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Midwest BLT……a Unique Spin on a Classic #SammichSundays

#31DaysOfLove, #SammichSundays, Eat Local, Food Network, South Tampa

Happy Sammich Sunday! Today’s feature is no stranger to my blog, as it has been mentioned before and is one of my favorites in Tampa. As you know, I work at EATS! American Grill in South Tampa and their Midwest BLT is my favorite item on the menu and something I always recommend to my guests.  This spicy little number has gained national attention as a spicier version of it with EATS! heat sauce was featured on the Food Network’s hit show, Heat Seekers, this past February. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Midwest BLT.

Midwest BLT with heat, photo courtesy of Robert Azmitia photography


Hearty and downright tasty, this spicy sammmich consists of grilled Texas Toast encompassing two fried green tomatoes, peppered bacon, lettuce and EATS! signature spicy sauce.   This was the first item I had at EATS! on my first visit back in July of 2010 and to this day it remains one of my favorite sandwiches in Tampa.



The signature spicy sauce compliments the fried green tomatoes and gives the sandwich a nice kick. If you are feeling brave and can take the heat, you can ask for it with EATS! signature heat sauce which is a five pepper blend including ghost chili peppers.  Not many can take the heat, as many of our regulars discovered when they tried it on national TV when Aaron Sanchez and Roger Mooking stopped by to feature this incredible creation on their popular show, Heat Seekers.



If  you are in South Tampa, be sure and stop by EATS! American Grill located at 4502 South Dale Mabry. Try the Midwest BLT and see why this fantastic sammich was featured on the Food Network. It comes with your choice of side and you can choose from local favorites such as sweet potato fries and EATS! signature Mac N’ Cheese. Below is the recipe that is featured on the Food Networks web-site:


EATS! Midwest BLT with 5-Pepper Sauce

Recipe courtesy Chris Rose and Nick Hernandez, EATS! American Grill

Show: Heat SeekersEpisode: Tampa Bay

Picture of EATS! Midwest BLT with 5-Pepper Sauce Recipe
Photo: EATS! Midwest BLT with 5-Pepper Sauce Recipe
Total Time: 1 hr 50 min
Prep: 35 min
Inactive: 1 hr 0 min
Cook: 15 min
Yield: 1 sandwich
Level: Intermediate


  • 4 slices applewood smoked bacon
  • A pinch cayenne pepper
  • A pinch black pepper
  • 2 firm green tomatoes
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose breading mix
  • Vegetable oil (amount depends on cooking method)
  • 1 lettuce leaf
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 pieces Texas toast
  • 4 tablespoons EATS! Heat 5-Pepper Sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 whole fresh jalapeno


Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat to desired doneness. Dust with cayenne pepper and black pepper while cooking. Set aside on paper towels until needed.


Slice the green tomatoes 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Dip the tomatoes into the buttermilk, and then coat with the breading. Ensure all areas of the tomatoes are covered completely.

In a saute pan or deep-fryer, heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Saute or deep-fry the tomatoes until golden brown. Set aside on paper towels until needed.

Take the melted butter and spread evenly on both sides of the Texas toast. Brown each side of both pieces on a flat top grill or in a clean saute pan. Brown to desired doneness.

Apply the EATS! Heat 5-Pepper Sauce to the toast in a “Z” fashion. Place the lettuce on top of one toast slice, followed by the fried green tomatoes. Place the bacon on the other slice of toast.

With your thumbs on the green tomatoes, flip and place on top of the other piece of toast that has bacon on it. With a sharp knife, cut the sandwich on a diagonal.

With a sharp knife, cut your jalapeno lengthwise into 2 equal halves. You can use whole jalapenos if desired. Using toothpicks, push through one half jalapeno and place on top of one of the cut sandwich halves. Repeat for the other jalapeno and sandwich half. Serve with your choice of side.


This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

EATS! Heat 5-Pepper Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cloves raw garlic, minced
  • 11 fresh habanero peppers, chopped with seeds, reserve 1 raw for garnish
  • 11 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped with seeds, reserve 1 raw for garnish
  • 9 fresh Scotch bonnet peppers, chopped with seeds, reserve 1 raw for garnish
  • 5 fresh ghost chile peppers, chopped with seeds, reserve 1 raw for garnish
  • 5 fresh red Thai peppers, minced, reserve 1 raw for garnish
  • 1 yellow onion, 1/4-inch diced
  • 1 cup Cajun seasoning blend
  • 1 cup cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups extra-hot wing sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lime juice

Add the olive oil, garlic, 10 habaneros and jalapenos, 8 Scotch bonnets, 4 ghost and Thai chile peppers and the yellow onions to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup each of the Cajun spice, cayenne and crushed red pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Pour the mixture into a blender and puree. Place the puree in the refrigerator to cool, about 1 hour.

Once cool, add the remaining 1/2 cup Cajun seasoning, cayenne and crushed red pepper for added flavor. Stir in the wing sauce, vinegar, mayonnaise and lime juice. Add the 1 reserved raw chile pepper of each kind, and stir well. Yield: 5 cups.

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