The BLT is one of America's greatest comfort foods. When the craving for this hearty sandwich strikes, look to these San Diego restaurants, who are raising the old classic up a notch by adding elements as varied as avocado and tempura-battered fish.
Man Candy BLT
Bacon with a good sweet and a spicy flavor blend has earned the nickname "man candy," so Fig Tree Cafe created a BLT in its honor. Man candy bacon is glazed with maple syrup and cayenne pepper and packed with tomato, iceberg lettuce, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses and garlic aioli between two slices of buttery sourdough bread.
Encontro created this BLT with avocado lovers in mind. Perfectly toasted sourdough bread holds together applewood bacon, baby gem lettuce, heirloom tomatoes and avocado with a layer of kewpie mayonnaise. The latter is a very popular style of rice vinegar mayo developed in Japan almost a century ago.
Encontro North Park, 3001 University Ave., North Park. encontronorthpark.com
Cusp goes a bit more gourmet by adding seared yellowtail, pickled carrots, shallots and jalapeño aioli to its BLT. The "B" is a maple peppered bacon, although it could also perhaps stand for "best view," as it has one of the best in town.
Cusp Dining & Drinks, 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla. cusprestaurant.com
BLT Taco from Saltbox
Yes, BLTs happen in taco form at Saltbox, where they wrap braised bacon, salsa roja aioli, and arugula in a housemade tortilla. It's part of their daily taco program, so if you have a hankering for it, call ahead to check availability or ask for it as an off-menu item.
Saltbox, 1047 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. saltboxrestaurant.com
Double Decker BLT
Is there a more classic place for a hearty BLT than a '50s diner? Corvette Diner's enormous option involves bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo layered between three slices of toasted sourdough bread. It's served with skin-on fries (and even more decadent when paired with a milkshake).
Corvette Diner, 2965 Historic Decatur Road, Liberty Station, Point Loma. cohnrestaurants/corvettediner
Lobster + Fontina BLT Sandwich
C Level's house-made lobster and white fish salad is delicious in its own right. But when slipped into a BLT with jalapeño cheddar sourdough bread, it becomes even more epic. The decadent sandwich also comes with a side of sherry lobster bisque.
C Level Lounge, 880 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego. cohnrestaurants.com/islandprime
Crispy Fish BLT
Break from touring Balboa Park's museums at The Prado with a BLT. Here, this means tempura battered fish, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, arugula and a lemon caper aioli.
The Prado, 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park. cohnrestaurants.com/theprado
Katie Dillon is a lifestyle and travel writer who believes that one of the best ways to explore a city is through its food and drinks. Follow her adventures on social media at @lajollamom and send any tasty ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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