Potato Puffs in Berkeley

I have been meaning to finish the posts from my Berkley trip earlier this year, and I am just not getting around to it. So here it goes. Previously I had shared with you my trip to Ici, the farmer’s market, Cafe Intermezzo, and Cha-Am. I will now bring you the three remaining places I ate at while in Berkeley. Place #1 The box in the first picture was from Gregoire. This walk up and take away spot had an impressive menu of salads, sandwiches, grilled entrees all influenced with classical french cooking techniques. Everything was made to order and very reasonably prices. Known as one of the best take out places in the Bay Area, I wasn’t surprised when I saw a line. I dislike lines at amusement parks and the DMV, but restaurants are different. With all the food choices in Berkeley seeing a line at a place is a good sign. It means that you are willing to wait despite having plenty of other choices. I would have been in trouble with Gregoire’s menu if I had not already known what I was going to eat.  Descriptions like Grilled sweet chipotle chicken filet, garlic & yogurt sauce or Thinly sliced corned beef with tangy caramelized onions & melted gruyere on rye all me salivate, but I was there for one thing. The Potato Puffs. The expectations had been built up for the Potato Puff. Fortunately, they didn’t let me down. Upon opening the box I was hit with a wave of fried potato aroma. Other than the smell of bacon cooking or cookies in the oven, there is nothing that smells better than fried potato. These golden brown potato balls looked a lot like hush puppies, but were so far from it. With the first bite I knew I would be eating the entire box. It was like nothing I could have imagined. Crispy fried potato on the outside with a heavenly creamy and rich mashed potato like filling on the inside. Pure Bliss. If you are in Berkeley, I highly suggest them. Next on the list was breakfast at one of the more famous and touristy places in Berkeley.

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  1. says

    The potato puffs are incredible! My sister and dad have been trying to dissect the recipe, but have been unable to. They’re super secretive about it!!! I hope you also tried Cheeseboard Pizza while you were in that part of town. Also, did you get a chance to see the Berkeley Bowl? Even better than the farmer’s market.

    • says

      Michaela, unfortunately Cheeseboard was closed the week that I was there, I went past the Berkeley Bowl, but didn’t have enough time to visit. The Potato Puffs are amazing! I am going try and recreate them

      • says

        Let me know if you succeed. I would love to know the recipe. (Gregoire is a family friend and even so there’s no chance of ever getting the recipe!)

        If you ever get a chance to go back to Berkeley, go to the Berkeley Bowl.. it’s one of my favorite places in the world.

  2. Cathy says

    Even the takeout box is delish! You are so talented you can make potato puffs look like puff pastry, so light and ethereal, can’t wait to see the recipe you conjure up!

  3. T says

    Their food can be a real hit or miss. It really depends on who is cooking when you get there. I have definitely gotten some seriously undercooked/overcooked meals, but they usually get the potato puffs right. I wish they were more consistent, this place would be amazing.

  4. Mari says

    I’m a Berkeley native who just transplanted myself to Greenville, SC. I grew up 3 blocks from the gourmet ghetto (our nickname for the section of Shattuck you were on, containing Chez Panise, Cha-Am, Cheeseboard, and Gregiore) so when I get homesick what I always miss is the food. I stumbled across your blog this afternoon for that reason. I really really missed the potato puffs and decided to try to make them myself. I was looking for a recipe when I found your gorgeous pictures of several of my favorite restaurants in Berkeley and wound up decidedly less homesick. Thank you! My puffs didn’t turn out quite as amazing as Gregiore’s, he’s had a few years of practice, but I’ll try again soon. I can’t wait to go through your blog, it looks lovely!

  5. says

    I am working on consolidating an old pile of recipes and clippings from the 60s. one of the items is Berkeley Potaotes

    AllI have is a list of ingredients. does this fit with anything you all are working on Seasoned pepper, Lowery salt, dark brown sugar, butter, Cheese, potatoes.

  6. Michael Edwards says

    The closest thing that I have seen to Gregoire’s potato puffs has been either the French Pommes Dauphine or Chilean Papas Duquesas. I’ve tried to make both and thought the Pommes Dauphine were very close. Still needs a bit of work to get there though.

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