Sunday, March 05, 2006

HFF Quickie: Gregoire - Berkeley, Ca

Not that Gregoire needs more advertisement, but I felt the need to post about my most recent meal there.

I love Gregoire for lunch (I've yet to order a dinner item). Their sandwiches have been fresh, rich, interesting, and well-priced. And those goddamn potato puffs rock. Tell me a better way to spend $4.75 on food in the east bay and I'll be there in minutes.

That being said, with my most recent meal, I was actually mildly disappointed with Gregoire for the very first time.

An item on their March menu had been in my mind since I first read it--a chilled Maine cod, boquerones, and aioli sandwich on foccacia. Let it be known that those are probably my three favorite things in the world (more favorite than oxygen or sex with hobos, even). However, instead of an oily-rich experience of goodness puncuated by briny bites of boquerones, I instead got a mild fishy sandwich that was somehow managed to be a little bit dry. Don't get me worng--the flavors were great and the ingredients top notch, but it lacked the unabashed richness of previous sandwiches--particularly a rock-shrimp, herb, and tomato sandwich that i had that was absolutely stunning. Basically, this was a sandwich that I could've made better at home without much difficulty in finding the ingredients .

As a side I opted out of the potato puffs for the very first time and instead got the pesto potato gratin. It's a generous serving, but the dish just lacked any real character--the potatoes were well-cooked and soft and it was sufficiently creamy, but it lacked any real flavor. The pesto was very mild with just a mild hint of basil and olive oil and (even for my sodium-sensitive tongue) I thought that it could've used a decent amount more salt.

So there you have it. Gregoire is flawed. Oh well. The end.

Cal-French Take-Out
Entree price range (lunch):
HFF's cost for one (sandwich, side, beverage, tax):
Order by phone: 510-883-1893
2109 Cedar St.
Berkeley, CA 94704
(also at 4001B Piedmont Ave in Oakland)

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