Hot Plate

Breakfast buzz: Some get their a.m. kicks from coffee, while others jump-start the day with a jolt of sugar. Satisfy that early-morning sweet tooth with an almond croissant, $2.31 each from Croissant Brioche [2435 Rice, (713)526-9188]. A big, buttery-layered croissant is split and spread with sweet almond paste, then topped with more almond paste, which bakes to a delicate golden cookielike consistency in the oven. The whole is generously sprinkled with slivered almonds, just for good measure. Hint: These nutty pastries go to the early birds; by lunchtime only a scatter of pastry flakes marks their place on the empty shelves.


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