Messing with Success: 12 BLT Variations We Love in Chicago

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

When it's peak tomato season, it's hard to think of a better meal than a BLT. (Because, let's face it, off-season tomatoes simply suck.) By some glorious coincidence, the sandwich is also one of the easiest to make. Basically everything you need to know about a BLT is abbreviated right in the title—that's bacon, lettuce, and tomato—leaving only bread and maybe some mayonnaise to the imagination.

In fact, BLTs are so easy to construct I eat most of mine in the comfort of my home. Sure, this saves me money, but I also don't have to worry about looking like a slob with tomato juices streaming down my face. For me to order a BLT at a restaurant, there needs to be a hook, something that sets it apart from the pack.

But adding components to a BLT is a tough job. How do you improve something already so perfect? I decided to track down some of the restaurants truly making their mark on the BLT, either by adding an unexpected ingredient or by upping the ridiculousness.

Check out some of Chicago's amazing BLT variations by clicking on the slideshow.