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BLTs Should Be a Breakfast Food

You could throw an egg on it, but really there’s no need

Sandwich with mayo, bacon, tomato, and lettuce layers between bread. Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

This post originally appeared in the October 5, 2020 edition of The Move, a place for Eater’s editors to reveal their recommendations and pro dining tips — sometimes thoughtful, sometimes weird, but always someone’s go-to move. Subscribe now.

That I didn’t think of it sooner is what angers me — especially since I’ve come so close so many times before. I can’t count how many mornings I’ve mindlessly folded a piece of toast around a strip of bacon, or piled big, fat slices of fresh summer tomatoes on a hunk of good bread. But for some reason the idea of starting my day with a combination of these things — along with a little mayo and a crunchy green or two — never hit me before.

So, here’s the thing I just now figured out: The BLT is, in fact, a breakfast food.

Just think about it: Toast? Unabashedly breakfast. Bacon? I’d argue it’s more suited for the morning than any other time of day. A proper English breakfast has a hunk of tomato on the side — plus, late summer tomatoes are just a perfect food all around, time of day notwithstanding. Lettuce is maybe the one a.m. eyebrow raiser here, but I decry anyone who smack-talks the head-clearing power of a little fresh crunch first thing in the morning.

So one Saturday morning last month, I picked the best two tomatoes from the plants I’d stuck in my quarantine pots back in spring (pandemic or no, I’m a terrible gardener), layered them between some thick-cut bacon, iceberg, and slices of toasted bread I’d slicked with a little mayonnaise (truly the unsung hero of a great BLT), and had myself a good old-fashioned, eyes-closed bite-and-moan.

I don’t need to explain to you the beauty of a BLT at lunchtime — the way the sweetness of juicy tomatoes plays off the rich, fatty saltiness of the bacon, and how the lettuce gives heft and, dare I say, a little nutrition to the whole thing. This is an understood, universal truth. So then trust me when I say that this magical stack works even better in the morning, when your palate is primed and ready for its unique textural majesty. The simple beauty of that holy trinity seems to shine even brighter in the faint morning light; you could throw an egg on it too, but there’s no need.

So now, while you can still find a few tomatoes clinging to life on the scraggly fall vines, do yourself a favor and whip up a tall BLT first thing in the morning. Lunch may be jealous, but the rest of your day will thank you.

P.S. Watch how chef-favorite bacon brand Benton’s makes its signature country bacon.