Cheese steaks to enjoy

TAKEOUT

Burgers also good at Vince's in Joppa

April 23, 2003|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

You might worry about a restaurant like Vince's Carry Out that sells Alka-Seltzer out of a vending machine in the waiting area.

But, I'm happy to report no stomach relief was needed after our recent meal at this Harford County carryout in Joppa. Indeed, we were satisfied, if not overwhelmed, by our outing to Vince's.

With one sad-looking plant and absolutely no decoration on the walls, this small carryout isn't much to look at. But the service was both friendly and efficient, there was a bench for customers waiting for orders, and the food was reasonably priced.

One thing Vince's does right is cheese steaks. I'm fully aware that eating cheese steaks, like playing slot machines or watching golf on television, may not be the most worthwhile of activities. But it can be pretty enjoyable. Vince's version ($5.95) included a fresh roll surrounding a yummy pile of chopped meat and onions, all covered in melted cheese.

The hamburger ($3.25) was also good and included a nice slab of meat, not a frozen patty. A tuna-salad sandwich ($3.95) was basic. And chicken strips ($5.75 for chicken, fries and a soda) went down pretty well.

Side orders -- french fries ($1.75), onion rings ($2.50) and corn fritters ($2.50) -- were deep-fried and quite greasy. But the potato salad ($1.25) had bits of bacon and was above average.

The one thing we wanted but couldn't get was steamed shrimp; the delivery had just come in and was still too frozen to use. Vince's offers cheesecake, pie and cannoli for dessert. We tried a cannoli ($1.50), which was made on the premises, and had little chocolate bits in a nice cream filling.

Vince's sits on Magnolia Road just off U.S. 40, a short hop from Interstate 95. With tree-shaded tables out back, it offers a decent alternative to the assortment of chain restaurants on the interstate a few miles north.

Vince's Carry Out

Food: ** 1/2

Service: *** 1/2

Waiting area: ** 1/2

Parking: ***

Where: 1012 Magnolia Road, Joppa

Phone: 410-671-7350

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday

Prices: Subs, sandwiches, burgers, and fried platters, from $3.25 to $12.50; credit cards accepted

Outstanding: ****; Good: ***; Fair or uneven: **; Poor: *

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