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When I’m too lazy too cook, I often get takeout so I can eat and watch TV. Poulet is one of the places I frequent. They’re located in the Gourmet Ghetto, the area of North Shattuck near Cedar Street, which is home to a significant concentration of the good food in Berkeley.

As the name suggests, they specialize in chicken. In some ways, they’re essentially a fancier version of Boston Market with a French twist. The chicken is of better quality, but it’s not as juicy/tender as the best prepared rotisserie. A lot of this has to do with the way they just have chicken sitting around in the open, slowly drying out. From the photos on their website, they appear to do oven roasting. I suspect that they don’t brine their chickens and are erring on the overcooked side in their roasting. Still, the food is OK for a weeknight.

They have a decent teriyaki chicken, as well as adobo and lemon, garlic and rosemary versions that I have yet to try. There are also daily specials, including a chicken schnitzel which I really like. Chicken pounded flat and deep fried. Their version is pretty juicy (and tasty!).

The roasted vegetable sides are decent. I don’t recommend the mac and cheese, which is pretty bland. The meat lasagna is OK. Expect to have to reheat everything when you get home.

Pricing is a bit on the expensive side for what you get, but that’s not unusual for the non-student side of Berkeley. I typically do takeout, but there are some tables they’ll serve you at. I think you still order your food at the counter, though.

Oh, and be warned – they tend to run out of a lot of stuff by 7, even though they close at 8.

UPDATE 8/12/2010 – The lemon, garlic, and rosemary chicken has a good flavor profile, but the breast is stick-in-your-throat chokingly dry. Go for the leg quarter.

Recommended with strong reservations.

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