salad"I always enjoy a stroll along Baldwin Street and one of my favourite things is to pop in to the Sage Cafe on McCaul Street for a quick bite. This tiny cafe, a mainstay in a neighbourhood of ever-changing venues, is celebrating its 10th anniversary and very proud of it!


Chef/owner Wendy Hernick is no doubt the reason. Wendy likes food to be filled with taste, using simple and fresh ingredients.

'Sometimes it's all about the simplest things,' she says. She believes that people can be cured with foods that heal and years ago became a Holistic Nutritionist to further her knowledge. She offers cooking classes offsite throughout the year---resuming in January.

Sage Cafe and Catering combines a bustling 35-seat restaurant with a quaint dining room in the back and a thriving catering business. Surrounding offices keep the staff busy with phoned/faxed orders for company functions of any size.

The menu is simple; offering soups, wraps, salads, pasta, and desserts- as well as daily specials. The specials are always different as many of the restaurants' patrons are regulars and enjoy the variety.

There are always two to three soups. On a recent visit, tomato-basil and curried lentil with sweet potato were served with pita chips ($3.50). There are a selection of 14 wraps, grilled vegetables (eggplant, feta and sun-dried tomatoes); Portobello mushrooms and brie; avocado plus feta, hummus and carrots; and salmon and dill to give you a sampling.

Choice is key here, and many combinations are available to suit all tastes and appetites. Vegan spreads include hummus, tahini, and Thai peanut sauce.

wrapI had the chicken and tarragon wrap accompanied by a fresh Greek salad- delicious and a bargain ($7.48). Other specials on the board are Pesto Primavera Pizza, Rigaloni with Red Pepper Pesto, Spinach and Brie Quiche, and Linguine with grilled Portobello mushrooms and chicken.

These can be ordered alone or with a soup or salad. The salads are what one would expect- Classic Greek, Zesty Creamy Caesar, and a Garden Mixed Greens, but they are fresh, well-executed and ample serving sizes.

Judging from the steady stream of customers for take-out and sit down lunches, this neighbourhood adores the Sage Cafe.

Desserts are not to be forgotten and there are several choices for vegans as well. I enjoyed the Spiced Carrot Cake and Cream cheese icing made with organic carrots. Very vegan and very tasty! My lunch date debated over the Nanaimo bars, brownies, and cookies, and finally chose a date square to end our repast.

Catering is a big part of what makes this establishment tick. These chefs are excellent and very quality and presentation-conscious. There are catering menus available and you can even get staff to serve for a home party or office function. Menus can be tailored to exact specifications.

I have personally witnessed the repeated 'oohs' and 'ahhs' of participants at a conference catered by the Sage Cafe and Catering team, and the response; very positive.

Drop in for luch or plan a holiday function with good health in mind."

Review by Carol Little