Love at First Bite, a takeout-only restaurant that ranges from barbecue to fried rice to vegan fare, is now open at 10479 St. Charles Rock Road in St. Ann. This is the first restaurant for chef Jason Lamont, who tells Off the Menu he began his nearly three-decade career in the industry as a teenager at Steak 'n Shake. Since then he has cooked at many hotels and restaurants, including Sugarfire Smoke House, Basso, Three Kings Public House and Table Three.
“If I just actually sat down and wrote (the long list) down you would be like, 'Wow,'” Lamont says.
Lamont describes Love at First Bite's menu as a trip around the world in one day in the kitchen. Among the highlights, he points to the BBLT sandwich, a BLT with beef bacon, and the Spinning Chicken loaded fries, which are topped with smoked chicken, a spinach-jalapeño-artichoke dip and Provel.
The barbecue selection includes ribs, brisket, turkey, pulled pork and smoked salmon. Lamont uses a blend of pecan and hickory wood, with pecan the dominant flavor.
Barbecue has been a big hit, Lamont says: “They bought me out of everything I smoked every day last week.”
(He has already upgraded to a commercial smoker.)
Love at First Bite's vegan fare has also been popular, Lamont says. Dishes include cauliflower bites sauced like chicken wings and a vegan St. Paul sandwich made with a plant-based egg substitute.
“The vegan St. Paul is amazing,” he says. “You can't get that anywhere (else) in St. Louis. Not yet.”
Lamont took over a turnkey space already designed for takeout. He says he considered moving a wall to create a small dining area, but with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, “it only makes sense for it to be carryout.”
Love at First Bite is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. The phone number is 314-695-5440.
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