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It’s not common to find vegetarian or vegan restaurants around Salt Lake City; however…if you feel like you need to spice up your menu or get your veg on – Sage’s Cafe has some potential to please your palate, even if you aren’t a veggie fan.

At first the establishment itself didn’t seemed extraordinarily special, but that is what is terrific about this place – it made me feel right at home. It had a quasi rustic Italian restaurant feel to it: some walls bared the original brownstone structure, wooden tables were strategically placed in the small dining rooms, and attention went into choosing the pendant light fixtures that brought a dim and calming effect to our table. The atmosphere was indeed complementary to the service and food. Do you have a vision of how Sage’s Cafe is? Yes? Then please allow me to invite you to a casual and quiet, yet charming dining experience.

We started with the Asian lettuce wraps, which showcased a mixture of veggies with a flavor perfectly balanced between spiciness and sweetness. The lettuce leaves were a bit awkward to munch on…so I kicked the lettuce leaves to the side and enjoyed the tamari soaked taste of the veggies and tofu. Being very picky… it would have helped if the vegetable assortment came in a bigger dish to be able to scoop the goods out with ease. My guests and I would order these again in a heartbeat.

I ordered the pasta special that highlighted some local eggplant and a cornucopia of other veggies and portabella mushrooms. The fresh pasta stuck together a bit, but in the end that was expected because their specialty isn’t pasta, thus I figured they didn’t have the top-notch skills to ensure this wouldn’t happen. The dish offered enough food that I could have it for two meals, so score for me! Plus, I am a sucker for some great tasting bread, and the parmesan cheese bread that came along with this entree was tasty.

One of my guests ordered the pesto pasta dish. It was presented very nicely; however, there wasn’t the pizzaz that typically comes along with pesto, and even though the pasta was made in-house, the dish was lacking.

My other guest ordered a cubano dish of rice, beans, corn, spices, tofu, and onion on a bed of lettuce with mixed greens,  otherwise known as picadillo vegetariano at Sage’s. My guest reported that this dish had a good flavor and nothing (rice or veggies) was under or overcooked, which offered a perfect balance of texture to the dish. The only downer about this dish was that it could have used a touch more spice and even some avocados to it. Yet, the spunky and friendly staff came to the rescue when my guest inquired after some hot sauce -he was hooked up with some red dragon sauce which was HOT and zingtastic. Problem solved!

We didn’t order dessert, even though there was some contemplation over the offerings…nothing really stood out. Yet, we ought to have questioned a staff member about their vegan ice-cream. I’m now curious to know if such a dessert would even taste good. Perhaps this is a reason to go back to Sage’s.

All in all, for Salt Lake City…this restaurant is one of a kind. Unfortunately some of the dishes were hit and miss, because of the execution of the flavors. But if you are looking for a healthy option – I would suggest that Sage’s Cafe is worth at least a visit to see if it would work for your taste buds.

Rating – I would be willing to return.

Edited by SELF
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