK uses Duke’s Mayonnaise, whose yolk-heavy blend brings a rich tanginess. Celery adds crunch and a layer of red onions keeps things bitter. A generous spoonful of the tuna is placed between browned slices of Texas toast coated on the inside with yellow American cheese. The result is a beautiful indulgence.
The sandwich, served with a side of house-made potato chips, is a little hefty on the wallet at $11. But I think of Dad’s tuna as a cheap standby for a lazy Saturday, while the BCK tuna melt is a special trip to nostalgic ecstasy. And really go there: You can pair your tuna melt with a glass of Orange Crush.
BCK’s lunch service is available 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday and also features, among other dishes, a sweet-and-sour meatball banh mi, tomato soup with grilled cheese, a just-as-indulgent street corn with queso that you’ll want to eat all by yourself, and a spicy chicken pasta that nods to the dinner service’s Backhand Shrimp and throttles the palate with Korean chiles.