Grégoire will always have a special place in my heart that no other little Berkeley restaurant can touch (sorry Slow). I first tried Grégoire when my “foodie” friend found out I had never been there. Then she literally dragged me over to North Berkeley, where I had rarely ventured, where I got my first taste of what Grégoire.
To sum up Grégoire, it’s affordable gourmet French food which sounds like an oxymoron but pretty accurate in this case. Lunch usually consists of sandwiches and salads (~$8-10) and dinner consists of entrees (~$10-25). Desserts are available during both times. The menu changes every month with a few constant menu items like the crispy potato puffs and housemade fries. You can check their soup of the day on their menu page (link below).
The first time I went, the fried buttermilk chicken filet with spicy cole slaw on French roll was still a new item and I’m pretty sure it became a staple sandwich that has carried over every month since due to its popularity.
The first thing I got was, of course, the fried buttermilk chicken filet with spicy cole slaw on French roll ($8.25). Sandwiches come with a mini-side dish (not pictured); I’ve usually received different types of couscous.
Just looking at that photograph is making my mouth water. The chicken was perfectly crispy and there was the right amount of crunchy slaw with the perfect level of spiciness and flavor to balance out the chicken. The French roll crust was crunchy and fluffy and dense on the inside. I hate when there’s a mix of hot and cold in the same bite so I liked how the slaw wasn’t too cold and the chicken wasn’t too hot. However, in the past, this sandwich is sometimes inconsistent: the chicken too crispy (making it hard to bite and chew), the slaw too wet, the bread not fresh tasting, etc. They seem to be on a roll (haha) however, and the last few sandwiches I’ve gotten have been excellent quality.
The second time I went to Grégoire, I decided to split a chicken sandwich and an order of crispy potato puffs ($5.25) with my friend. Perfect serving size for two girls with medium appetites.
Can you say perfection? Because these have always been perfectly made everytime I’ve tried them. They’re pretty heavy and creamy and potato-y with a crunchy outer layer and it’s HEAVENLY for anyone who likes carbs. I haven’t really tried the sauce that comes with the potato puffs but most of my friends like it. They have ketchup but you have to ask them for it (I always feel so unrefined lol).
The last time I went to Grégoire (last day of July), I decided to change up my order and because the Cajun spiced fried catfish & Tabasco sauce on French roll ($8.25) sounded really promising. For one, I love fish and I love fried foods so this was a must-try. I also liked how it was a cream-based sauce that was paired with the fish and I eat French rolls forever. And it was indeed yummy.
The sandwich looked pretty similar to the chicken one, but instead of cole slaw, there was lettuce and tomatoes. I’m not entirely sure about the Tabasco sauce since I actually haven’t tried it before (I know, blasphemy); the sauce (seen on the tomato) was a reddish-orange so who knows. This sandwich had a sharper, spicier bite than the chicken one. The fish’s outer crispy layer was perfect and the fish was soft and crumbly. The fish flavor was quite light. The whole sandwich was quite refreshing and lighter than the chicken one. I’m sad I didn’t get this sooner in July because now it’s gone from the menu. It was nice while it lasted.
Grégoire serves their food in these hexagonal cardboard boxes with checkered paper. All recyclable 🙂 . They now offer breakfast and online ordering for pickup.