How can you not love a good BLT? For bacon lovers, it's the ultimate vessel for the crispy king of swine. While the sandwich is relatively uncomplicated, ingredients, balance and execution determine its success or failure. These places do the classic proud.
Fifth Earl Market: This gourmet sandwich shop has carved out a solid niche for itself in Decatur's burgeoning "gourmet ghetto." The "Sir Bacon" is a straightforward BLT with dark, toasted wheat bread, crispy applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise. But creamy avocado ($1 extra) and the prospect of washing it down with a good craft beer make it worth the trip. 309 E. College Avenue, Decatur. 404-377-5477. www.5thearlmarket.com.
Parish Market: Chef Timothy Magee has elevated the BLT. Magee starts with pastry chef Jonathan St. Hilare's freshly baked farm bread, which he dry-toasts and coats with a spicy remoulade. He then loads it with house-cured bacon made with locally sourced Riverview Farms pork belly, lettuce, raw red tomatoes and fried green tomatoes ingeniously coated in fine masa flour for added crunch. 240 N. Highland Ave. 404-681-4434. www.parishatl.com.
The New Yorker Marketplace and Delicatessen: Even though this deli is starting to show its age and parking is limited, devoted diners still make a beeline for its New York-style sandwiches wrapped in sheets of sturdy white paper. The sheer amount of crunchy bacon and slather of rich mayonnaise in the "Buckhead BLT" is guaranteed to satiate even the most gluttonous of appetites. 322 Pharr Road. 404-240-0260.