Monday, March 17, 2008

Le Poulet Deli

I'd passed Le Poulet often on my way to my northside Cheeseboard trips. In fact, in my one track mindset of "I want pizza", I pass most shops without thinking twice. It's a bad thing and I had known it for some time so on my last trip to northside I managed to restrain myself from driving the extra 2 blocks and instead stop at Le Poulet for lunch.

Upon walking into the store you are greeted with a deli counter displaying a wide variety of salads and sides to go along with their roast chicken. They offer several varieties, including rosemary and lemon, teriyaki and adobo on the day that I visited. They also had roasted cornish game hens that looked very tasty and their selection of sandwiches all sounded good. However, being my first trip and given their name I thought it only right that I try their chicken.

I ordered a half chicken, opting for the adobo roasted breast and the rosemary and lemon thigh. I decided to buy my sides individually instead of going with a set meal price and I think it worked out to be a bit cheaper. I had the pesto pasta salad and some macaroni and cheese.

My buddy Tim, whom you may remember from our taco outing, ordered the same when it came to the chicken but went with a beet salad for his side. Of the three sides on hand I liked Tim's beet salad the most but we both agreed that it didn't deserve the relatively high $4 price for the few bites that you get, especially since both of my sides were purchased for the same price. I must admit that my sides weren't as good though. The pesto salad was fine but nothing out of the ordinary but I found macaroni to be just passing. There was too much bechamel and not enough cheese.

Their roast chicken was OK but not as good as I'd hoped. Served on the colder side of room temperature the thigh remained moist but the breast was a bit dry. It should be noted that the breast was cooked without the skin while the thigh still had the skin on which probably helped in retaining the juices. Tim and I agreed that the rosemary and lemon seasoning was much better than the adobo which was kinda bland and flat. Both could have used more salt and pepper though.

For the price and convenience that Le Poulet offers it isn't bad at all. I have a hunch that there is better roast chicken to be found in the area though. I've heard rumors of a shop along Solano Ave. which I've been meaning to search out. I will let you know what I find and will also keep you posted on a likely revisit to Le Poulet but this time for their sandwiches.

Le Poulet
1685 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley CA, 94709


chestery said...

Next time you're wondering about a place on the north side, just ask me first.

Like you say, Le Poulet is somewhat disappointing. It's not bad, but you expect more...and, frankly, pay for more. As you note, the chicken is not hot or "fresh" from the cooker. They clearly don't do enough volume to constantly crank out new birds, but it being merely room temperature when served just doesn't cut it.

And, yeah, the sides look better than they are and, also, don't quite justify the price.

It's not bad. If it were around Telegraph and Durant, I would probably have warmer feelings toward it. But, here on the northside, the bar is raised.

Also, if you're talking about the place I mentioned, it's not on Solano...Coady said the word on the street is that the market by the Colusa/Oak View traffic circle in Kensington does good rot-chick.

It turns out there's other places too: Colusa Market and Kensington Fine Foods...both also in Kensington. Kensington, as Coady notes, seems to have a high density of rot-chick going on.

(Finally, Cafe Rouge supposedly does good take-out rot-chick too.)

Jess said...

Hi there -- was nice meeting you and your your lovely GF in Seattle -- I blogged about the meal you happened upon here:

If you care to read it!

Keep up the good work here.