Gourmet to Go

Last March, St. Louis native Nick Weisenborn transformed a Newburgh snack shack in a grocery store parking lot to provide locals with gourmet entrees sans the pricey tab. Inside the 11-by-22 red hut known as Steak & Take Grill, Weisenborn multitasks by taking orders, maintaining the grill, preparing sauces, and tossing salads. Weisenborn, a former chef at Madeleine’s and the departed Firefly Southern Grill, is now a one-man show except on the weekends when business is so hectic that orders may take an hour.

Weisenborn’s menu isn’t limited. He cooks anything from spaghetti and meatballs to duck, filet mignon, and salmon. “I use what I’ve learned from previous jobs,” he says. “I do a lot of spin-offs of other people’s creations, but I always put in my own flair.”

That flair is creating “fusion glory” dishes such as his Thai curry soup and amberjack fish with a drizzle of pecan sauce. I had one of his specials — a juicy, 6-ounce filet topped with crabmeat. A bundle of crunchy, grilled asparagus sticks comes drizzled with a heavy, white-wine cream sauce. The meat is tender and salty, which complements the velvety semi-sweet crab topping. Accompanying all grill entrees are two sides, a salad tossed in sweet Italian dressing and a wedge of French bread.

Weisenborn’s to-go meals suggest a fancy dinner for two without the candles and white tablecloth. Steak & Take can be a grab and go destination, but don’t expect fast food treatment if you order at the window. It’s best to call ahead for dinner, and lunches are by appointment only. However, “If you see me here,” Weisenborn says, “I’ll cook.”

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