5 Best BLTs in 417-land

We’re celebrating our favorite BLT sandwiches this month. They are the perfect marriage of cool, sweet, juicy tomatoes with their best friends: crispy lettuce, crunchy toasted bread and salty bacon.

1. Red Onion Café
$6.99 for the BLT & A
203 E. Fourth St., Joplin, 417-623-1004
Why We Love It: There’s just one little ingredient that makes this sandwich different from your typical BLT, but it makes the whole thing tastes extraordinary. The sandwich is called the BLT & A, and the “A” stands for avocado. Grilled whole grain bread is topped with the usual (bacon, lettuce and tomato) plus cool and creamy fresh avocado. Mixed with the crunch of smoky bacon, that avocado is a delicious addition.

2. St. Michael’s Sports Bar & Grill
$6.25 for the Italian BLT Sub
301 South Ave., Springfield, 417-865-2315
Why We Love It: This is the wild card in the world of BLTs. It might not fit perfectly into the standard definition of a super-simple BLT, but we just can’t get enough of the mega-delicious sandwich. It’s the BLT for people who appreciate Italian cured meats as much as they appreciate the crunch of a good strip of bacon. It starts with some crusty Italian bread. That is topped with lettuce, tomato, provolone cheese, crispy bacon, capicola and salami. Makes your mouth water, right?

3. Nonna’s Italian Café
$7.50 for the BLT
306 South Ave., Springfield, 417-831-1222; 3512 S. National Ave., Springfield, 417-890-8300
Why We Love It: Some people flock to BLTs because of all the goodies that go inside. Nonna’s Italian Café certainly delivers on those goodies: The tomatoes are ripe and sweet, the lettuce is oh-so-crunchy and the bacon is crispy, salty and everything a little bit of thick-cut fried pig should be. But what makes this BLT different is how incredibly buttery the bread is. This toasted bread is so buttery, you’ll need more than one napkin. But the great taste is totally worth the mess.

4. Challengers Sports Bar & Grill
$5 for the Friday lunch special BLT
5739 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, 417-889-6060
Why We Love It: Challengers offers a different $5 lunch special every day of the week, and on Fridays the BLT is the deal. Thing-we-love NO. 1: That price tag! Plus, this is a truly delish sandwich, with bacon that is plenty crispy and sliced thick. The tomato is sliced extra-thick (at least, it was when we had it), and it was a truly tasty tomato with plenty of summery flavor. On lightly buttered toast with little mayo, it comes together perfectly. Order it with a side of fantastic onion rings.

5. Ebbets Field
$7.75 for the Bench Coach
1027 E. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-865-5050
Why We Love It: If we were going to give an award to the crispiest bacon, it would go to The Bench Coach at Ebbets Field. These flavorful strips are so crunchy, they are practically bacon chips. (Mmm, bacon chips... If those don’t exist, they should.) On perfectly toasted bread that’s not too buttery, that super-crunchy bacon tastes delightful paired with sweet tomatoes and refreshing lettuce.

 

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