BLT-Inpired Campbell’s Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Some nights, when Violet and I are rocking in her nursery, singing and reading as she gets sleepy, I whisper in her ear, wondering if she is a Buddha. “Yeah” she replies absently, and I think she is telling the truth. Mostly silent, with eyes full of sparkling knowing, her habits and behaviors are mysterious and wonderful. If you observe her closely, you just might think she’s the wisest kid in the world.

Toddlers are known for their tantrums, for their keen ability to melt down into a puddle of impotent rage, punching and kicking with small fists and feet at a perceived injustice or incorrect order of events. This seems to me a much more legitimate means of coping with reality. Adults turn inward, seethe, sulk, transfer, project, gossip and get sick. Toddlers are immediate and decisive in their fury, they go totally bananas and then move on, relieved and unburdened, to the next thing.

Violet eats when she is hungry, voraciously and with both hands – the fork or spoon I’ve encouraged her to use resting on the high chair tray. If she doesn’t like something she throws it to the dog, insouciantly. And when the day is over, she takes her bottle, a book, and a bunny, and say’s “Bye” as I set her in her crib. She sings to herself, looks at books, and babbles until she falls asleep.

I find wisdom in her actions all day long. She doesn’t negotiate with the world or tailor her behavior to suit society or anyone else. She is spontaneous, like a bird. She is quick to laugh and to cry. She is completely present and in the moment, here and now.

I thought because I don’t have a kid that speaks (yet) I wouldn’t have anything to contribute to this campaign. But as soon as I thought about it for a second I realized how much I am learning from her already. Kids are curious and kind, bold and cautious and unfiltered and hilarious. They all have so much to say. We need to listen and follow their lead.

After reviewing The Wisest Kid in the Whole World™ widget on Campbell’s website, I took inspiration from their collection of fun, quick, kid-friendly meal ideas, and I came up with a fun recipe for the whole family. With more than 144 years experience in the condensed soup game, Campbell’s is our go-to tomato soup. Everyone sits down the same supper, but each person can tailor it to his likes. Dad can add more bacon to his bowl. I like a lot of soft, buttery lettuce and spice. Violet grins as she dunks the same bite of grilled cheese over and over, sucking off the sweet and creamy tomato soup. I use a mild cheddar to make my grilled cheese sandwiches. But feel free to use American, Swiss, or whatever floats your boat.

BLT Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

5 from 1 reviews

BLT-Inpired Campbells Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Serves: Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 1 can Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup, prepared according to directions
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 6 strips of thick-cut bacon, diced, cooked, and drained
  • 1 small head of soft, leafy green lettuce, chopped
  • 2 grilled cheese sandwiches, crusts cut off, and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Chives, for garnish

Method
  1. Prepare soup according to the can directions in a medium-size soup pot. Keep it simmering on low and season with salt, pepper, and paprika, if desired. Stir bacon and lettuce into the pot. Ladle soup into bowls, and garnish with grilled cheese pieces.

Want to find more inspiration from Campbell’s, and the Wisest Kid in the Whole World? Click here to ask your question now!

Seared Scallop BLT with Candied Maple Bacon

I don’t have an anecdote about bacon-wrapped scallops. I do have a bacon-wrapped shrimp anecdote, so I am going to tell that and then shoehorn scallops in at the end. Have you ever tried to shoehorn a scallop? Not as easy as one might think.

I did recently enjoy some fried scallops at Bill’s Seafood at the singing bridge in Westbrook, Connecticut. They were sweet, plump, and buttery and even though Bill’s is by no means the best fish restaurant on the CT shoreline between Old Saybrook and Guilford, it is one my my favorite places because of the usual suspects of boozers at the bar, the boaters on the deck in the summer, and the band that has played every Friday night since I was sixteen and would sneak in to try to get served alcohol with my friends, and, come to think, probably long before.

Old couples get up and dance among the tables and it’s wonderful. From April through October, you can sit outside and feed French fries to seagulls, and in winter it’s extremely warm and cozy inside, and good to feel you’re near the water, even if it’s too cold to eat outdoors. It’s a most familiar place I miss whenever I’m away. I met my high school friends there when we were all home for Christmas, and it felt like time had stopped, for a minute. If you’re ever in Westbrook or Clinton, go there, you’ll see what I mean.

So it seems I have enough of a scallop story. Forget the shrimp. Let’s get on with the food.

This is just so genius. One of those why-didn’t-we-think-of-it-ourselves creations. If you serve these to your friends at a party, they will find you sexy and insightful. You could certainly simplify the recipe by using Hellmann’s (Best Foods) mayonnaise, a product we fully endorse, and not glazing your bacon in honey mustard maple glaze. But why would you NOT glaze your bacon in honey mustard maple glaze?! It’s a total winner and you probably have all of these condiments/pantry staples on hand already.

The same is true for the mayonnaise, which you can feel free to season any way you like, but I love the way its smoky spice complements the sweetness of the bacon and bitter bite of arugula. Just add the oil slowly, and whisk continuously and it won’t break, probably. As for the scallops, buy the largest, most beautiful sea scallops you can find. You will be temped to eat them when you pluck them from the pan, all brown and buttery. But, wait, if you can. Or buy extra scallops. Yes, do that. You won’t regret it.

And the tomatoes – well, I found a box of tomatoes branded “Backyard Farms Cocktail Tomatoes” available at our grocery store, which are New England grown and manage to be pretty delicious for January tomatoes. They are sweet and even smell like tomatoes. And they happened to be the perfect size for this project. Cherry tomatoes, I’m sure, will also work well. Serve with crusty bread, a salad, and a Belgian white beer.

… 

Read More »

BLT-Flavored Lay’s Potato Chips vs. Actual Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato

Introduction: Doesn’t it seem like junk food has gone particularly crazy lately? We’ve got bags of Bugles that taste just like caramel corn, fast-food tacos that use a giant nacho cheese Dorito as a shell, cheeseburgers that use grilled cheese sandwiches in place of buns, and vanilla ice cream sundaes studded with bacon. And now (finally!), there’s this: Lay’s potato chips that taste like a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich.

My expectations weren’t high. My snacking career began in the 1980s, when our flavor options were few: Things either tasted like barbecue, or they tasted like nachos. Until the advent of Cool Ranch Doritos (and the immediate division in the school cafeteria between the haves and have-nots), those were your options. Anything more ambitious or complicated in the flavor department failed miserably, and wound up tasting mostly like an exhaled burp.

Since then, something has changed. Food scientists worldwide have gotten much more aggressive, getting in your face and daring you to try their outlandish new chemical flavors. Now, potato chips miraculously manage to taste like both buffalo wings AND bleu cheese, or to somehow duplicate the multilayered flavors of an entire loaded baked potato. The Lay’s BLT Potato Chips are no different, as I learned after my first bag. Instead of being awash in synthetic bacon flavor, it seemed like I was able to make out the distinct bacon, lettuce, and tomato seasonings on each chip. I became immediately convinced that I was tasting the pinnacle of laboratory flavor technology, that even without the bag’s giant photograph of a sandwich to let me know what I was supposed to be tasting, my brain would be completely fooled into thinking that I was eating not potato chips, but a real, honest-to-goodness bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich.

If this was true, if the good people at Lay’s had managed to make a convincing bacon, lettuce, and tomato-flavored chip, shouldn’t I be able to substitute them for actual bacon, lettuce, and tomato in a sandwich?

[one_half last="no"]BLT Lays Potato Chips

The BLT-Flavored Lay’s Potato Chip BLT

Ingredients: Sliced oatmeal bread, a tablespoon of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and a handful of Lay’s “BLT” flavored potato chips.

Expectations: According to the bag, Lay’s BLT potato chips “Start[s] with farm-grown potatoes,” as I’m almost certain nearly all potatoes do, “then our chefs add a delicious blend of bacon, ripe tomatoes and cool lettuce to our all-natural seasonings for the classic taste of a fresh-made BLT.” It’s beautiful language for what looks, essentially, like a sour cream and onion potato chip. On bread. With mayonnaise. Expectations were low.

Tasting/Preparation Notes: I don’t add potato chips to my sandwiches, normally. And I’ve certainly never made a sandwich that was ALL potato chips. The resulting sandwich wasn’t half bad, with tons of crunch and a pleasant textural contrast between the soft packaged bread and the crisp potato chips. The chips tasted different as an ingredient in the sandwich, than they did on their own; I was able to detect a faint bacon flavor, and a “tartness” that I suppose you could associate with tomato flavoring, but that was about it. I imagine that if I had really hit rock-bottom, I could eat this sandwich again, and manage to convince myself it was a BLT, but it seems like that kind of effort would be better spent trying to find gainful employment, or break my debilitating addiction to bathsalts.[/one_half]

[one_half last="yes"]BLT Lays Potato Chips

The Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato BLT on Toasted Sourdough

Ingredients: Sliced sourdough bread, lightly toasted, a tablespoon of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, two slices of tomatoes, a slice of lettuce, and three strips of Oscar Mayer “Super Thick Cut” bacon, cooked in a skillet.

Expectations: It’s tough for me to get worked up about lettuce and off-season tomato, but holy Hannah, this bacon is insane. Each strip is about the thickness of three or four “regular” strips of bacon. Eating a BLT made with this bacon would be like eating a burnt pork chop sandwich. Needless to say, expectations were high.

Tasting/Preparation Notes: As expected, the meaty crunch of the thick-sliced bacon was intense. The juice from the tomatoes mixed with the mayonnaise, oozing into every nook and cranny in the toasted bread. As it turns out, nothing tastes as much like bacon as actual bacon, in spite of the tireless efforts by the experts at the Lay’s flavor laboratories. The sandwich was outstanding, if a little exhausting; the dense, chewy bread was a lot to get through, and the fat blast from the bacon made me feel a little bit like I had been in a fistfight by the time I finished this sandwich. As an aside, I have only ever been in very gentle, flavorful fistfights. The contrasting flavor, texture, and temperature in the classic version is exactly what you would expect from a well constructed bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich.[/one_half]

Conclusion: Lay’s BLT-Flavored Potato Chips don’t taste the first thing like a BLT.

 

Today’s Sandwich: Turkey BLT Panini (Little Dog Coffee Shop)

Little Dog Coffee Shop on UrbanspoonToday’s sandwich is the “Turkey BLT Panini” It combines smoked turkey, lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese with basil mayonnaise on focaccia.

Location: 87 Maine Street, Brunswick
Price:
$7.95
Notes:
Could the great state of Maine be the last remaining stronghold for the lowly wrap sandwich? I thought that, as a nation, we had agreed that “wrap sandwiches” are awful, and not at all sandwiches, in the same way that a taco is not a sandwich, and a hot dog is not a sandwich. I thought that we had collectively filed them away as glorified cold salad burritos, chalked them up to more goofiness from California, along with Rollerblading, hackeysacks, and putting chicken on pizza. In Maine, though, the wrap (and its dopey Italian cousin, the panini) occupies great broad sections of many an overhead menu chalkboard, in whole wheat, spinach, and gluten-free varieties that long ago abandoned any respect for the careful balance of bread, meat, and cheese that make a truly great sandwich. When I see a menu that features lots of wraps, I can’t help but feel like the shop is paying more attention to an expired trend, than they are to creating truly outstanding sandwiches.

At the Little Dog Coffee Shop, most sandwiches are offered as either a wrap, or a toasted panini. It’s just one part of the large coffee shop’s decidedly 1990s atmosphere, completed by the gallery-style artwork, the dark red paint, the worn oversized furniture, and the bored, disaffected staff. Today, I opted for the “Turkey BLT,” grilled and pressed panini-style. I was very impressed by the care given to the choice of the sandwich’s ingredients, and the pedigree of those ingredients is listed right on the menu. The smoked turkey comes from Bisson Farms in Topsham. The focaccia is baked offsite. There are big, thick slices of sharp cheddar cheese, and beautiful, thinly-sliced tomatoes. There’s a layer of homemade basil-infused mayonnaise inside. This careful selection of ingredients is reflected in the sandwich’s nearly $8 price tag.

Unfortunately, they didn’t assemble into a sandwich I particularly enjoyed. The few meager bits of smoked turkey were buried under a ton of hot lettuce, and the quality of the cheddar and tomato was obscured by the oddly tangy basil mayonnaise. The bacon was barely a factor, its thin, microwaved quality adding neither flavor nor crunch. The focaccia was pleasingly crusty and chewy, though perhaps a little intense for the sandwich’s other ingredients. The combination tasted rather puzzlingly like herbal tea. I ate the first half, picked apart the rest, and tossed most of it. If I have the urge to think about Kurt Cobain, watch someone draw in a sketchbook, drink coffee from a presspot, use my laptop in public, or get my nose pierced, I will head first to the Little Dog Coffee Shop. I will probably not return for this sandwich.

Today’s Sandwich: Turkey BLT (Wild Oats Bakery & Cafe)

Wild Oats Bakery & Cafe on UrbanspoonToday’s sandwich is the “Turkey BLT” from the Wild Oats Bakery & Cafe in Brunswick. It combines smoked turkey, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise on fresh-baked potato bread.

Location: 149 Maine Street, Brunswick
Price:
$6.95
Notes: Located in the picturesque Tontine Mall in Brunswick, next to a shop that seems to exclusively sell handknit hats shaped like animal faces, and another storefront given over to some kind of racetrack for slot car enthusiasts, the Wild Oats Bakery & Cafe is surprising in its scale. Spanning the entire back half of the mall’s main level, Wild Oats enormous space is divided into no less than three different food prep areas, including a hot soup bar with fourteen varieties of hot soup and chowder (including vegan and vegetarian offerings), a sandwich station selling freshly-made sandwiches, salads, and burritos, a counter filled with breads, pies, and sweet rolls, a full-service coffee station, and a wall of coolers filled with drinks and take-home containers of macaroni and cheese, soup, and chili. The store opens into a sunlight-filled atrium, where dozens of people slurp their midday soup and chat, and the bakery’s large staff buzzes around in matching company t-shirts.

There’s a kind of mid-1990s vibe in Wild Oats Bakery & Cafe that I can’t quite put my finger on, as though it wouldn’t be at all surprising for the staff to be wearing identical Rachel haircuts and drinking chai lattes out of comically oversized red coffee cups. I fully expected to overhear someone saying “girl power” and talking about the information superhighway.

Wild Oats Bakery & CafeThis feeling continued over into my sandwich selection, a turkey BLT on freshly-baked potato bread. There were things I liked and disliked about this sandwich. I enjoyed the fact that it looked like a sandwich you would make in your own house, but that you happened to buy, instead. It wasn’t overstuffed, overblown, or made with any crazy ingredients. The potato bread was sturdy enough to contain the sandwich’s ingredients, even if the transition from the bread’s soft center to its chewy crust was a little bit abrupt. The proportions of turkey-to-vegetable-to-bacon were all exactly right, with no one ingredient outshining the others, or overpowering the bread. The tomatoes were thinly sliced and fairly flavorless (not surprising given the time of year), and the bacon had that anemic, thin, precooked quality that you find when you mass-heat it in a microwave.

Unfortunately, the comfort I found in the plain, nonthreatening, homemade quality of this sandwich was kind of its downfall. By the time I got to the second half of the sandwich, I wasn’t entirely clear why I was eating it. Or, more specifically, I would understand why I was eating it if I was at home with the refrigerator door left hanging open, Days of Our Lives playing in the background, while I stood in my bathrobe at noon eating my homemade sandwich over the sink. Measured in that way, this sandwich was a success. I had to remind myself, though, that this wasn’t a sandwich I had made myself; this was a sandwich that I had paid nearly seven dollars and had to leave the house for, and that should thus be exceptional (or at least memorable) in at least some area.

I’ll definitely try the Wild Oats Bakery & Cafe again, and I can certainly see why it’s a popular spot for people on their lunch breaks to sit down, catch a little Spring sunshine in the dining room, and have a bowl of soup that feels homemade. It’s the kind of place we’ll find ourselves on those days where the most pressing issue on our minds is whether Joey is going to pick Pacey or Dawson, those days that we just can’t figure out how to feed ourselves, and we want something comforting and good, if not particularly surprising.

Today’s Sandwich: Tomato Confit BLT (Homemade)

Today’s sandwich is the “Tomato Confit BLT.” It combines crisp bacon, Boston bibb lettuce, tomato confit, and mayonnaise on fresh-baked bread.

Notes: Is there a better sandwich on planet Earth than the classic bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich? Variations on the sandwich’s classic structure are almost always completely unnecessary, and often take away from what is already a perfectly balanced combination of crisp, salty, fatty bacon, with crunchy, cool lettuce, and a juicy, acidic sweetness from the tomatoes. Adding cheese or avocado or lobster is almost never an improvement, such is the excellence already inherent in this sandwich.

Unleeeeeessssssss…you are in Maine in the middle of Winter when your BLT craving hits. There’s a reason we tend to think of BLTs as a Summertime sandwich; the deliciousness of tomatoes picked at the height of their season are a major contributor to your overall impression of a BLT. And unless you are willing to take out a sketchy payday loan on a bunch of organic hydroponic vine-ripened vat-grown stem cell tomatoes flown in from Argentina, you’re simply not going to scratch your BLT itch with the kind of tough, flavorless, pale tomatoes found at the supermarket this time of year.

Enter the “Tomato Confit BLT,” one of the few variations on the classic sandwich that I dare say may be better than the original. Normally, when I think of “confit,” I think of something French, poached in its own fat, as with duck, until the flesh becomes impossibly tender and soft. Adding fat to meat imparts a huge blast of flavor, and even acts as a preservative. It’s a wonderful way to coax additional flavor and texture out of an ingredient that may need a boost, like the tough leg of an aquatic waterfowl, say, or the three-for-a-dollar softball-sized tomatoes at Hannaford.

“Oh ho,” you say, “but tomatoes are a fat-free food! How in the world are we to prepare them confit-style?” That’s easy. We’re going to cover them in bacon fat. A little bacon fat, a sprinkle of salt, and three hours in the oven at low temperature are all you need to transform tough, flavorless tomatoes into bite-sized grenades of acid and flavor with the consistency of a warm custard. Piled high on a BLT, they bring more tomato flavor to the sandwich than you ever thought possible.

The rest of the standard BLT rules apply. Use a fresh loaf of sourdough, or a loaf of Jillian’s no-knead Dutch oven bread. Get the thickest-cut bacon you can find (I used Oscar Meyer “Super Thick Cut”), and cook it slow and low in a frying pan until it is dark brown and crisp, but still chewy. You don’t want bacon that shatters when you take a bite. I like a soft Boston-style lettuce, and as much Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon as I can fit onto a butter knife, on both sides of the bread, please. Toast your bread in a little butter on just one side, so that the outside of the bread gets a little crunchy, while the inside stays soft and warm. Spend a little time making a tomato confit, and your reward will be one of the best BLTs you’ve ever tasted.

… 

Read More »

Today’s Sandwich: Fried Green Tomato BLT (Homemade)

An admission of influence: today’s sandwich was inspired by the very first meal I had at Hot Suppa last summer. I was instantly smitten with the south-of-the-north homestyle aesthetic which includes sumptuous sides like macaroni & cheese, apple sauce, and dill pickle-y Bloody Marys with string beans and okra. Then it was winter and I forgot everything. Then it was summer again, a cause for celebration! And I went to the farm stand. I’ve gone every day this week. I am determined to make the wan farm stand lady like me. I’m getting close. Of course, now she might read this and see I have called her wan (“sickly, fatigued, half-hearted”) and like me even less. Can’t win. So. There are tomatoes in half the color spectrum, quirky in shape and bursting with flavor. The green tomatoes are very firm, as I guess I should have expected. I bit into one raw and it tasted like a mild pepper. But coating and frying is how you make them magic. Timing is a bit tricky with this sandwich, since for some reason in thirty-two years I have yet to remember how long toast takes to, well, toast. It always either startles me or burns. Still want my cooking advice? Of course, everything can be kept warm in the oven until you are ready to slap it all together. This is how I made our awesome Friday lunch.

Fried Green Tomato BLT
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of toasted rustic boule (or sourdough)
  • 2 leaves Boston Bibb lettuce
  • 5 strips thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, cut in half
  • 6 1/4 inch slices green tomato
  • 6 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoons chipotle powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 glugs vegetable oil
  • mayonnaise ( I shudder to calculate the amount I actually deployed)

Method for Frying the Green Tomatoes:

Salt and pepper tomato slices and set aside, while an inch of vegetable oil heats in a deep skillet. Combine the cornmeal and chipotle (or paprika or cayenne) in one bowl and beat the eggs in another. Dip the tomato in egg, coat in cornmeal, then slide into the hot oil, three or four at a time. Cook for two minutes per side and drain on paper towels.

As for the sandwich, because we were famished, I slathered both sides of the toasted bread with mayo. Then stacked lettuce, bacon and tomatoes from the bottom up, and viola! A tangy, tart, crispy, salty, fatty, bursting, decadent lunch. Happy weekend!

 

Today’s Sandwich: Thomas Keller’s “Late Night BLT with Fried Egg and Cheese” (Homemade)

I have the extraordinary ability to watch the film “Spanglish,” James L. Brooks’ 2004 tale of a Mexican immigrant mother and daughter who must cope with assimilation into a new culture, set in a wealthy family vacation home in Malibu, inhabited by a neurotic wife, her laid-back, award-winning chef husband, and their precocious children, over and over and over again. I’ll watch it on an airplane. I’ll watch it on a bus. I’ll watch it all in Spanish. I’ll watch it without subtitles. It’s not just the completely natural interest in watching Paz Vega’s expression change that every single man, woman, and child on the planet has, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. No, it’s a little throwaway scene in the middle of the movie, that helps establish Adam Sandler’s character as a chef. He makes himself a late-night snack, designed in real life by Thomas Keller; a sandwich that receives the same adoration from the camera lens as the film’s actors.

I spent the morning running through the list of sandwiches that I had yet to try in Portland. After a run of some pretty rotten sandwich luck (that didn’t even make it to the site), I wanted something amazing. I didn’t want to go to Silly’s. I didn’t want to go to Punky’s. I didn’t want to risk disappointment anywhere. I wanted a perfect sandwich. I wanted Thomas Keller’s sandwich from Spanglish, a sandwich that manages to be several great sandwiches, all at once. It’s a grilled cheese. It’s a BLT. It’s a fried egg sandwich. And it’s wonderful.

Thomas Keller’s “Late Night BLT with Fried Egg and Cheese”

Ingredients:

  • 4 thick slices of bacon
  • 2 slices of Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 thick slices of sourdough bread
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 4 tomato slices
  • 2 leaves of butter lettuce
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg

Method:

  1. In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  2. Set the Monterey Jack slices on 1 piece bread, and toast both slices of bread under the broiler until lightly browned and bubbly. Spread the slice of bread without cheese with mayonnaise, and then top with bacon, then lettuce, then tomato.
  3. Melt butter in a small nonstick pan. Add the egg and fry over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp around the edge, about 4 minutes; the yolk should still be runny. Slide the egg onto the lettuce; close the sandwich and eat immediately.

Today’s Sandwich: Lobster B.L.T. (Homemade)

Notes: When the weather cools, and there is really amazing leftover thick-cut bacon in the fridge, a man’s fancy turns to B.L.Ts. And, being in Maine, and having unrestricted access to cheap, delicious lobster, we decided to ratchet up the richness quotient by making our BLTs with a quick lobster salad, made the old-fashioned way. For two sandwiches, I mixed some Hellman’s Blue Ribbon original in with about 1/3 of a pound of cooked lobster meat, some salt, pepper, and a few snips of chives. While that was in the fridge doing its thing, I made the other preparations.

Normally, I am against toasting the bread for my bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches. But in this case, because we had the extra softness being lent by the lobster salad, I thought it was important to get another crispy textural layer in there. I toasted the bread lightly, spread with the chilled lobster salad, some Boston Bibb lettuce (again, because texture is the key to a successful BLT), and some sliced tomatoes. Then, because I wanted to make sure every bite of the sandwich had some bacon in it, I wove two bacon carpets out of 3 strips of bacon each, cut in half:

Cooked in the oven at 475 for about a half an hour, much of the fat drips away, leaving you with perfect bread-sized pieces of bacon. Also, let’s take a moment to reflect on the fact that this was the first use of the term “bacon carpet” on this blog, but is sure to not be the last.

A dab more mayo on the top slice of bread, and we had two of the richest, butteriest, most filling sandwiches of our lives. The differences in temperature were wonderful, and the addition of lobster really pushed this humble BLT into new territories. They were deceptively filling; next time, I think we could split one, in the interest of maintaining some level of productivity for the rest of the day.

Today’s Sandwich: Shrimp BLT (Ohno! Cafe)

Location: 87 Brackett Street
Price: $17 for two sandwiches + sides
Notes: Outside the Oh No Cafe on Brackett Street hangs a blue flag, and if you look carefully, there’s a sandwich board beneath it announcing lobster rolls and bisque. As we are making the rounds of charming neighborhood lunch spots, today I walked the dog over to this cute cafe that could. Detective Olivia Benson waited patiently outside leashed to a sign post while I went in to peruse the daily menu.

The beer and wine selection is just so. Cute, craft, and quirky, all lined up on shelves looking quaffable. As it was not yet noon and I’m a lady, I went straight to the counter to inquire about the business of lunch. Today, they had hanger steak with bacon, cream cheese, onions, and red peppers on ciabatta, a shrimp BLT with apple-smoked bacon, as well as a few vegetarian and breakfast options.

To accompany the sandwiches, I chose (weirdly tangy) potato salad, and spinach salad dressed in vinaigrette. With drinks, the total came to just under $17.00, not a small amount, but quite fair for the generous amount of food. The steak was jazzy, creamy, sliced and a little oversalted. I didn’t love-love it, though I did polish it off. The shrimp with B, L, and T was divine – sweet and savory, hunky and lithe all at once.

The food was good: simple, homey and filling. The shop/restaurant is adorable. The guy who took my order sang to himself while filling a giant grinder with coffee beans, and the grill guy was quiet and pleasantly Mobyish, albeit with fewer qualms about meat. A few other customers rang in an out, I read the Phoenix and assorted flyers posted, and felt at home right away at the Oh No Cafe.