I have been called a sandwich snob. That accusation is false. However, I do believe in something called sandwich theory. This is my quest to find the greatest sandwiches in Madison. Send me your sandwich recommendations by email or on Twitter or Instagram.
I got my Irish on this time around at The Coopers Tavern. Right on the Square, with the backdrop of the Capitol over your shoulder, Coopers has a modern and sleek decor. There’s lots of natural wood accentuated by the Edison bulb lights hanging over the bar. The bone marrow BLT caught my eye, so I dug into the sandwich made with house-smoked thick cut bacon, lettuce, tomato, and bone marrow aioli on toasted wheat berry bread.
I’m usually a fan of very toasted bread when it comes to a BLT, but the wheat berry bread was a delightful surprise. Just ever so lightly toasted and warm, it had a bit of sweetness and the wheat berries added a whole grain quality. With the lighter toasting, it wasn’t greasy either.
So the bone marrow aioli? My goodness. It was savory and sweet, kind of like a buttery sweet. It brought out the bacon flavor and added depth. The richness wasn’t overwhelming, but it left you feeling full and satisfied after a regular-sized sandwich. The bacon was thick as advertised, and the lettuce and tomatoes were fresh. The bacon and lettuce brought the crunch, the tomatoes added the acidity, and the bone marrow aioli provided the fat and sweet.
The bacon was cooked to the proper level, giving it good structure without being either too rubbery or too brittle. I had to make a couple snipping bites to make sure I didn’t disrupt the sandwich structure and drag out too much bacon, but that’s true of any BLT.
With the bone marrow aioli, this isn’t your run of the mill BLT and the price (and location) reflects that fact. For $12 you get a sandwich that isn’t bite-sized but also isn’t over-sized. All sandwiches are served with a choice of greens with house balsamic vinaigrette or chips. My bartender was a good-natured older fellow, quick with a joke (or to light up your smoke, if you could still do that here).
I consider myself a pretty adept BLT maker. I like to ramp mine up to include cheese, a little horseradish for kick, and some freshly sliced avocado on a toasted ciabatta roll — but the bone marrow BLT at Coopers is by far the best BLT I’ve ever eaten. The bone marrow added incredible flavor. Round up to 10/10 would recommend.