Anyone who's padded down the sidewalks of St. Louis in the past few weeks knows that it is hot out there. It is the kind of heat that makes staying in for lunch, grabbing something from the cafeteria or the vending machine an option that borderlines on the reasonable. And it is that moment, when you are about to throw in the lunch-time towel and dine on the loose change in your desk drawer that you need to round up your best office mates and play air-conditioner hopscotch. Start at your office, then move to your car and eventually to the dark, cool confines of the Riverbend Restaurant in Soulard.

Upon your arrival, the first order of business is a cool glass of iced tea, then a lunch order of a cochon de lait po'boy and a side of finger-licking good Zapp's cajun dill potato chips. The sandwich starts with a foundation of thick-cut, slow-roasted suckling pig that shreds into tender ribbons of porky goodness with each bite. Ordering the sandwich "dressed" will outfit your po'boy with lettuce, tomato, pickle and a decadent Creole mayonnaise. Each adornment is additive to the whole sandwich, but it is the play between mayo and pork that ensures the only break between a succession of bites will come when you wipe at your chin with a napkin.

Sounds good, right? And to think, the only thing between you and lunch is the mild inconvenience of this St. Louis heat in July.

Riverbend, 701 Utah Street, Soulard, 314.664.8443,

Tired of reheating last night's dinner for lunch? Every Monday, food writer Andrew Mark Veety guides you to some of the best midday meals in the St. Louis region, with great places to bring clients or enjoy an outing with your co-workers. Missed one of his columns? Check them out here.

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