Comparing Grillé with Urfa Dürüm
Grillé offers Kebab de luxe, a concept that one dreams about, that the market is strangely late in delivering. But no more. An former associate of the Châteaubriand gang caught on, offering us a fastfood de luxe joint called Grillé, on rue Saint-Augustin on the corner of rue St Anne, an area with no lacking of desirable fastish-food options in the form of Japanese noodle bars.
Since I went recently to both Grillé and the old standby Urfa Dürüm, the authentic Kurdish joint on the slapdash chic rue Fbg St Denis, I'll share my AB comparison.
Both good and fresh. Ürfa Dürüm's gets my vote because it seems thinner, slightly toasted.
Meat: Grillé has Denoyer sourcing with a good marinade and good seasoning that tastes "well researched". Ürfa Dürüm does not, but both, while not tastint the same, are equally tasty.
Garniture: Grillé wins this round. Fresh and chopped finely. In general better tasting and better groomed.
Kebab size: Grillé comes out ahead too: nearly twice as big as Ürfa Dürüm's, at a price that is only slightly higher.
The wait: The wait at Grillé is not acceptable. We got there shortly before 12:30 and did not wait long. Toward the end of our stay, as we had snatched one of the two small tables existent, we calculated the wait to be around one hour by then. The wait at Ürfa Dürüm seldom exceeds 5 minutes.
What seems to cause this wait at Grillé: Besides the buzz that gets all the non-vacationing Parisians rushing there, the behind-the-counter organization is oddly inefficient. The cashier and the four cooks have overlapping duties. They kept running into each other. There seems to be no stock organization, which means that a given ingredient runs out at the same time for all the counter lines, while all the staff and customers tweedle thumbs. The behind-the-counter traffic and organization need to be seriously tweaked.
Ambiance: Ürfa Dürüm is delightfully funky. Grillé has no ambiance.
My kebab chez Grillé was tasty. The experience was not abject, but not outstandingly enjoyable. Will I go back? Maybe, but not eagerly.
I will go back again and again in the summer months to Ürfa Dürüm.
One tip for the ladies: if you are going to Ürfa Dürüm, be sure to dress accordingly for those strange Kurdish stools, which means in trousers or sit side-saddled style.
Hope this helps.
Great report and fab concept for future Chow formats. It's amazing how much uptown fast-food start-ups could learn from a humble but crackerjack San Francisco tacqueria regarding custom assembly line food prep.
"The wait: The wait at Grillé is not acceptable."
Not only that but I have not been partly because a friend, well-known here, went 4 times and it was closed "exceptionalment."
Thanks for the report, I have yet to try both (shamefully since I often work right near Urfa Durum...), but I will try to get to it, new year resolution (or whatever you call a september resolution...) !