Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Great Sage, Clarksville, MD #4

With the recent closing of three vegetarian/vegan restaurants in the metro DC area, Great Sage is now the only non-ethnic vegan restaurant open daily for lunch and dinner within 30 miles of DC. Sadly, it's true. So on this Saturday, my mother and I went to check out the newly released fall 2012 menu.

Despite it being in the middle of the day, the dining room was still very busy. We were seated towards the back of the restaurant and were immediately greeted with a couple glasses of water. Our server approached the table and we both ordered a glass of wine.  I know it is just lunch, but, hey, it was after 2 p.m. so why not?!

Our server kept approaching us as we took our time discussing the menu items. He had a coarseness to him that was undesirable by us at the time and he really rubbed us the wrong way. He mentioned his favorite dishes when he first approached us, then later when I asked him about one item, he seemed annoyed and remarked, "do you think I'd lie to you?" He was indicating that he already mentioned that item was good. Geez, pipe down, brother.  So we placed our orders.

We both started with the raw Mediterranean salad. The small "side" salad was huge! The crisp romaine heart leaves were piled high with red peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and red onion along with crunchy sprouts in a lemon garlic dressing and a dollop of hummus. This salad was way too salty. It tasted like they dumped the entire container of salt into the hummus. It was also way too big for a small salad.

Next, they dropped off my mother's tempeh reuben and brought me some sort of sandwich. I then told them that I ordered enchiladas. My server apparently put in the wrong order for me. I nibbled at the tempeh reuben while I waited [for a long time] for my entree. I think they really need to improve on their reuben. They could learn a lot from Chicago Diner on this one.

Finally, my pumpkin enchiladas arrived. Luckily, they were worth the wait. The enchiladas were filled with pumpkin, black beans, roasted corn, cilantro, and chilis and topped with some sort of vegan sour cream and mole. They were delicious. They were served atop a Spanish quinoa that was cooked with tomatoes. Did I mention that after suggesting a hot sauce, the server still forgot to bring this?! After adding both hots and hot sauce to this dish, I enjoyed it even more.

I was way too full to enjoy dessert, but my mother insisted I take one home so I ordered the new pumpkin pie. It was served with caramel sauce and some sort of vegan cream. It was a great pumpkin pie.

So, in the end, some of the dishes were great and some were not, their prices are on the high end for lunch in Maryland at $13 per entree, and the service left much to be desired. In fact, it was nearly 15 minutes before he brought us the check. That is not to mention his bad, sarcastic attitude throughout the meal despite our attempts to be pleasant. I'm sure I will be back next season, but not anytime soon.

Previous reviews
June 7, 2011
July 12, 2012
September 25, 2012

Great Sage
5809 Clarksville Square Drive
Clarksville, MD 21029
(443) 535-9400

Great Sage on Urbanspoon


  1. Couldn't agree with you more. Every time we've been, the food has been just okay to good, and the service has never been beyond mediocre. It seems like they don't train their people at all. We've never had it downright rude like you did on this visit though! Geez. It's just not worth a special trip all the way out there. I hope they see your review here and on Yelp. They get far more praise and credit than they deserve IMO and need to make some serious improvements.

    Also, Chicago Diner's reuben is THE reuben. :)

    As for other vegan places, Soul Veg, Everlasting Life, and Senbeb (my personal fave) are all open for lunch and dinner. Though Senbeb does close at 7, I believe.

  2. Great Sage is definitely hit or miss, but I always find my way back there. I like the other DC restaurants you listed, but I just don't always want to eat soul food. We need more variety in this city!

  3. As a manager at Great Sage I would love for you and Lisa above to know that we have seen both this blog and the yelp review and take ALL feedback very seriously. I apologize for any type of unsatisfactory service either of you may have had dining with us as we strive to be the very best in both food and service. As our clientele base continues to grow we are aware that there are some bumps in the road and appreciate suggestions just as much as praise along the way. Please feel free to ask to speak with a manager on duty if any issues arise and if you would like to discuss any of your experiences further please e-mail Hope you will join us for the unleashing of our winter menu in mid January, it would be our pleasure to chat with you about new dishes and desserts. -Katie Smallwood

  4. Katie - I really appreciate your response. I'm sure I will be back in the winter and hopefully I'll get to meet you in person some day.