here's a reference that will definitely date myself and leave post-millennials scratching their heads: “It's ... bacon!”
It’s been more than 20 years since the release of the famous Beggin’ Strips commercial, in which a hyper-active, hyper-hungry pooch is manically excited to be treated to what he thinks is regular delicious bacon (actually a modified doggie pork treat). Humans easily sympathized with this, for there is something about bacon (be it prepared burnt to a crisp or soft and juicy, as per one’s preference) that is undeniably appealing.
Even though I am on the low end of the bacon-adoration spectrum, I love me some salt-cured slabs of pork, especially when they are wedged between two slices of bread, and coupled with lettuce and tomato. You know, the awesome B.L.T. Here are my favorite B.L.T. sandwiches around town:
At $18.95, K&Z’s Just Bacon A Living is probably the most expensive in Houston, but also gives you the most pork for your pennies by leaps and, er, pounds, for this massive triple decker stacks at many, many ounces of browned bacon in between thin white bread toast. The lettuce and tomato are but an afterthought, rendering this B.L.T. a dream for bacon devotees.
There’s one reason to say basta! once in a while to Paulie’s terrific homemade pasta: to make its shrimp B.L.T. the primary object of your digestion. Crisp but not never overdone bacon, a single green lettuce leaf, Roma tomato slices, and shrimp sautéed in champagne vinegar and cream sauce are enclosed in a fluffy egg bun. The combination of farm and Gulf proteins brings tangy sweetness and porcine fat, respectively—the best of land and sea.
If bacon makes everything better, then frying things makes them finer. For evidence, see Tout Suite’s take on the B.L.T., which utilizes fried green tomatoes instead of the standard stuff. Their greasy heft is tempered by a refreshing piquant avocado chimichurri, though, never fear, you can eradicate any hope of this sandwich being healthful by swapping out the bread for a croissant.
Even if you’re not the boss, why not eat like one? Leeland House’s Boss B.L.T. (available during its everyday brunch) layers applewood smoked bacon, tomato, arugula, avocado, and white cheddar on thick slabs of sourdough. This large-and-in-charge B.L.T. can be made even more superior with an elective add-on: a fried egg.
It’s worth going out of your way to buy booze at the Downtown Spec’s just to tag on a visit to its fabulous in-store deli, which offers an impressive selection of designer sammies with cheery monikers such as the Lucky Lucy (pastrami, corned beef, Swiss, sauerkraut, chow-chow on pumpernickel). The B.L.T., made with pepper bacon, pepper jack cheese, and ancho mayonnaise on toasted jalapeño bread, is a steal at just under $6, and, as you might guess, provides that kick in the pants you need to get over that hangover.