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Victory 44 Coffee Bar & Provisions: A first look

This coffeehouse serves extras like braised pork cheeks or bacon fries for lunch

This coffeehouse serves extras like braised pork cheeks or bacon fries for lunch

The chef-driven gastropub Victory 44 has expanded into the space next door. Owner Erik Harcey has brought his love of coffee to the neighborhood in addition to expanding the food options available. Dogwood coffee percolates behind the counter and fresh pastries beckon from the bakery case. The sunny, open space makes it an office-away-from-the-office destination.  Even better, they're offering breakfasts full of the same artfully presented, creative food that makes the dinner tables next door fill up night after night.

First let us consider the coffee. Dogwood coffee and espresso releases a  rich, toasty brew that is luscious and soft and as toasty as a campfire, with a rich, cocoa depth. Speaking of chocolate, ordering a mocha isn't any sort of pedestrian Hersey Syrup confection. A steaming full cup of milk cascades over espresso shots spiked with barely sweetened chocolate, creating a lovely balance between the three elements.

And now, about the food.

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Breakfast treats range from pastries, muffins, and cookies to more substantial options like quiche or eggs Benedict with "breakfast" tots.  Breakfast is served from opening till 11:00 a.m.

And then, of course, there are the pork offerings. A choice selection of tidbits is available from the menu served at the restaurant next door.  On a recent visit, that included such nontraditional lunch options as sweetbreads meatloaf, bacon fries, the "perfect" burger, or a braised pork cheek. 

All of these items are available to go, which means, if you live in the area, your next TV dinner could be crispy fried pork belly nuggets, puffy little fried clouds of gnocchi drizzled with local honey set around a medallion of husky sweet pig meat, and accompanied by spring-fresh baby peas.

We can't wait to see what comes out of this spot next.