Here’s something you don’t often see: takeout breakfast. Sure, you can get eggy sandwiches, pastries and baked goods to go at many morning eateries, coffee shops and bakeries. But a delightful, lovingly made-to-order, full-meal creation?
You can eat in at Gregoire Restaurant, in Berkeley, California. But there are so few tables and counter seats at this very definition of hole-in-the-wall that chances are you’ll be like pretty much everyone else and taking your brekkie to go. Which is a bit of a shame, because everything looks and tastes so wonderful (albeit in a little paper-lined octagonal box) that you want to devour it in situ while it’s still hot. Of course, I arrive at opening time sharp, so all this is not a problem.
Gregoire combines its fine in-house pastries with some elegant French takes on the possibilities of breakfast. Take, for instance, my flaky puffed pasty with scrambled eggs, bacon, caramelized onion and melted Jack all tucked inside. On the side are some grilled fingerling potatoes and aioli. Oooh, la, la!
This being Berkeley, it’s $9.75 for a takeout box breakfast, still a reasonable deal for food this well thought out and prepared. This also being Berkeley, a local walking his poodles (natch) pauses and a cook reaches out the window with a couple of dog biscuits; part of the daily ritual.
Note: Berkeley is the only one of two area Gregoire locations that serves breakfast. Of course, there are numerous lunch temptations including smoked Portobello on grilled lavash or grilled beef “bavette” with Anaheim pepper cream on a French roll, both under $10.
What Gregoire is famous though is for something I don’t even try: their crispy potato puffs. I’m not even sure if they offer them this early. Next time.
2109 Cedar Street, Berkeley, California (also an Oakland location)
Daily 7 am-9 pm