I was in Berkeley over the weekend to visit my brother and my dad at which time we were fortunate enough to enjoy lunch at my favorite take-out only restaurant - Gregoire. Anyone who has ever asked me where to eat in Berkeley has received the answer "Gregoire." Why do I love Gregoire so? Is it beacuse I know Gregoire and feel a connection to the FrancoGreg? Yes. Is it beacuse I was in there 3 times a week when it just opened? Of course. Is it beacuse I am treated to a new and exciting sandwich each time I visit, from chicken with truffles and celery remoulade on pantifolone to lamb with manchego cheese and a balsamic sauce on ciabbata? Mmm hmmm. Is it beacuse I remember every meal that I have every had there. Yup.
But the most unexpected reason that I love Gregoire is the potato puff. The staple of the menu, like the Partobella Fritters at Rivoli, never fails to bring a smile to my face with that first, often far too hot, bite.
With a variety of aioli's unrivalled anywhere (that I have been), the sublime fried puff of potato is heaven. Nine puffs are not enough, yet at the same time too many for anyone daring enough to walk home without thier hands patting thier stomachs and their minds in the world of the octagonal cardboard box, dreaming of next month's menu.