According to local news outlet Portland Press Herald, a vegan tofu bánh mì sandwich is making waves in Portland, Maine. The plant-based version of the traditionally pork-packed sandwich has become a favorite on menus at several restaurants—including Honey Paw, Green Elephant, Le Variety, and the Portland Food Co-Op. Owner of Le Variety Quang Nguyen says the sandwich is selling like gangbusters, on par with the store’s meat sandwiches. “It’s a great, healthy option for people, and very affordable,” Nguyen said. “We want to create more options for the vegetarian community, keep the costs down, and make it quick and filling.” Portland Food Co-Op’s deli manager Steve Quattrucci believes that the sandwich sells so well because it attracts non-vegans looking to reduce their meat consumption. “It’s one of those sandwiches that you don’t need the meat,” Quattrucci said. “People feel satisfied by it.” This year, more than half of the eateries participating in Maine Restaurant Week—an annual event that encourages residents to visit local restaurants—offered a vegetarian meal due to increasing public demand for plant-based options.
Photo courtesy of Dan Sriprasert