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An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Sage Advice: A Restaurant Review

I have been struggling with the worst case of writer's block ever. Despite the numerous possible topics, I couldn't for the life of me, pick one, blog about it and move on to the next.

That being said, I am now taking baby steps. For this edition of The Mediocre Wanderer, I shall be reviewing a restaurant that a couple of blogs and TV shows have featured and declared A-OK; Sage

Before the holiday season kicked in and swamped Baguio with traffic and tourists, we had a bunch of friends over from Manila.

As our house could never be party central with it's children to space ratio, we decided to all meet up for dinner in the said restaurant. Here are my notes on the place:

1. Ambiance: warm, casual, comfy and cozy. Perfect for family and friendly gatherings.
2. The Menu: diverse, a little of everything for everyone
3. Price: everything below 300. Affordable with a capital "A".
4. Service: efficient
5. Food presentation: well done!
6. Food portioning: generous! and finally,

7. Taste: how do I try to say this without sounding like the only reviewer who seems to think that I shouldn't settle simply because the food is mura (inexpensive)?

a. the bestsellers like the creamy bulalo were just so-so. They're not bad, but they're not THAT good that I must have em again either.

Since we were a big group, we got to order a whole lot from the menu and rated em as such: callos (our 6 year old looved this trip dish...who would've thought?4/5), Shepherd's pie (3/5), buttermilk-brined chicken fried chicken and waffles (our friend loved the chicken but it was a tiny piece, so I guess it's 4/5), creamy bulalo (3/5), this prawn dish, barbecued spareribs, chicken ballotine  (all probably 3/5, as no compliments or complaints were mentioned) and basil shrimp pasta (which no one got to eat as the uneven merging of two tables caused the haphazardly balanced glass of water to spill. It was the staff's fault, but they charged our friends for the food despite the fact). One of us also got those cute sisig shots :)

b. If you have a sweet tooth, SKIP the oreo cheesecake and the oreo shake. The oreo cheesecake, while picture perfect, tasted like bland, white, firm jello. What cheesecake were they even talking about here? I could taste the oreos coz goodness knows just how one could only mess up oreos.

Don't even get me started on the shake. While shakes are normally topped off with a dollop of whipped cream, I was baffled as to how the "whipped cream" managed to stay in shape despite our son's constant sipping. Turned out to be sugar icing! I mean, who DOES that?!

It was an hour to closing time when we arrived so we had an hour tops in the place. I do not in any way hate Sage. Despite all the good reviews it got from various sources, I'd like to think it was the place, the presentation and most especially the inexpensive prices that made people overlook the fact that the food wasn't all that and a bag of chips.

Maybe I'll just settle FOR the bag of chips, the next time any of my out of town buddies come by, instead of going to a place that's been hyped up this much. My friends actually enjoyed the food at Good Taste, despite it's CDE ambiance more than they did at Sage. Maybe I caught them on a bad day.

Post Script: It's not bad, but I don't think I'd recommend Sage to a fellow foodie (and my standards are seriously mediocre). I'm sorry if you love the place.

PPS: Check out their Facebook page to see their menu and location: https://www.facebook.com/sagebaguio/photos_stream

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours.

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