Poulet can be a great source of homey takeout food, says rworange. She gets whatever looks fresh and good–like the chicken, mushroom, fennel, and red wine sauce with pappardelle. Boozy, wine-soaked mushrooms perfume the experience, and the chicken is deliciously tender and darkly stained with wine. Caramel bread puuding is good, rich, eggy, and full of vanilla, with a thin layer of caramel on a lovely browned top. Let your eyes be your guide–if it looks outstanding and fresh, it probably tastes that way, too.
Do not, however, go at the end of the day and just order anything, advises Berkel–you may end up with the dry, old, shriveled-up remains of whatever didn’t sell well that day. “My own advice at Poulet is the same as any deli: if it looks tired or dry, it probably is, so buy something else,” says rworange.
Poulet [East Bay]
1685 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley