Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Great Sage - Clarksville, MD

Hi everyone! For me and my cousin's belated birthday, her mom took us to The Great Sage in Clarksville, MD. I know this isn't part of the DC Metro area (as in accessible by subway), however it was my first Vegetarian restaurant, so I figured why not write about it!

It is has been in business since 2004 and is located in Clarksville, which is close to Columbia, and nestled in the 'Conscious Corner' shopping center that has The Great Sage restaurant, an organic market, healthy pet food store and organic clothing/gift shop.

I like how there is cute outdoor seating for when the weather is nice.

The interior is quite beautiful with its rich colors and mood lighting (which kills my food shots, but ce la vie).

I liked the simplicity of the decor along with the paintings, which gave a nice touch.

This place is great for those who do not eat meat, any animal by-product or have food allergies. Under each item on the menu there is a guide as to how your food is/can be made:

V - Vegan
GF - Gluten-free
SF - Soy-free
PF - Peanut-free*
V Opt - Vegan option available
GF Opt - Gluten-free option available
SF Opt - Soy-free option available
PF Opt - Peanut-free option available

I decided to drink something other than water, so I ordered the 'Black Cherry Carbonated Juice' for $2. It was pretty good for not having any added sugar in it.

While waiting for our food we were presented with some white bread slices to dip into our olive oil and herbs mixture.

We ordered 2 appetizers. Our first was the 'Falafel Griddle Cake - Chick pea and wheat bran cake served with tomato-cucumber relish and a Tahiti sauce. (V)' for $6. The texture of the falafel wasn't as crunchy as I've had it in the past because I've had them fried. I enjoyed the taste of all of the ingredients together. It tastes very healthy, if you know what I mean.

Our 2nd appetizer was the 'Santa Fe Salad - Young mixed lettuce, black beans, roasted corn, red onion, plum tomato and avocado with house made lime cilantro dressing topped with crispy tortilla strips and choice of marinated tofu or cheddar cheese.(V Opt, GF, SF Opt)' for $7. We ordered the side salad, otherwise a normal sized one would be $10. We put both marinated tofu and chedder cheese on ours, and I thought it was quite delicious.

For my entree I ordered the 'Oaxacan Tamale - Steamed tamale filled with an Oaxacan style mole and seitan over red rice and green chili sauce. (V)' for $16. I'm a huge fan of tamales, so I wanted to give this a shot. It was actually really good for having no meat in it because the mole and green chili sauce were very fragrant and tied the whole meal together.

My aunt ordered the 'Seitan Wellington - Marinated seitan, truffled mushroom duxelle and spinach baked in pastry with a red wine mushroom demi and whipped gold potatoes. (V,SF)' for $18. I tried the baked spinach/pastry part and it was SO GOOD. They have an in house pastry chef, so it tasted very homemade.
FYI - Seitan is a product similar to tofu, however it is made from wheat gluten instead of soy giving it a chewier texture.

My cousin ordered the Night's Special, which was '"Green" Gumbo - Okra, Tomato, Garlic, Green Chile, Poblano Pepper, Onion, Creole Spice, Swiss Chard, Roasted Corn, and Brown Rice (V, SF, GF)'. I don't know the price since it wasn't on the menu, and my aunt took the check away from us to pay.

I did try Gumbo and we both found it to be a bit bland, so she asked for some hot sauce and these are the options they brought out.

We were all so full that we didn't order any dessert, however our server said the restaurant would be happy to give us a 1 oz nightly sample dessert on the house, and it happened to be chocolate mousse. How awesome!

Overall, I had great service in a warm, beautiful, laid back place. I personally don't mind eating Vegan or vegetarian food, but it does have an acquired taste. If you are not open to the fact that a vegan tamale will not taste like a regular one, then perhaps this place might disappoint. If you are open to this type of food, then its really delicious. Great plate presentation, and you can tell a lot of time and thought goes into the dishes. The menu changes all of the time depending on what is in season and the price range for the entrees are between $13-$18.

5809 Clarksville Square Drive
Clarksville, MD 21029

brunch - Sundays 10 am - 3 pm
lunch - Tuesday thru Saturday 10:30 am - 3 pm
lite fair - everyday 3-5 pm
dinner - everyday 5 - closing
Great Sage on Urbanspoon


HowChow said...

Glad that you liked Great Sage, but you're a little quick to say we're not part of the DC Metro area up here.

We get the Post. We commute to DC. Indoor plumbing almost everywhere these days in Howard County. :-)

If your aunt lives up this way, try Mango Grove for really great Indian. That will carry through your vegetarian theme.

HowChow said...

Glad that you laughed at the comment. I wish we could all be inside the Metro!

Great Sage said...

We at Great Sage would love for you to join us again soon. Our menu is always changing and we now have a happy hour Tues-Fri from 3-6pm. Your pictures are great and we would love to treat you to a dessert!