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Best Vegetarian Meal 

Massaman Tofu at Thai Orchid

If strip malls have given us anything, it's international cuisine. A lifetime confined to eating at ethnic restaurants that share parking lots with nail salons would be a life spent pretty well. Thai Orchid is a friendly and simply decorated strip-mall tenant that takes care of its vegetarian guests -- the menu lists 17 meatless dishes. We recommend the massaman tofu, where East meets Middle East (massaman means Muslim). Cooked in coconut milk and curry paste, the massaman tofu is a horn o' plenty on rice, abounding with potatoes, carrots, onions, peas, broccoli and peppers. (The bounty was such that we half expected to find the government's new food pyramid under our plate.) The dish might not reach the classification of "hot," but beads of sweat on our foreheads suggest that something's happening. Befitting its lower-rent digs, Thai Orchid is as affordable as it is tasty. At $9.25, the massaman tofu is the most expensive vegetarian entrée on the menu.

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