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Best BLTs on Long Island

CJ's Luncheonette has sat on the corner of

(Credit: Newsday/Rebecca Cooney)

The BLT is a wild party in the mouth: It's hot. It's cool. It's salty. It's sweet. It's got crunch. Even creaminess. Hooking up with a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich isn't hard. They're everywhere, on menus plain and fancy. Though it takes only five basic ingredients (bacon, lettuce, tomato, toast and mayo) to make them, not every restaurant does this lunchtime favorite justice. We went out and found the top spots on Long Island to land the perfect BLT. --Joan Reminick

  • User rating 4
    CJ's Luncheonette has sat on the corner of

    C.J.'s Coffee Shop $ | American 225 North Long Beach Rd. Rockville Centre There's reason you may have to wait for a table at this homey little luncheonette. Chef John Lawrence gets good bread from a local commercial bakery, piles on crisp slices of Leidy's bacon, slices of beefsteak tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and Hellmann's mayo in perfect proportion. For all the flavor it delivers, this one could cost a lot more.

  • User rating 3
    The BLT at Dugan's Sandwich Shop in Woodbury

    Dugan's Sandwich Shop Deli 8027 Jericho Tpke Woodbury This venerable sandwich shop has an indisputable advantage: bread (white, whole wheat and rye) that's baked in-house daily. Inordinately large slices make for toast that's fragrant, a little sweet, slightly nutty. Owner John Licastro uses Hormel hickory-smoked bacon, shredded iceberg and vine-ripened tomatoes, along with Hellmann's mayonnaise. A great big bang for very few bucks.

  • A winner at Highway Diner is a BLT

    $item.instanceof Highway Diner and Bar This being East Hampton, the Highway does meet diner criteria, yet veers from the cliché. Among the winners is a BLT made with thick bacon, bright tomatoes and romaine on toasted white sourdough.

  • User rating 4
    A regular customer reads the newspaper after finishing

    Northport Sweet Shop $ | Ice cream, Sweets, Dessert, Luncheonette, Bakery-pastry shop 55 Main St. Northport Peter Panarites, owner of this old-fashioned ice-cream parlor, precooks his bacon, then crisps it on the grill. He grows his own tomatoes but, when they're not in season, goes for the best he can find elsewhere. Iceberg lettuce and Hellmann's mayo are the other ingredients. What elevates this sandwich to another realm is that Panarites butters the bread on the outside, then toasts the sandwich on the griddle; the result is irresistible.

  • Critic rating 2.5
    Chef Luke Desanctis at work in the kitchen

    Old Fields $$$ | American, Burgers, Salads, Sandwiches, Steak 81 Broadway Greenlawn At this retro family-friendly gastro pub, chef Luke Desanctis turns out a hefty and delectable BLT. He begins with seven-grain bread, which he lightly grills with olive oil. Then he piles on applewood-smoked bacon, red leaf lettuce, hothouse tomatoes (switching in season to whatever is fresh locally). Mayonnaise is house-made -- just one of several little details that add up to a first-rate sandwich.

  • Critic rating 3
    A California BLT roast beef is served with

    Roast Sandwich House $$ | Sandwiches 827 Walt Whitman Rd. Melville The "California BLT" is an inventive number from chefs Joe Cordaro and Matthew Doyle, who break with classic simplicity at their classy little sandwich spot. Applewood-smoked bacon, ripe red tomatoes and field greens are placed on lightly toasted ciabatta, along with medium-rare roast beef (made on premises), house-made garlic aioli, avocado and grilled onions. With all that, still easy to bite into. It's heresy that works.

  • User rating 3
    Silver's in Southampton has a busy lunch crowd

    Silver's $$$ | Eclectic, New American 15 Main St. Southampton "Not what you make at home," reads the description of the BLT at this luxe Hamptons lunch spot. Chef-owner Garrett Wellins starts with excellent Tuscan bread from Eli Zabar's, which he chargrills and then heaps with about 10 slices of smoky-sweet bacon (surprise: Boar's Head), bright romaine and sweet crimson tomatoes from nearby Schmidt's Market (he gets Maine hothouse tomatoes in off-season; otherwise, they're locally grown). The finishing touches: Hellmann's Extra Heavy Mayonnaise and a festoon of chopped parsley. Certainly the costliest BLT on the list, and arguably one of the best.

  • User rating 3
    The "PLT" (Pastrami, lettuce and tomato) on rye

    Zan's Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterer $ | Deli, Lunch 135 Alexander Ave. Lake Grove Leave it to the creative crew at Zan's Kosher Deli in Lake Grove to give the BLT a run for the money. Meet the PLT: pastrami, lettuce, tomato and mayo on rye toast. This all-out debauchery involves salty, fatty, peppery meat, crisped on the grill and piled just high enough so you can get your mouth around it. Tomatoes are ripe and red, romaine is crisp, and the mayo is Hellmann's. Clogging your arteries never tasted so good.

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