Bacon. Thick cut. Candied. Bacon.
Do I have your attention now? Good. Because, honestly, if I can't win you over with something as decadent as Candied Bacon....I'm going to have to work on my skill set!
From Day 1 of menu planning and recipe building, Jason and I knew we wanted to have a BLT inspired sandwich on the truck. A friend of mine back in Charleston had jokingly suggested we call it the "OMG BLT". I don't have a particularly high opinion of abbreviated texting-style speech, and get easily annoyed by people who use it in everyday conversation, so I laughed and dismissed the idea without much thought.
We knew we couldn't sell just any old BLT sandwich. It had to be different. It had to be something great. It had to be "gourmet", without losing the classic feel that so many people already loved. There was no shortage of trucks with suggestions about where to find bacon. 99% of those suggestions, however, all started with the same caveat...."Oh, it's SO cheap! I get it for just $$ per case!" While we love the chance to save money and keep our food costs down as much as anyone, cheap bacon just wasn't going to cut it for this sandwich.
Enter....Patton's Meat Market. My family had been buying choice cuts of meat from this local, family owned store for years, and another food truck friend of ours ( Meatballerz...Hi Cara! ) told us that she used their product as well with rave reviews. We bought a few pounds of their thick cut bacon to test along side a few others. We needn't have bothered with the other brands. There was really no comparison to the quality and taste of Patton's product.
Now that we had the best bacon in town, it was time to focus on the rest of the recipe. GA farms gave us gorgeous, beefsteak tomatoes almost year round. We easily decided on fresh, Bibb lettuce for that buttery crunch and awesome green color. Instead of plain ol' mayonnaise, a homemade, roasted garlic aioli was chosen. Add delicious bacon and we're all set!
Well, not quite. The sandwich was good, really good, but it wasn't spectacular. And we needed spectacular. Back in the test kitchen, we tried a few things to "kick it up a notch". Peppered bacon wasn't right. Chocolate covered bacon....well, thankfully we voted NO before that idea even truly got off the ground. Spicy AND sweet was an intriguing thought, so we went to work on a dry rub that would hopefully check all the boxes on the path to food heaven!
And BOOM. Whoa. OMG.
Yup, my Charleston friend had nailed it. Every single person who tried the sandwich in those early months said the same thing after just one bite.
Oh. Em. Gee.
I gave up. There was no way we could call it anything else. And, honestly, the name grew on me and quickly became my favorite item on the menu to talk about. It started the trend of off-the-wall names that we've come up with for each of our sandwiches. It makes me sad when we can no longer source GA tomatoes or local Bibb lettuce in late December and January, and the BLT has to come off the menu for a month or two. People ask for it every day, I tell them why its not available, and we share a moment of silence for one of the best sandwiches in town.
So, thank you, Atlanta, for taking a chance on a classic with a twist. Thank you for making it our Best Seller. Thank you for falling in love with the OMG BLT.
Eat fresh! Eat local! We'll see you on the road!