Master Baker

If you consider the French to be the best bakers on the planet, then you probably also believe the humble croissant to be the quintessential French breakfast pastry. The best in town can be found at the original Auchan Hypermarket (8800 West Belt, 281-530-9855). The bakery is headed by French import and master baker Claude Guy, who makes the most traditional croissants this side of the Eiffel Tower. While there are many different varieties available (69 cents to 89 cents each), including an impossible-to-resist chocolate-filled version as well as a ham-and-Swiss croissant that simply melts in your mouth, by far the best is the almond croissant. Guy fills the buttery, flaky pastry with a sweet-tasting almond paste whose flavor lingers long after it has been consumed. Top with almond slices and a sprinkling of confectioner's sugar, et voilà, c'est magnifique. Be warned: Arrive early, because they sell out quickly.

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Paul Galvani