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Eat Feature

Restaurants to B-More Meatless

By Eric Allen Hatch | Posted 3/2/2005

Despite the much-lamented passing of the Pimlico vegan soul food express Hook-Up Rastarant, Baltimore's vegetarian community has never had so many choices where it can gorge. Two proven winners--Charles Village's all-vegan Yabba Pot and Clarksville's all-vegetarian, heavily organic Great Sage--have popped up in the last two years, with other promising even-newer-comers, such as Mount Vernon's latest Ethiopian joint, the veggie-friendly Dukem, nipping at their heels. Here's a tip-of-the-iceberg sampling some of the most reliable veggie spots, coupled with some suggested dishes bound to get those herbivoric salivary glands working overtime.

Al Pacino Café
Where else can you get hummus on your pizza? Al Pacino's offers a wide variety of veggie pizzas, all of which can be made with soy cheese.

Café Zen
The gow bah sizzling platter with tofu does, indeed, sizzle on arrival, but enjoy it slowly, as its flavor grows richer as the dish cools off.

Frisco Burrito
The delectably marinated tofu burrito counts as one of the best quick and cheap vegetarian meals.

Great Sage
The menu varies seasonably but, so far, the Americana--a vegan variant on the classic American meat loaf, made from walnuts and grains--stands out.

Helmand
The ineffably awesome vegetarian mantwo--on paper, an Afghan ravioli, but in your mouth, so much more--comes in both appetizer and entrée sizes. Either way, pair it with a cilantro-sauce-soaked shornakhod salad.

Liquid Earth
You can't make a bad selection off of either Liquid Earth's sandwich or juice/smoothie menu. But if you start with the hearty TLT and the heavenly Hippy Lippy, you may never try anything else.

Mango Grove
Come in a group and order a variety of dishes, but make sure the gramophone-proportioned paper masala dosai and piping hot peas paratha both have a place on your table.

Mr. Chan's Szechuan Restaurant
The tempeh with orange sauce is our first choice, but the surprisingly steak-y shiitake maki also scores points.

One World Café
The daily veggie burger specials offer inspired departures from the frozen-patty offerings at most veggie joints, but the real sleeper on the regular menu is an organic tofu club.

Ras Doobie de Chef
Offerings vary daily, but we suggest ordering from the all-vegetarian “Ital” category, bearing in mind that the collard greens and fried plantains rank among the best in town.

Thai Restaurant
The sweet masaman curry with tofu, replete with peas, pineapple, peanuts, and chunks of potato, remains a local vegetarian classic.

Yabba Pot
The permanent menu offers the excellent citrus spare “ribs.” On a lucky day, the rotating menu includes the YP's crowning glory, the battered-cauliflower-as-fried-chicken “rasta chick-un.”

Zodiac
The menu varies with astrological regularity, but clearly marked vegetarian and vegan choices abound, including excellent soups and desserts.

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