Serving big, juicy takeout rotisserie chickens and piles of mashed potatoes and creamed spinach to working parents too busy to cook, Poulet sits, quality-wise, between the slightly better Chicken Out and national embarrassment Boston Market. While Poulet serves up a good bird and tasty-enough-for-adults chicken tenders (single-serving platters, with two sides, $6.45; family meals range to $18.95) , there are some menu potholes. For one, the bourbon chicken, which the folks behind the counter push like candy—probably because it tastes like candy—but which also tastes like mall food-court Chinese. Also good are some sandwiches (try the roasted vegetable wrap, $6.25) and the freshly grilled burgers ($5.45-$6.45).
Poulet also slips when owner/French chef (yes, “French chef”) Jonathan Soudry takes the fast-casual concept too far—see: midwinter mozzarella and tomato salad. What makes Poulet worth a visit for nonneighbors are Chef Soudry’s skills with ice cream. He and his helpers make the ice cream daily—including such oddball flavors as tiramisu and chocolate truffle— and the proof is in the tasting (pints, $4.25). This, arguably Baltimore’s best, Mom and Dad can bring home any time.