Tomato season has finally arrived. Hurrah! Celebrate with the world’s best sandwich, the BLT.
Birchwood Cafe chef Marshall Paulson makes the BLT a prime summertime event. The premium bacon (from Fischer Farms in Waseca, Minn.), heirloom tomatoes and fresh greens are more than enough to impress, but he doesn’t stop there, adding a lively sunflower-seed pesto and a spiced-up coulis composed with another summer joy, sweet corn. All atop barley- and molasses-fortified bread, toasted and liberally buttered. Price: $14.
3311 E. 25th St., Mpls., 612-722-4474, birchwoodcafe.com
The slider-style BLTs that the Moral Omnivore pumps out of its popular food truck are quickly developing hall-of-fame status. And why not? Panko-coated deep-fried tomato slices boast all kinds of crispy panache. Cabbage slaw, tossed in a creamy yogurt dressing, stands in for lettuce and mayo, and bacon (sublime heirloom Berkshire pork from Iowa’s Berkwood Farms) couldn’t be better. Price: $9 for a pair of sliders, or $8 without bacon, which seems somewhat unthinkable.
At Sandcastle, chef/co-owner Doug Flicker goes BLT old school: toasted white bread, an honest-to-goodness stack of first-rate bacon (from Thielen Meats in Pierz, Minn.), flavorful tomatoes, crispy iceberg lettuce and plenty of mayonnaise and black pepper, all served with a gorgeous side of Lake Nokomis views. Truly, bliss. Price: $7.50.
4955 W. Lake Nokomis Pkwy., Mpls., 612-722-5550, sandcastlempls.com
It’s hard to single out a favorite ingredient in the BLT at Yum! Kitchen and Bakery, because they’re all so good: colorful, locally raised heirloom tomatoes. Smoky, thick-cut bacon (from Nueske’s, the pride of Wittenberg, Wis.). A punchy garlic aioli. A chewy house-baked ciabatta roll. The ridiculously addictive (and made on the premises) potato chips are the proverbial icing on the cake. Price: $9.25.
4000 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-922-4000, yumkitchen.com