Sage Grill - San Diego (Encinitas)
I've heard about this nice place from several people including both my
sister and mother. My Mom and I were in the area and dropped in for
lunch. We both opted for the excellent French Dip and the onion rings.
I wish our tastes had been more divergent because I would have
liked to try more than one thing. anyway, here is the short and long
It was raining all over San Diego county today and the restaurant was cold
inside. What was with that?
The coffee (I always start with that, coffeehound that I am) was an
innocuous one from San Diego Coffee & Tea and was not up to the level
of the restaurant. SDC&T does roast some excellent beans, so I do not
know what the problem was.
First up, the French Dip was served on an Italian-herb ciabatta and I
felt it conflicted with the taste of the meat and grilled onions in
the sandwich. It was a nice soft roll, not the usual crusty ones I am
used to. It would be great alongside some Italian dishes, but I felt
it was misplaced here. I want to taste the meat and the onions with au
jus and horseradish. I did not ask for any cheese on the sandwich -
something else I really enjoy on a French dip.There was a horseradish
sauce (mediumish hot) alongside. The au jus was a bit salty - probably
from sitting on the heat too long without some additional water being
added. Mom even commented on that saltiness and she is far less salt
"sensitive" than I.
The onion rings were a bit "unusual" in that they were in a panko-
buttermilk coating and while I liked the crunchiness, I do not
particularly care for the tang of buttermilk. Mom loved it, but then
she likes buttermilk. She and I chatted about her cooking largely not
including buttermilk while us kids were growing up and that is
probably the reason I am not a great fan. However, if you like
buttermilk coatings, then the onion rings are definitely something to
be enjoyed. They are good, no doubt about it. The ketchup served was a
standard out-of-the-bottle type and I felt this was a missed
opportunity for Sage Grill to do something a bit special, making their
own or modifying the one they had.
All in all, a nice meal coming in at $33 before tip.
Would I eat there agin? Were I in the area, definitely - but I would
opt for a new experience.