Wednesday, January 18, 2012


 We are so excited  to have Jyotsna from The Masala Wala join us again today!  She's telling us about the Chapel Hill's hidden vegetarian gem, Sage!

One thing that is a little strange to me about this area is that outside of the “city” type of areas – Franklin St. in Chapel Hill, downtown Raleigh, Brightleaf Sq. in Durham, etc – everything else is pretty much strip malls or little shopping areas.  So, often you will find hidden restaurant gems in these malls which you have to seek out, as there is no way to know that it would be there.  Sage Vegetarian Café is just one of these gems.  The restaurant is in the Timberlyne Shopping complex.  The space itself is warm and inviting.  The room is painted in warm tones of yellow and orange with dim lighting.  There are only about 10 tables in the restaurant which are simple. 

They offer a limited selection of beer and wine but do not have a full bar.  The menu is completely vegetarian focusing primarily on Persian dishes but includes a couple of Italian dishes.  For appetizer, Mezze Platter is a variety of three Mediterranean sides served with warm pita.  All the side dishes were very good.  The hummus in particular was quite good, very creamy with a nice touch of lemon and tahini.  For appetizer, I have also tried the Osh soup which is a Persian soup with garbanzos, lentils, pintos, spinach, noodles, herbs and spices.  It is a hearty and satisfying soup!  

The Fesan-joon is a Persian dish with pomegranate juice, ground walnuts and herbs, blended with grilled tempeh.  It was served with rice.  The pomegranate juice provided a nice sweet and tangy base to the sauce which was thickened with the walnuts.  The tempeh also added a nice texture to the dish.  My main issue with the dish is that it was quite thick making it difficult to eat and also very heavy.  It would be absolutely amazing if the sauce was thinned out a bit.  The Gnocchi Arabiatta is a dish of potato dumplings sautéed in a light, spicy tomato and basil sauce.  The dumplings were light and nicely absorbed the sauce.  The sauce was a wonderful arabiatta with just the right delicate spiciness.  My favorite dish here, that I have ordered on a few visits, is the Soy Chicken Culets which is soy protein ‘chicken’ in a mild coconut curry and mushroom sauce, served with rice.  The chicken had a nice satisfying meaty texture the coconut curry and mushroom sauce was rich with a mild spice from the curry. 

Whenever I am looking for great vegetarian food I turn to Sage.  The atmosphere is warm and friendly.  The food is delicious and very well prepared.  I love finding these types of gems and appreciate the love and care that the chef and staff put into you having a great experience.       

Here is what you need to know:

Sage Vegetarian Café
1129 Weaver Dairy Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27614

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