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Cheap Eats

Red Emma’s

Keep fighting “the Man” and your holiday bulge with vegan food that doesn’t taste vegan

Photo: Baynard Woods, License: N/A

Baynard Woods


Red Emma’s

30 W. North Avenue, (410) 230-0450, redemmas.org

Even if you are normally the type to run screaming from the merest hint of veganism, the heaping helpings of ham, bacon, turkey, venison, and sundry other forms of holiday gluttony may have your digestive begging for something a bit lighter and less meaty. We were shopping around for books (Chris Kraus, Where Art Belongs, $13) at Red Emma’s new Station North space and drinking house-roasted Thread coffee (the Baltimore Rock Opera Society blend [$1.85]—not nearly as bombastic or strong as we expected based on the name) and we simply could not resist the vegan banh mi chay ($4 for half, $7 whole). Banh mi’s are all the rage these days and, as such, are wildly inconsistent, but this tofu version was pretty rockin’, especially because the lemongrass tofu was freshly baked. The cook asked how spicy I would like it and I told him spicy, but he still brought me a bottle of Sriracha, which helped fortify the kick. But the super-fresh hot bread was the real star of the sandwich, soaking up the sauce and the soy mayo in the perfect way. We also got the black bean salad ($3.50), which was fresh and citrusy, with corn, black beans, tomatoes, garlic, and fresh cilantro. Both of these items were on Emma’s old menu, but they tasted fresher and better in the gorgeous new space. They promise a full dinner menu in the near future. Until then, you can keep fighting “the Man” and your holiday bulge with vegan food that doesn’t taste vegan.

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