When: May 25.2008
Where: Sago Modern Mexican (The Triangle)
What I Had: Appetizers: Tortilla Chips with two salsas, one green and one red. Corn-Coconut-Butternut Squash Soup a mix of butternut Squash, smoked Corn, Cilantro, Red Onion, and Coconut Milk. Main: Braised Pork-Stuffed Poblano roasted poblano stuffed with slow braised pork shoulder, honey-pasilla sauce & asadero cheese.
What I Thought: While browsing through the Austin Statesman I cam across a review for Sago. That particular review didn't proclaim it as an amazing dining experience but it also wasn't negative. The food descriptions sounded delicious to me so I decided I wanted to give it a shot. After telling my wife about it and her browsing their website she agreed with me.
For lunch today my wife and I visited Sago with some friends. So far the Triangle has managed to nab itself some very nice and tasty dining destinations, like Which Which and Mandolas. My first impression of the interior was surprise and "wow, this is pink." It was different from most Mexican food restaurants yet it looked really nice. It looked like fine dining on a mediocre budget. Had it not been 1pm and 100 degrees outside I would have taken advantage of the large patio with lush vegetation. That will have to be for another trip. Anyways, on to the food. You can judge many a Mexican food on it's salsa and chips. Sago satisfied. They had a red and a green sauce, both with distinct, different, and tasty flavors. Although they were both mild and lacked much heat they were delicious. On to the soup. The long winded name didn't necessarily detract from the appeal so we gave the Butternut-Corn-Coconut soup a shot. First taste was all smoke. Although I think the flavors all went together well, all one ended up tasting was smoke. I guess the corn overwhelmed the soup. The main dish was the pork stuffed poblano. The plate looked amazing and was served with honey-cilantro rice and choice of Charro or black beans. We chose Charro. They rice was very unique but very good. I think it would make a great rice for a fish taco/burrito. As a side it was just as satisfying. The pork pepper was good. Not great however. The sauce lacked any of the punch I was hoping to get from the description. The pork however was cooked perfectly, was tender, and tasted great. Our dining partners took part in the fajitas which I didn't taste but did admire from across the table since they looked so good. Although I was not blown away by Sago for the $9 average lunch price, nice decor, and good service it is definitely a place I will try again. Not to mention there are too many other dishes on the menu that sound too appetizing to pass up. Next up will be the Mexican french toast.
I would visit again, I would try completely new things, and I would expect the same great service and vibrant interior. Even though on a culinary level it isn't one of Austin's best it is the type of restaurant I hope Austin gets more of. I'll definitely be back to test out that patio and a cold margarita.
Pros: Unique Environment, Friendly Service, Unique Dishes, moderately priced, and quality salsas.
Cons: Mediocre food compared to the appeal of the descriptions. Patio takes up half the restaurant which means it is unbearable in the summer.