Brunch Out at Great Sage, MD
So, if you love to eat, like me, then you’ve found that it can be just the tiniest bit difficult to find an awesome restaurant that caters to a vegan lifestyle. I mean, it can be awfully hard to find a mediocre restaurant that caters to a vegan lifestyle. Thankfully, here in Maryland we have Conscious Corner. Made up of five different companies, Conscious Corner is an awesome family of stores that are all in the same shopping center, built around the grocery store, Roots. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll talk about each business in turn, but today, I want to hit on the vegan restaurant, Great Sage.
Great Sage’s menu changes with the seasons, but holds onto some very popular items, like the Adult Mac & ‘Cheese.’ Now, I’ve at least tried everything on the summer dinner menu, and there isn’t a bad thing on there. Honest. My personal favorite, however, is the Cajun Étouffee. This version of the New Orleans classic is to die for. I don’t gush over food because I’m a pretty snotty eater. I know what I like, and I know what I can make, and I cannot make this.
A few times I’ve had food here and the “chicken” that they use (which must be either seitan or TVP) is cut thin, or pounded flat, or made perfectly, because no matter how hard I try, I can’t manage to get it to have anything in common with this food.
This etouffee is one of those times. I keep meaning to ask how its done, and never remember to.
The Sunday brunch is also ridiculous. The last time we went, the blonde ordered espresso-chocolate pancakes (right!?) and I got the tempeh Reuben, and a bloody mary.
Allow me to address the drink first, because I like my bloody marys spicy. Now, if given the choice, I would rather have my drink made with Tabasco than horseradish, and with a pickle rather than celery. This drink must have been made with Sriracha, or some other hot pepper paste, because it just about blew my mind. It was the perfect blend of hot and tangy, with just a hint of sweet from the tomato juice. The only change I made, was to add a dash of salt, but other than that, it was ah-mah-zing.
The sandwich must have used almost a quarter pound of tempeh. (I wish I had taken a picture of it from the side, but I can’t help but only want to gobble the food down when I’m there, so. . . Let’s just say I’m working on it.) You know a traditional Reuben sandwich: corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on rye bread. Well, this version is a little different because, well, it’s vegan. It has marinated and baked spiced tempeh, Russian dressing, sauerkraut,and ‘Parmesan’ on toasted rye. It comes with creamy Dijon coleslaw,
stone-ground mustard and a dill pickle. Now, when I think of “Russian dressing,” my first memory of it is some weird pinkish glop that I had no interest in.
This dressing was way less sweet, with just a hint of the tangy-ness that makes it so good.The sauerkraut was a little sloppy but, it was sauerkraut. I could wax poetic about it for a few lines, like I did with the Russian dressing, but let’s be honest, I really like sauerkraut when it is well made, and this was really well made, so. . .
I dolloped the mustard on the sandwich, and devoured it. I probably should have slowed down, and in fact, I did put the sandwich down a few times, but really only to wash it down with the perfectly mixed blood mary (like I said earlier) or to try the coleslaw.
Needless to say, there was very little for the blonde to try, although i did make sure to give her a bite before I gobbled it all up myself.
The blonde had the espresso-chocolate pancakes. These were sweet enough to be dessert, and, while we love chocolate (and I mean LOVE) they weren’t awesome. . . alongside the Reuben. On their own, I probably would be raving about them here like I did the sandwich.
This restaurant is a fav, I won’t lie. Our good friend The High Impact Vegan and her husband are big fans also. Every time we go out to eat in the area, our first assumption is Great Sage. If you find yourself north of Washington D.C. or south of Baltimore, I would urge you to stop there and eat. I love the food, and will probably gush over them in the not too far future, especially as I love to eat out in the summer.
**Since writing this (not publishing, writing), Bozzuto has released this short writeup about Great Sage also. See? I’m a trend-setter.**