Here I find myself calmly stalking Poulet. The intersection of Virginia & Shattuck is nearly void of traffic, perfect for my approach. Sure is a totally badass day to be out.
I don’t normally leave my box, it’s tough pawing my way though my psychosis. Then how did I manage to find a path away? Shuna of Eggbeater asked me to, that’s how.
Wanna come see?
In a post the other day about Poulet, Shuna asked people to come by and sample some of the special baked goodies she’s doing for Poulet. See, she’s doing some consulting work to revamp, revitalize and renew some of their recipes. Cool, eh?
Thursday was the day and I jumped in to my black pickup and headed out for a lunch adventure. Berkeley’s traffic can be a bitch and there’s no rhyme or reason. I figured I’d begin from the bottom of Cedar, at the bay, and drive up, up, up and right. Park, hike in.
Poulet is located on the corner there in an older building, probably 80 some odd years old. Beautiful high ceilings with olde type fans quietly whirling. They bill themselves as a delicatessen and a cafe, let’s see. They have a nicely arranged cooler filled with bowls of food, a table filled with warmish food and they got a nice area with tables and benches. Yup, this qualifies.
Instead of bounding in and asking for Shuna, I decided to look around, poke my nose in to things. The menu is a huge green chalkboard that covers the wall up and behind the counter. I notice something right off, the descriptions of the food are missing something. They don’t say Organic, Natural and/or followed with a paragraph of what part of the Himalayas they came from. Well now, that’s refreshing. Hey everyone!!! IT’S FOOD!!! Good looking food, good tasting food in a nice atmosphere that doesn’t distract. Put it in your mouth, do you like it? Yes? Shaddap then.
I asked for Shuna and she came out directly, couldn’t believe I’d taken her up on the invite, heh. This is my nature, when you least expect it, here I be. Since she is in the middle of mixing, measuring and proofing, she needed to give me a short tour through the lunch ideas and get back. I opted for some fancy chicken salad, not the mayo kind. It had a lot of green leafy things with fruity chunks. Next up some teriyaki chicken pieces. This and a house lemonade and I was at the table. Oddly enough the green leafy thing was my favorite, I’ll have to be eating more this way in the future. Shuna came out and handed me a slice of the Caramel Cake she’d done for Poulet, all boxed up and bagged for taking home. When Shuna talks about it her arms flail about and her eyes glaze over. This cake must be bucktoothed evil good. Halfway through my meal she popped her head back out and made me get the freshly made chile rellanos before I left, I got 2 to go. These and the caramel cake would be for later. Mama would cry if she didn’t get a taste of Shuna’s gift to the world.
Now let’s cut to 5 hours later.
After getting home from work, I warmed up one of the rellanos. The chile had been fire roasted first, then stuffed with cheese. Dipped in an egg batter, then deep fried. Poulet nailed it.
I’ve never considered myself to be one with a sweet tooth. Sure I enjoy the chocolate. But if you were to ask me, I’d have the Meat Tooth. That being said, this caramel cake is a slice of heaven. I can’t speak for everyone, but when I see a cake with a frosting like this, all I can think of is over-powering sugar and butter, then you get hit with some flavoring of some kind. Such as carrot or whatever, but not this time. The frosting had a little texture, then melted in to a careful caramel blend. The cake was no less amazing. The crumb of the cake was moist, then came to pieces and floated about the mouth. Gone. I know this might sound dumb, but this is cake even I could eat. I had my way with the piece and gave most of it to Mama. While she LOVES the sweets, praise from her is few and far between on cakes & breads. 9 times out of 10, she’ll try the frosting, then scrape it off. Eat a portion of the cake and toss. I’m used to it now. Oddly enough though, this time? The container was perfectly clean. Mama said, “Now that’s good cake.”
Thank you Shuna and thank you Poulet for a nice day out. Would I return? Sure, you bet. It looks as though Poulet keeps the menu rotating and it’s really quite a beautiful part of Berkeley.
1685 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94708