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New food truck in Baltimore

Last night while driving through Linthicum, I spotted a food truck parked in the back of a parking lot across the street from Snyder's Willow Grove. What attracted my attention at first was the two large TV screens on either side of the order window, one with a football game and the other cycling through pictures of their menu items. Largely written on the side, beneath pictures of the Baltimore cityscape from the fifties, was the name "Charm City Gourmet". I asked if they were open for business, but it turns out the owner (former co-owner of the Silver Platter food truck) was just having a dry run to discuss the business plan with his sous chef. They invited me in to look around, and proudly showed off their restaurant kitchen on wheels, assuring me no other food truck in the area comes close to being as equipped. They also assured me that their truck would remain clean, and while everything looked tightly sealed, with four large gas burners, a grill top, four friers, at least one oven and a refrigerated drink cooler, cleanliness, as with any other kitchen, will be entirely up to the dedication of the employees. They are serious about their name, too. I don't know if any other food truck serves shawarma ( a dish I've had my eye on ever since The Avengers popularized it,) but I'm pretty certain you won't find a bacon taco anywhere else (not one where the name describes the shell.) Their web site is pretty basic, but they said they'd be open for business on Monday (Fayette & Paca?). Unfortunately, I don't work in the city so I rarely get to take advantage of the truck scene, but hopefully I'll be able to catch them at future events (I'll cross my fingers about the Grand Prix.)

Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia?

My wife and I stopped here for brunch a few weeks ago. We stumbled over it on our way to Eggspectation and thought we'd try it out. Since we rarely see duck on a menu in any form, we were amazed at the different selections. We started by splitting an order of duck fat frites, which nearly did us in all on their own. They were wonderful, but even though her baked eggs and my omelet were perfectly cooked we were so stuffed by the richness of the starter that we couldn't finish them.

According to our personable server, they are really trying to push their brunch menu. I think Eggspectation across the street might be too much competition for them to have much success with that.

We were impressed enough to return last night for my mother's birthday. Our waiter, while friendly enough, was not very informative or knowledgeable. I gather he was new, and it didn't really detract from our meal. When I asked him to recommend a white wine to go with my order, he raved about one that he new was "Austrian", but couldnt; remember anything else about it. I went ahead ordered it, an Anton Bauer Grun Velt, and it was excellent, a good aroma with crisp taste.

We started with a Charcouterie plate that we all split. Nice enough for a deli platter. My mother ordered the Amish Chicken, which was nice and tender. My wife ordered the DLT, which was amazing - almost overstuffed, and definitely the best dish on the table. I ordered the fish and chips, which I found overfried and didn't feel that the shrimp meshed well with the fish, but my wife enjoyed the pieces I shared. Everything is personal taste, and I think the chefs try to let the ingredients speak for themselves, but I think they may still be trying to find the right balance of those ingredients.

I only had coffee afterwards, but my wife greatly enjoyed her Creamsicle dessert and my mother loved her Gaelic Brew (Irish coffee). I thought the $95 bill was well worth it.

Based on other comments, I did check out the beer prices. Steeper than other bars, to be sure, but it should be noted that the $7.50 Guinness is a 20-oz. pour. Most drafts are available in 10 or 20 oz. glasses. It should also be noted that the higher priced beers are usually the ones with a higher alcohol content.

The decor is marvelous. If you don't want to sit in the pub proper - a great space in and of itself - ask for the Seven Sisters room. I think that might be the "Kids-Free" zone other people were talking about.