I recently tried CRs take out rotisserie chicken. It was good, one of the better rotisserie chickens Ive had. The meat was tender and juicy. Even the breast, which is so often dry and tasteless, was tender and juicy. They stuff the bird with lemon and fresh herbs which lends a nice flavor to the meat. They use Hoffman Farms chickens which have an excellent reputation and are used by gourmet restaurants around the bay. Its a small bird, no good for feeding a family but perfect for one or two people; Mrs. Mousse and I had a nice dinner and I still had breast meat for lunch the next day. The small size of the chicken partially explains the tasty breast meat: with bigger chickens the meat often becomes dry before it is cooked through. Priced at $9.25, its a good deal for a high quality, tasty, quick and easy dinner.
My only complaint about the chicken is timing. I like my food to be hot out of the oven and the folks at the meat market dont always know when the chicken will be done. You can reserve a bird for any time of day (suggested, as they sell out), but the bird may have been sitting around for ten or twenty minutes by the time you pick it up. In the future, I think Ill just arrive early and have a drink at the bar while I wait for it to come out.
Roli Roti is still the best take out rotisserie chicken in the Bay Area, but Café Rouge is a close second. I prefer Roli Roti because they use more fresh herbs and lemon and the chicken is served to you hot and fresh. However, I never make it out to any of the farmers markets Roli Roti sells to, and Café Rouge is open 7 days a week, so Ill probably be buying from Rouge from now on.
Cafe Rouge is in the 4th street yuppie district, in Berkeley. Meat market is open 7 days a week until 6:30. Check the link below for details.