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Restaurants & Bars 2

Spreading the Love for Berkeley Rotisserie

katya | Feb 17, 200406:37 PM

I ate at Berkeley Rotisserie (formerly Il Rosticcere) over the weekend, and it occurred to me that there has hardly been any mention of this place on Chowhound. (In fact the only past post was from me back in 2002). Once upon a time I saw a rave review from Oakland Tribune in 1998, but nothing since.

The chicken was great as always. For $5 (slightly below that for dark meat, slightly above for white) you get 1/4 chicken, a side dish, and a piece of focaccia. And it’s all really good and cooked - as you might imagine from the name - a rotisserie with the characteristic pink-tinged meat. You have to request it, but the pollo diavola (devil chicken?) is the best with crushed red pepper flakes in the skin.

Among the sides, the roasted potatoes, mixed green salad, and pasta salad are all good. The menu also includes sandwiches (toasted and not) , pasta dishes, and breakfast items (I haven’t tried breakfast which was recently added). The caprese sandwich is the best of its kind I’ve found. Fresh mozarella, basil leaves, tomatoes, and a little olive oil are served on focaccia bread for $5.75. They also offer family meals to go that serve 4 for around $13.

I first started coming here when the place opened in 1998 with Italian owners. Back then, they used to make pizza, too, which ranked up there with Arinell’s and Amici’s. The thin crust pizzas were so, so good – especially the margherita. Unfortunately not enough people were ordering the pizzas so they closed the pizza oven.

The Italian owners sold the place after only a few years to a Vietnamese woman (who used to manage a Burger King no less!), and gave her all of the recipes. The prices have stayed the same since this place first opened, which is pretty admirable. Keep bugging her to make those pizzas so they’ll open up the oven again! In the meantime try the pollo diavola!

2417 Shattuck Ave (at Channing)

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