If it's chicken you want ...

TAKEOUT

Takeout

April 14, 2004|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Poulet is French for protein. Just kidding. It's French for chicken, although you can make your way through the Poulet carryout in Lutherville and avoid carbohydrates.

But don't come if you want to count calories. The food at this promising new carryout is, for the most part, unapologetically and delectably not low-fat. Except, perhaps ironically, for the low-fat, homemade gelato.

Poulet is designed strictly for carryout with a cafeteria-style setup, and customers can choose from a menu that offers "monster" 5 1/2 -pound rotisserie chickens, which turn by the dozen on a large spit behind the counter, bourbon chicken, chicken potpie, Buffalo chicken, chicken tenders and chicken wings.

In case you don't want to order chicken, there is rotisserie turkey breast, as well as soups, salads, hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs and sandwiches. Poulet also opens early in the morning to serve breakfast, including fresh cinnamon rolls and breakfast sandwiches.

We went for the rotisserie chicken ($9.95), a moist hulking bird with an irresistible skin that was lightly but nicely seasoned.

Chicken wings, straight-up with no sauce ($6.45), were meaty, not-at-all spicy but still satisfying. A half-pound grilled "Angus burger" ($5.45) was pronounced "solid" (even though it was definitely cooked medium-rare, not medium as we had requested).

Rotisserie potatoes ($3.25) were just greasy enough and came with onions cooked to a velvety sweetness. I loved the creamed spinach ($3.25), a less-appreciated comfort food. The cranberry, yams and squash ($3.25) did not have that Thanksgiving flavor I was expecting, but they were still a tasty way to get a beta-carotene fix.

Homemade gelato and ice cream capped the meal quite nicely. The low-fat cookies and cream gelato ($3.75 a pint) could have fooled us, but both the chocolate and vanilla ice cream ($3.75) were well worth their butterfat content.

Service at Poulet was a little discombobulated, although that should improve with time. Because of the different offerings - burgers are cooked to order and an ice-cream order can slow things down - the cafeteria line didn't move as smoothly as one would expect. But the carryout is equipped with two cashiers, a wise decision, particularly for busy times.

Poulet is a short hop off the Beltway at the Falls Road exit; there's plenty of parking in the Green Spring Station lot.

Poulet

Food: ***

Service: ** 1/2

Waiting area: ***

Parking: ** 1/2

Where: 2346 W. Joppa Road, Green Spring Station, Lutherville

Phone: 410-339-3900

Web site: www.poulet togo.com

Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily

Prices: Roasted chicken, wings, burgers, salads, hot dogs, soups and pizza from $1.99 to $18.95; credit cards accepted

Outstanding: ****; Good: ***; Fair or uneven: **; Poor: *

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