Where to Eat

SAUCE Restaurant: Home of Delicious Dishes & Sauces

If you enjoy eating out with a friend at a fun, healthy, delicious, and affordable restaurant, I highly recommend giving the Sauce Family Restaurant a try some time soon.  It is “the new kid on the block,” located in the Ashland Shopping Center between Radio Shack and the corner jewelry store.  There is plenty of parking, and the atmosphere is casual, friendly, and colorful.  The featured entrée the Friday evening my friend and I dined at Sauce was a Tuscan bowl of slow-cooked organic vegetables, served on organic quinoa or rice, topped with organic kale chips (house made) that you can dip in the toasted sesame sauce, all for $7.75.  Open for lunch (11:30), afternoon, and dinner six days a week (closed on Sundays), this restaurant opened in January 2012, and is clearly a favorite already with folks from toddlers to seniors who value excellent food at affordable prices.  Entrees range from salads ($4.75-$7.75) to the Organic Lamb Curry with daikon, potato, tomato, and organic garlic braised kale, served with rice or quinoa ($13.50).

My friend Gretchen and I were feeling adventurous and hungry, so we sampled a variety of tasty dishes, enjoying our conversation with Tara, the owner, while we ate.

She and her husband have truly created a family-run business.  He made all the sturdy tables and chairs and composts whatever he can in their home garden.  Most of the vegetables, meat, and tofu are organic and from local sources.  Two of their four adult children work regularly in the kitchen, and one now does the book-keeping; recently they’ve been able to hire more staff as the business is growing, mostly due to word of mouth, and a growing reputation for excellent cuisine.  Tara’s eclectic offerings reflect her wide travels, from growing up in Mexico, and traveling with family to India, Nepal, Europe, and British Columbia before she and her husband, a New Hampshire native and confirmed vegetarian, settled in the Rogue Valley in 1985. For awhile, Tara lived at the Buddhist Temple in the Colstein Valley, where she learned to cook wholesome vegetarian meals for large groups. She continues this cooking style through her catering business, which was the precursor to owning and creating the cuisine for this Sauce Restaurant. The catering business is still in existence, too.

Our samplings included several appetizers: the olive oil and garlic Naan (better than fry bread, but also deep-fat fried and delicious), the organic kale chips (worth ordering some to go when you travel and want a tasty and healthy snack), the Ginger Glazed Butternut Squash, served with Toasted Sesame Sauce on the side, and a small helping of the Lamb Curry with gently stewed vegetables.  All were scrumptious!  For entrees we ordered two new seasonal choices not yet on the take-out menu.  Gretchen ordered the Peanut Wrap Bowl of roasted vegetables and seasonal organic lettuce leaves with rice and quinoa with a tasty, tangy peanut sauce.  She is a good cook herself, and called this dish heavenly!  I ordered the Athena Bowl of garlic organic greens, feta cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers, served with a zesty goddess sauce and tahini.  It was yummy too, and left us both considering dessert for a full multi-course meal.  As we ate, the colorful room filled with customers, and folks ordering meals to go, as well.  For restless kids there are crayons and paper to doodle with as they wait.  They do have beer and several Applegate wines, along with sodas, root beer, coconut milk, and tea, including chai and one we tried with dessert, a freshly brewed ginger tea that was yummy and a welcome digestive aide.

The desserts would be a great after movie treat as well.  I ordered a gluten free coconut custard crepe with toasted coconut and cream, and a small side of Nutella (hazelnut and cocoa spread).  It was so delicious I cannot even begin to describe its creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture.  Gretchen chose a Half Order Beignet; it included four pastry pieces of hot, crispy “deliciousness” sprinkled with Blueberry Reduction and Powdered Sugar, served with Cinnamon Whipped Cream.  After such indulgence enjoying this unique and still healthy meal, we chose to go downtown dancing to the Robbie Dacosta Trio playing on First Friday Artwalk, near Gathering Glass Studio.

The service at Sauce was as friendly and delightful as the food.  If you enjoy home cooking with a wide assortment of choices, all at reasonable prices and with no-hassle parking, do give this new southside restaurant a try.  You are in for a real treat!

Sauce Restaurant
1640 Ashland St
Ashland, OR 97520

(541) 292-9059


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