One World Café’s menu asserts that its goal is to provide “simple, honest healthy vegetarian cuisine in a casual eclectic atmosphere”. The front room houses a handful of small tables as well as some sofas, a lit case full of house-made dessert temptations and a large bar (Yes, it has a liquor license!) while the rear large dining room with 12’ high unfinished ceilings has 18 tables (and can get pretty noisy).
With sponged purple and orange walls (with bright yellow woodwork no less!) punctuated by tall glass block windows and local art, One World has a definite collegiate hangout feel. “One World” is also “older” than many of the Hopkins students who hang out here; it first opened on Federal Hill in the early 90’s and this site on University Parkway just north of Hopkins “Homewood” campus opened in 1999.
The menu is almost exclusively vegetarian/vegan and offers a half dozen starters ($5 – $10), house-made soups ($3-$5), salads ($7-$10 and curiously including a non-vegan tuna salad plus the option of adding grilled tuna to a salad for an extra $5), 10 entrees ($10-$13 – all vegetarian/vegan), and 18 sandwiches (most $8-$9 and served with chips). 3 non-veggie options include grilled tuna or tuna salad sandwiches and a smoke salmon wrap. You can add a side salad to your entrée or sandwich for $2.50. A vegan “Not Dog” is $3.50 while the only burger is a house-made veggie version ($8)
Marty, John and our friend Tom started with the Deluxe Nachos ($7 – and easily shareable!); the large platter of corn chips topped with melted cheddar, diced tomatoes, onions, black olives, salsa and a dollop of sour cream quickly earned our appreciation.
For his entrée, Marty decided on faux “crab cakes” (after a hearty endorsement by our cute, tattooed waiter who said that he had become vegetarian because it was the easiest way to have the maximum impact on the world he lived in).
John decided on the vegan Red Bean Jambalaya while Tom ordered an Eggplant Gyro.
Marty found his “crab cakes” were made with shredded zucchini and served up with some very good garlic mashed potatoes and corn salsa; the combination got his “Thumbs Up”. Tom’s gyro seemed dominated by pieces of roasted red pepper in addition to the grilled eggplant and spinach and feta and earned another “Thumbs Up”. John’s Jambalaya had red beans, chunks of meatless “sausage”, garlicky kale mixed with spicy brown rice plus two small cornbread muffins with some house-made maple butter; the combination proved satisfying and spicy enough to be interesting. (John’s also a great fan of the faux “Meatball Sub”)
We decided to share a large piece of Amaretto Raspberry cake ($5); while simple looking, the frosting and filling were flavorful (and there wasn’t a crumb left on the plate!). Between our friendly, attentive waiter and the good sized portions of tasty food at reasonable prices, we ended our meal on a happy note summed up by Marty’s observation: “I hadn’t eaten at One World in so long, I forgot how good the food was!” How true! (And well worth trying!).
FACTS: One World Cafe (Tuscany/Canterbury); 100 W. University Pkwy; 410-235-5777; ; Full Bar; Heavily Vegetarian/Vegan Menu; on street parking only (DIningOUT visit: 7/15/2012)