Sunday, October 4, 2009

Yesterday’s lunch and dinner at Great Sage

Before I go too far I need to apologize for the dinner photos. We didn’t have our camera with us so these pictures came out of my husband’s cell so they are a little grainy.

We knew we were going to be out of the house a lot yesterday so there really wasn’t much to share other than the cucumber salad dressing. Here is a picture of the lettuce wraps with the shredded carrot, cucumber and beet topped with the cucumber dressing and raw sunflower seeds.

For dinner our friends Sue and John made reservations at Great Sage in Clarksville, MD. Here is the link if you want to check out the menu. It is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant about a half an hour from our house.

My husband couldn’t decide between the Seitan Wellington or the Philly Cheese steak (no cheese or steak) so we got both and split them. This was our first taste of Daiya cheese and wow, is it good. I will definitely be looking for this now. The seitan in the cheese steak had a taste I couldn’t put my finger on and the server said it was house made and when I asked how it was flavored she said it was fermented. Fermented? Okay, this threw me for a loop. If anyone has heard of this before please enlighten me, as I would love to know the secret. I will be doing a little research on this very soon. Wish me luck that I can figure out what they do to seitan. If I do I will definitely share what I find.

The Seitan Wellington came filled with minced seitan, truffled mushroom duxelle and spinach in a homemade pastry with a red wine and mushroom gravy. It was quite nice, but the cheese steak was a little better.

Dessert (which we forgot to take a picture of) was a pumpkin cheesecake made with silken tofu that came in a pool of maple syrup and was sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. It was divine and the texture reminded me very much of a cross between a pumpkin pie and a cheesecake.

This was our first trip to Great Sage, but it will not be our last. Since it is about 30 minutes away we won’t be regulars, but if we are in the area we may have to stop in.


  1. The food sounds yummy and interesting...just the sort of thing that's nice to have when you go out.

    I've never heard of fermented seitan, but it sounds like it would be tasty; I love just about anything fermented. (Unless, just a thought, the server was thinking of tempeh instead of seitan.)

    Anyway, the daiya kudos are big news coming from you. People have been raving about it in the blogoshere...but I was still a bit skeptical. I can't find it anywhere around here anyway; the little vegan store where I shop ocassionally said they were unable to buy it quantities less than a full palette.

    You've reminded me that I really need to go check out a new vegan restaurant that opened up here in Seattle a month or so ago.

  2. Debra,

    It was quite good. Everyone enjoyed it, including the omnivores.


    Thanks for letting me know I am not nuts about the fermented seitan. I specifically asked if it was made in house and the server said yes. Then I asked how it was flavored and she said it was fermented. She seemed to know the rest of the menu well so I don't know if she was confused but I didn't think of that before so maybe that was it.

    Dan and I were talking about fermented things that might have been included in the wet ingredients and came up with wine and miso. Do you have any other ideas?

    The texture of the melted daiya was very impressively like dairy cheese. The taste was close, not exact, but I don't think that is possible without a lot of chemical magic that I am not interested in. The texture was what sold me. I am a texture nut.

    Overall Dan and I were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food. We are rather tough critics and were quite pleased. Now we need to check out another place that is literally walking distance that we haven't tried. It is called One World Cafe and all the Hopkins kids go there. It is directly across the street from the Johns Hopkins campus. Now I am wondering why we haven't tried it.

    If you and John go to the new place in Seattle please let me know if you get any recipe ideas. I think that is the best part about going out.


  3. Looks like Great Sage has started creating more complex dishes than when last I was there. Love shopping in 'Roots', I hope you did. Haven't heard great things about One World Cafe, so I never made the effort to go there, but will look forward to hearing your opinion.

  4. chemical magic, thats funny:)hope you can figure out the fermented seiten stuff. and your dinner looked really good but cheesy meaty stuff on bread will usually win out, especially if you dont eat like that everyday. so do not despair Seitan Wellington, you looked the prettiest!

  5. Shenandoah Vegan,

    Roots was closed by the time we were finished dinner. However, I plan on stopping there this week when I am in Columbia.

    Thanks for the heads up on One World. All the Hopkins kids love it but my husband and I never tried it. I think I will walk over and have lunch there this week or next and let you know if I think it is worthy of travel.


    Normally I would have expected us to prefer the Wellington but the texture on the filling wasn't what we expected even though the flavor was good. However, the seitan in the "non cheese and non steak cheesesteak" was quite good and the cheese texture was great.



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