Wednesday, May 14, 2003

McAlister's Deli stuffs its BLT

McAlister's Deli in Kenwood is one of the newest "quick casual" restaurants proliferating around the country. This one is from Mississippi and run here by the Bistro Group.

The menu is a wide variety of overstuffed deli sandwiches, including a fat muffaletta with pungent, authentic olive salad.

For my sandwich test, I ordered a classic BLT. What makes a good BLT? The "T" is probably the most important element. A tomato picked in August, bright red and juicy, makes the best sandwich. But if you can't have that, another approach is to use a lot of bacon.

Here's how they build a BLT at McAlister's: Between two slices of toasted sourdough, there's a thick pile of lean, smoky, well-done bacon with tomato, lettuce and light mayonnaise. You don't get the wonderful mess of juicy tomato soaking into the toast, but you get a nice hit of smoke and crunch. (It's $4.99).

McAlister's Deli also has stuffed baked potatoes, salads, soups and desserts. Food is served in a bright, clean setting. You order at the counter, but servers bring the food to your table. Prices: $4.49-$6.99.

7720 Montgomery Road, Kenwood, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. 792-0600.

Polly Campbell

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