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I have to admit that I have wanted to try this sandwich combination since I moved to Charleston over 5 years ago. I first saw the idea as I drove by a local "mom and pop" diner called "The Early Bird Dinner" which often has this sandwich advertised on their marquee as the daily lunch special. "Mmmm," I thought, "what a GREAT idea!!"  

Recently, my husband and I were out shopping and wanted to stop somewhere for breakfast. As we were driving by, I made a snap decision and pulled into the tiny parking lot. Much to my dismay, I found  that not only was the tiny parking lot full but the diner itself was also chock full as well. Hmmm, I wonder what was going on today that the diner is so full?  Then today the mystery was solved...

I learned from my foodie friend, Geoff, that the diner was recently been featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" starring Guy Fieri of the Food Network. Geoff was able to snag a table earlier this week for lunch. He said the food was absolutely delicious. It was so coincidental that he told me this information, as I was already planning to make this sandwich today for lunch.   

This sandwich is a rendition of the classic BLT with some Southern flare mixed in...instead of plain mayo, I whipped up a simple chipolte mayo which added a little kick on the back end of the flavor profile. Eating the sandwich while the tomatoes were still warm was simply scrumptious! I know this seems like a lot of work for a sandwich... but these could easy be served with brunch along side the creamy grits and Wadmalaw Island Delight I posted about earlier this week. Just a little "food" for thought! Enjoy ~Ronda 

Ingredients:

3 or 4 large firm green tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch rings
Salt and ground black pepper (to season the tomato rings)
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Bacon, peppered (optional) and cooked
Mayo, sandwich spread, or homemade Chipolte Mayo (click here)
romaine lettuce, washed and dried
Your favorite bread, rolls, or bagels 

Directions: 


Preheat oven to 250 degrees. 

Lay the tomatoes out and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. 

In a skillet, heat the oil for deep-frying over medium-high heat.

Dip the tomatoes into buttermilk, then dredge them into the flour seasoned with cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Shake off excess flour. Fry tomato slices in the skillet until golden brown on both sides. 

To keep them warm an crispy, after removing the  tomatoes from the oil,  place them on a cookie sheet inset with a cooling rack to drain, and place in the heated oven.  This will allow the grease to drain and will keep the tomatoes hot and crunchy.

To serve, toast the bread and slather one side of each piece with chipolte mayonnaise (click here). Layer in romaine lettuce, fried green tomatoes and bacon. My husband also adds a dash of hot sauce to his sandwiches. We served ours with a side of veggie chips. 

The Early Bird Diner on Urbanspoon
 


Comments

03/01/2013 2:06am

Hi ,

Your first posts just appeared on Urbanspoon! Check it out:
http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/61/1412381/restaurant/West-Ashley/The-Early-Bird-Diner-Charleston
http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/61/660493/restaurant/Peninsular-Charleston/Hymans-Seafood-Charleston

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