In science (relax, there won't be a quiz), steam connotes conversion of water from a liquid to a gas, and of heat energy into mechanical energy in the steam engines that powered the industrial revolution.

In science (relax, there won't be a quiz), steam connotes conversion of water from a liquid to a gas, and of heat energy into mechanical energy in the steam engines that powered the industrial revolution.

In the Columbus food scene, steam - as in Steam Kitchen, the playful new concession stand inside Little Rock Bar - is also about conversion: the conversion of restless and creative chef Marcus Meacham (formerly of Kraft House No. 5) into a food-truck-style specialist, and the conversion of Quinn Fallon's terrific Italian Village tavern into an even better place to hang out in.

Little Rock, a handsome, patio-equipped, converted service station decorated with music memorabilia, still offers tastefully curated tunes and brews - and a generous happy hour (4-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday). But now when it's time to get your feedbag on, you'll be eating something cooked by a leading local chef (Steam's approximate hours: 5 p.m. to at least midnight, Tuesday-Saturday; 7 p.m. until 1 a.m. Sundays).

Head to the service window in the back, where there's a chalkboard listing Steam's big and fun sandwiches (there are currently six, priced at $8 or $10) - all of which come on large, puffy and cloudlike Chinese steamed buns, and are served in Chinese takeout boxes filled with chips and a pickle. Next to the chalkboard is another critical component of Steam: an elaborate condiment compartment loaded with "travel-size" packets of Sriracha, duck sauce and so forth.

Steam embraces condiments, and even plans on starting a "packet club" wherein customers who bring in five packets will receive a dollar off their sandwich. Speaking of sandwiches, the three I tried were a blast.

For instance, the "Thigh" - all of Steam's high-style, decked-out sandwiches have one-word titles - is boneless chicken thigh meat coated in a nutty, crispy and ingenious (a la David Chang and Roy Choi) sweet-and-salty "batter" of uncooked instant ramen noodles and seasoning pulverized with Rice Krispies. Also in the bun: pickles, hot sauce, jalapenos and, I believe, love.

I likewise enjoyed the juicy Burger (with American cheese singles, bulgogi flavorings, molasses ketchup, pickles, red onion and ribbons of lettuce) and the Belly - a nine-napkin riot of pork belly, kimchi, thinly sliced cucumbers, lacy red cabbage, horseradish-y hot mustard and sesame seeds.

Bottom line: Eating at Steam can convert you into an instant fan.