Red Dragon

Twin Cities, Minnesota

Reviews

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rating star

I wasn't initially sure how to review Red Dragon. For one thing, it's an institution in Uptown. It's always packed at night with people looming over you, waiting to occupy your table/booth (get there before 9 p.m. if you want to sit down). The drinks are super-strong and most cost $8-$11. So, it's not a cheap place for cocktails, but the vibe in the joint and the amount of liquor they give you makes up for any high prices.

Onto the food: I was surprised that Red Dragon, given its location and clientele, does not have more vegan options. They serve LOTS of meat and most of the dishes are Chinese or Southeast Asian.

There's a small "vegetarian" section on the menu, but our waiter told us that the only vegan dish is the Buddhist Delight with mock duck. I'm not sure what they're putting in the other dishes, but it makes me worried, because East Asian food typically doesn't use dairy or eggs in their sauces/curry mixes. Yet the description of the dishes doesn't mention egg as an ingredient anywhere. In other words, they might be using fish sauce or some other awful thing in their so-called "vegetarian" dishes. Make sure to ask.

That said, the Buddhist Delight dish was fairly tasty, though in a salty, MSG-laden, gooey corn-starch-sauce kind of way. It'll definitely hit the spot if you're drunk, which you will be after one Red Dragon cocktail.

The service was friendly and attentive, despite the hectic, crowded, busy nature of the joint. Impressive. They definitely need more vegan dishes, but I give them props for their ambience.

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