Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Writing that last post made me realize that I've never written a "thing" on Gregoire yet. It's a small place on Piedmont Ave. that has a number of seats, but is primarily a take-out restaurant that serves French food, using spectacular ingredients. Most of the lunch menu consists of sandwiches and stuff for about $8, which is pricey, but not out of the range of most sandwich places these days (at least of this caliber). But, you'll undoubtedly get the crispy potato puffs, at $4.25, because they're totally worth it.

While the almost the entire menu changes on a monthly basis, the one thing that remains the same are the potato puffs. They're these crispy-on-the-outside, silky smooth on the inside deep-fried potato balls. Basically, like mashed potato on the inside, but somehow surrounded by a crisp, light crust that they sprinkle with kosher salt, giving it a period little burst of salty goodness. They don't feel greasy at all, and they're unlike any other potato "device" I've ever had. Awesome. It'll come with a dipping sauce of some kind, but that varies from month to month.

The sandwiches vary from "ok" to "incredible." Recently, I had a pork sandwich that I thought was overly mustardy, but I've had sandwiches there that are really quite excellent. It just depends on the month, I guess, and whether a particular concoction aligns with your taste. The preparation and the quality of ingredients are uniformly spectacular.

Dinners are all over the place, ranging from little fried chicken tenders, to elaborate fish dishes, or other interesting meat or vegetable preparations. I've had one meal (lamb kabobs with kalamata olives) that I thought was unspectacular, but everything else has been extraordinary. A recent six-hour braised beef cheeks over penne pasta had a wonderfully balanced, earthy sauce over the most perfectly done pasta I've ever had. So far, it's the only thing I've ever gotten twice. We usually don't go enough to exhaust the monthly menu (maybe twice a month), but this time, rather than try something else, I just got the beef cheek again, sad that it would rotate off the menu in a few days (at the time - the rotation happened yesterday, in fact).

Everything's served in little corrugated octagonal cardboard containers. It's great for takeout, and you sort of always know how much food you're going to get. Which is good, but it makes your weird little value-for-money calculation go haywire sometimes, becuase you know that for dinner, you'll spend about $17 on the entree, and it'll all fit in that octagon, come hell or high water. Still, occasionally, it's definitely worth it. The food there is really, really good - often interesting and challenging, always spectacularly prepared, and always with the finest ingredients.

It's a wonderful place to grab a quick dinner, when you're feeling like you really want something nice, and are willing to pony up the dough, but not the time.

And the truffled scalloped potatoes that you now can't get 'till it reappears some month on the menu are the best potatoes I've had maybe ever. Awesome stuff.


Anonymous Becky said...

We stopped in to Gregoire on Saturday for lunch and had very different reactions. I loved the potato puffs, liked my sandwich (cheesesteak), but heartily disliked Alan's sandwich (the spicy tombo tuna). I'll probably give them another shot at dinner.

11:06 AM  

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