Byron Smith, one of the four co-owners at Eat Sandwiches (3148 Morgan Ford Road, 314-797-8188), couldn't be more thrilled with the welcome his little shop has received from its Tower Grove South neighbors. "They keep telling me, 'This is exactly the sort of place we've been waiting for,' and I keep saying to them, 'That's exactly the sort of thing we want to hear!'"
Indeed, Eat Sandwiches — which opened Friday — had such a successful opening weekend that they ran out of bread and had to shut down early last Sunday. "And I thought I'd ordered heavy," Smith laughs.Smith and his business partners Thomas Crone, Fred Hessel and Jeff McGraw had a feeling they were on to something when they tossed around the idea for Eat Sandwiches. After all, you can find just about anything to eat in the Morgan Ford business district that stretches from Arsenal to Fyler — organic and local takeout, pub fare, pizza and even traditional English tea. A proper sandwich shop, however? That was a different story.
The four friends set out to fill this void with their small sandwich shop, located in the storefront that was the original location of Local Harvest Grocery. The space, which they renovated themselves, is a cozy shotgun-style room with exposed brick, white walls and a long, wooden banquette made from a salvaged church pew.
Guests order at the counter and choose from ten different options, ranging from a Cuban sandwich to tuna salad to roasted tofu. Smith is particularly proud of the "Meatloaf" sandwich, a play on the meatball sandwich but with more staying power. "I love meatball sandwiches but I hate how the meatballs always roll off," explains Smith. "For this, we made a meatball into the shape of miniature meatloaves so it stays put."
If the restaurant has a signature dish, however, it's the French dip. Shaved roasted rib eye, sliced red onion, horseradish mayonnaise, and Prairie Breeze cheddar cheese are piled atop crusty French bread. It's a sandwich Smith admits he always looks for but had difficult finding — at least one that satisfies his craving. He thinks they've solved the problem at Eat Sandwiches — and his customers seem to agree.
"It's been our most popular item," Smith says. "People seem to really like it."
Eat Sandwiches is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
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