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Rhode Island’s Best BLT’s

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Bread. A nice tomato. A couple of slices of your favorite lettuce. Smoky, crisp bacon. A little sweetness from mayonnaise or another spread. Sounds simple right? Well then, why is it that everyone from the best chefs to your neighborhood diner makes a B.L.T.? The answer is easy...it might, quite simply be the perfect sandwich. Chefs continue to add their own spin but it is basically the same sandwich we fell in love with as kids. We set out to find some examples of delicious B.L.T.s and came back with these 5...

Local 121, Providence

Man, we dream about this sandwich. It was that good. One of our favorite aspects of the now everywhere "farm to table movement" is chefs using whole animals in local restaurants. That means lots of housemade bacon being made in these parts and some of our favorite is at Local 121. When the Miller's took the first floor space at the historic, old Dreyfus Hotel they wanted a fresh, local restaurant that was rooted in the community. They certainly succeeded. Enough about them...on to that B.L.T. We can't pinpoint what exactly is the best part of this sandwich: the house baked foccacia? The black pepper mayo? The house smoked bacon? It's all pretty perfect. And when you put it all together it becomes a tour de sandwich. We've been back once already and this story is causing us to crave it again. It's that good. O.k....we figured it out...the bacon is the best part. Crisp and smoky, it will make you forget supermarket bacon in a heartbeat! 121 Washington St. 274-2121, www.local121.com

Hemenway's, Providence

This grande dame of the Providence dining scene is pushing 30 years old but don't think they've lost a step--the amazing staff makes sure of that. Owned by the Newport Restaurant Group, this is still a go-to destination for fish lovers and meat eaters alike. As we settled in for lunch, one of us didn't even open her menu. "Lobster B.L.T." is her response. How can you go wrong, really? Combine an all time classic sandwich with a favorite New England ingredient and you're off. Giant chunks of lobster meat tossed with a light mayonnaise dressing and served on a toasted, buttery, roll with bacon and lettuce and tomato. The bacon accents but doesn't overpower the delicate lobster and the sweetness of the tomato balances nicely. 121 South Main St. 351-8570, www.hemenwaysrestaurant.com

Cafe Choklad, Providence

This little cafe on North Main Street is a terrific place for lunch or coffee or dessert. Don't worry if the name is hard to pronounce, they won't ask you to say it before you order! We love this spot for their tasty black and white cookies. It's Seinfeld-ian. While we were waiting for said cookie we noticed the Cafe B.L.T.. We grabbed one and sat down. Country white bread is the vessel for their sandwich and we love the nod to the classic. The difference here is the addition of avocado to the usual suspects of ingredients. The creaminess of the avocado and the earthy flavor worked very well with the bacon and tomato. Another Choklad twist is the addition of cheddar cheese. The sharpness took a bite to get used to but now has become an at home add on for us. All in all, it is a very good B.L.T.--but don't forget the cookie! 2 Thomas St. 383-4764

Jigger's Hill and Harbour Diner, East Greenwich

Jigger's Diner is a classic Rhode Island diner spot. It has all the comfort food you would ever need. Typical diner fare is accented by local favorites such as Johnny Cakes. We love diners because if one member of your party wants breakfast and one wants lunch or dinner, you can get it. Straddling all meals is the B.L.T. Appropriate at breakfast, lunch or dinner, Jigger's has two versions to get you going. First is a classic with perfectly crispy white bread and bacon and second, a version with avocado taking the place of the bacon and a chipotle mayo. Also look up at the panini menu...notice the grown-up grilled cheese with bacon, tomato and baby spinach. Sounds suspiciously like a B.L.T. to us. Whichever one you choose it will be hot and well prepared--just like everything here. 145 Main St. 884-6060, www.jiggersdiner.com

O'Rourke's Bar and Grille, Warwick

One of our favorite local watering holes is O'Rourke's. Located on the line between Cranston and Warwick (in Pawtuxet Village) this is the kind of place where everyone knows your name. It's a fun little spot to have a cold one, watch the game and grab some good pub food. We love the fish and chips. The Irish nachos--house fried potato chips of course--are a favorite of our sister Amy. And of course...the B.L.T. Any Goodfellas fans out there? This B.L.T. is as big as your head Spider! If you've ever had the pleasure of visiting the Hash House in Las Vegas, you know the kind of giant sandwich we are talking about here. Is it a whole pound of bacon? We're not sure, but it's got to be close. We think that once you get your mouth around this sandwich it'll become a summer go-to. Grab a table with an umbrella on the patio and enjoy the sights and sounds and aromas of Pawtuxet Village. 23 Peck Lane, 228-7444, www.orourkesbarandgrill.com


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