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Gregoire's on a Saturday afternoon

A few of us stopped over at Gregoire's (Piedmont Avenue) this afternoon.

Now, admittedly...

We'd indulged (over-indulged...?) at Oyster Bliss in the morning and early afternoon with fabulous sausage cooked to perfection (accompanied by fresh greens and a satisfying mustard); oysters, sweet and bright; acme bread and pastries (like pan epi; apple turnovers; sour batard; sour baguette; fantastic cheese (thank you Joan); home-cured olives; house-cured chorizo (thank you. Melanie); home-roasted beets w/ carmelized onions, macaroons (my god!); galettes (ditto) and coffee, champagne and wine

and not to mention the fabulous company there

but the fried chicken sandwich that I had been anticipating over the week (you know how that is: look up the menu on the web; analyze the Chowhound, maybe Yelp postings on your particular restaurant and selected food; dissect the experience in detail with anyone who will listen to you, etc.) fell short, very short. Greasy. My dear friend dabbed and then mopped up the oil from the coating. My other best-buddy opted to "save" it for later (not something we'd ever do, don't you know). The interior was moist, but yikes, the amount of sauce that was doused on the bread made the whole undertaking unpleasant.

The potato puffs were sublime and devoured, though.


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  1. Funny, I love the Bariani olive oil dressing on the coleslaw. It is messy, but I think it's tasty.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lexdevil

      Oops. Poor reading. Thought they hit BB after.

    2. I wasn't that crazy about the fried chicken sandwich either. The version at Bakesale Betty is much better.

      1. I think the sandwiches do vary a bit according to who's making it/frying it. The last time they offered it on the menu, it wasn't greasy at all, but I haven't gotten a chance to try it this month. I hope it was an off day... sorry for your bad experience!

        1. I just had one of these and it seems that the chicken itself was not greasy, nor was the coleslaw stuff (not to my tastes) but seemed to be oil or some other fat with hot pepper flavor added to it brushed onto the bread.

          1. Just today at the Berkeley location I had the fried chicken breast w/coleslaw sandwich; it was SUPERB. Not oily, just perfection. I almost got the flank steak w/asparagus sandwich. Had a taste of the delicious cream of cauliflower soup w/truffle oil. Had to get the potato puffs, of course. I love this place (my second visit). If I lived in Berkeley, I'd eat there often.

            1. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love greasy.

              1. Quality of fried foods depends entirely on who is cooking that day. Some of the sandwiches are easy enough that they're always good. Others, like the fc, vary significantly from day to day and location to location. Though I must say, I'm surprised that the same cook managed sublime puffs and a greasy sandwich. I don't really go to Piedmont, so I'm unfamiliar with the quirks of their staff.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Morton the Mousse

                  Good point. The three in my group, though, were unanimous in our conclusion: greasy fried chicken; perfect potato puffs.


                  1. re: Cecelia

                    OK, I was the hound who took his share of the sandwich home.

                    The potato puff were out of this world. The cheese sauce was good but if we had a wasbai mayo I would have been in heaven.

                    The sandwich was another story. Too much oil and dressing. Believe it our not it was better cold. Would try again at a later date. But would not go out of my way to get there.

                    1. re: yimster

                      Maybe my sandwich was so much better because, perhaps, the Berkeley location does a better job, fresher frying oil or something. Like I said, mine was perfect. I love the potato puffs, too. Been there twice and I've never tried the other potato sides -- has anyone tried them?

                      1. re: walker

                        I have tried many of the potato gratin dishes and they are great, though not as good as those wonderful addicting puffs. The garlic potato dish this month was not really a gratin and was just o.k. The french fries are not good.

                2. I had the chicken sandwich at Gregoire (Piedmont) last week and didn't like it at all. I got 2 chicken firger-like strips of chicken that were over cooked. The chicken was dry (as was the entire sandwich) and there was way too much bread compared to the amount of fillings.

                  The leg of lamb with curried potatoes on Lavash was very good.

                  Bakesale Betty's chix sammy has gone downhill but it still has a way to go to match the one I got from Gregoire.

                  By the way, has anyone else noticed that the atmosphere at the Piedmont location has become much more tense over the past month. I go there about once a week and it seems that more often then not lately the employees are arguing or obviously smoldering about something.

                  I notice that they are looking for a line cook - maybe they're understaffed?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: 10foot5

                    I talked with someone who was working as a line cook for a while to get the health insurance, said it was really boring.

                  2. I would definitely recommend this month's grilled havarti on rye. Warning: more than one of these a month will probably cause your heart to explode, but...totally worth it.