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Burritos latest item wrapped around Baltimore's food wagon trend

Coming to a curb near you: burritos to order. Lesa Bain and Shawn Smith bring their version of the Mexican classic to the hungry lunchtime crowd gratis of their 12-foot truck. The two have been cruisin' through Hampden and neighborhood festivals for the past two weeks.

In the next few months, Bain says she and her husband hope to make their burrito wagon, Curbside Caf´┐Ż, a full-time venture. Just five bucks a piece, the burritos come filled with ingredients --some traditional and some not so traditional -- including pulled pork, black beans, tofu and veggies.Curbside even sells an Indian-style burrito stuffed with chana masala, or chickpeas with Indian spices.

"We have a variety of burritos. We're not trying to go for a Mexican theme," Bain says.

Why a food wagon? The couple wanted to launch a business and thought a food venture would be perfect since Smith is a good cook, Bain says.

They chose a food wagon instead of a more stationary location because they wanted to start small. Bain got the idea after seeing food delivery trucks in California, Philadelphia and New York. She estimates that the couple have spent about $10,000 to cover start-up costs.

"They're everywhere in other cities, but not too many in Baltimore," She continues. .

One of the biggest challenges to starting the business has been figuring out what will sell well and knowing just how much food they will need for an event. 

A number of food wagons have taking to trolling the streets of Charm City in recent months. Icedgems Baking roves throughout Baltimore County selling cupcakes and other sweet confections. Patrick Russell, owner of Koopers Tavern in Fells Point, started Kooper's Chowhound, a burger wagon, last year.

Bain and Smith will eventually take their truck beyond Hampden's border, but for now, the neighborhood suits them fine. The couple live in the area and know a lot of business owners there. "There's a lot going on in Hampden," Bain says.

There's more happening in Hampden. Read about it here.

Source: Lesa Bain, Curbside Cafe
Writer: Julekha Dash
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