Eating to Live on the Outside: Great Sage

Alright, Friday’s here and you know what that means—Eating to Live on the Outside—yet another installment of TRYING to make American restaurant cuisine more palatable to the discerning Eat to Liver. This week Great Sage is on the menu.

To be honest, it’s pretty good. Not earth-shaking, but WAY better than most places. Let’s do the appetizers first. I like the Guacamole Tostada. I know. Quite the shocker, there’s avocado in it and I’d order it. It’s made with chipotle black beans, brown rice, Romaine lettuce, tomato salad, corn shell, and guacamole. The tortilla sucks, but everything else is cool.

I’m more excited about the Roasted Vegetable Plate; it’s made with eggplant, red onion, zucchini, red pepper, Balsamic reduction, and hummus. Looks good to me! If the hummus is made with olive oil, it’s a tad iffy, but overall, I dig it.

Okay, the salads are all decent—in their own special way—but I’m leaning towards the Ensalaa Cubana, Young Spinach Salad, or the Strawberry Asparagus Salad. They’re PACKED with goodies. Combined they’re made with lettuce, avocado, orange, red onion, chili-lime almonds, citrus basil mint dressing, white button mushrooms, marinated tofu, candied walnuts, shallot dressing, chopped almonds, asparagus, and strawberry vinaigrette. Aside from the candied walnuts—which are REALLY no big deal—this stuff is great.

Now, I like a couple of the wraps too. I LOVE mushrooms, so the Portabella Caesar Salad Wrap is a lock. They make it with roasted portabella, Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, artichoke hearts, vegan Caesar dressing, grilled flour tortilla, roasted red potato, and pickle. Well, the tortilla might make you wince, but I can deal with. Too much good stuff to ignore!

I’m also digging the Roasted Vegetable Wrap. It’s prepared with roasted eggplant, red onion, zucchini, red pepper, balsamic reduction, mesclun greens, hummus, flour tortilla, and kettle potato chips. Alright, the chips are getting the axe—I DON’T eat that crap—but everything else is cool and no worries on the tortilla again.

Lastly, there are a couple cool entrees too. The Indian Vegetable Cakes look good; red lentil dahl, cashew spinach, brown rice, mango date chutney, and cucumber raita. Now, I’d only go with it, if the raita is made with some vegan option—NO yogurt for me! Oh, and I can deal with the brown rice.

The Panang Spiced Coconut Curry with Cauliflower is also worth a look. It’s prepared with green beans, red pepper, fried tofu, mung bean sprouts, toasted peanuts, and brown rice. Admittedly, the fried tofu spoils the dish a bit, but I SELDOM eat anything fried. So I’d be okay with it this time. I like sprouts enough to take the hit. Plus, the word “mung” makes me laugh.

If by chance, none of Great Sage’s food intrigues you. You can try this. Just order a bunch of sides. Personally, I’d go with the roasted potatoes, vegetable of the day, lemon-garlic broccoli, and cashew spinach. Not a bad option if you’re not willing to bend too much.

So yeah, I think Great Sage would work. It’s also really cool that they are an organic restaurant—especially if you’ve gone green! Okay, now I need your help. Double check, make sure Great Sage’s menu is up to snuff. Check it out and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or shoot an email to Until then, eat smart! Peace.

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Melody - September 12, 2008 2:21 PM

Why are none of these places ever in Iowa? Actually we have a great vegan restaurant in town (Iowa City) called The Red Avocado.

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