I went to El Saage on a Saturday afternoon with Abby before seeing The Other Boleyn Girl (Don’t waste your time, because then you’ll probably waste my time telling my about how you also hated it and if you actually liked it then you’re really wasting my time.) The place was almost empty though a take out customer showed up as we finished. Abby said it is usually pretty busy during the week when it must cater to the multiple office buildings in the area.
El Saage has simple aquatic blue walls with framed pictures of Lebanon and taped up reviews. The menu was simple and had all the classics, chicken and beef shawarma, falafal, and baba ghanoush. I had a chicken shawarma sandwich and Abby had teh falafal. The chicken in my sandwich was savory and retained most of the rich marinade flavor. Often at other lower scale Middle Eastern restuarants, the meat will be died out and merely coated with said marinade. The sandwich also included lettuce, tomato, radishes, and a pickle. The pickle and the radishes were a nice touch, something I’d not encountered in a pita sandwich, they added a crunch and slight bite to the thin pita. After finishing my sandwich I wanted to try a kabob as well but I was pretty full and we needed to go see that shitty movie. Abby’s falafal was equally delicious and the generous portion of falafal was not over fried as is often the case.
We also ordered a homus (their spelling, I usually like to go hummus but, hey they’re Lebanese, they know what they’re doing) but our cashier failed to ring us up for it. After we asked after it, she told us she didn’t add it into the bill but brought some out anyway. I’m not sure if they are usually that nice or if it was just totally dead. My guess is that they actually are that nice. The homus was full and flavorfull without being too thick. It was spiked with olives and a few radish slivers. The olive is no friend of mine, probably in my bottom five of all vegetables (Say hi to greenbeans for me, olives. Jerks), but the radish slivers in the homus were fantastic. Just that little bite of crunch opened up a new homus world for me.
How could you not buy a kabob from this guy?
From its simple, no frills, menu and decor to its delicious homus and chicken shawarma El Saage has a great thing going. I give it 8.5 items on a single kabob.
In a new feature I will also tell you whether our not our vegetarian/vegan friends would find enough on the menu to even try the place. In this case: Yes, definitely.
Here’s what they’re saying on the ‘net:
“The chicken shawarma plate ($8.95), on the other hand, worked well for us.” – Caliente
“Perhaps it’s a question of who’s grilling the eggplant before mashing it …” – Tucson Weekly