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Thursday, December 18, 2008

'Tis the season to binge

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'Tis the season to develop a raging eating disorder, and ain't we lucky to have great spots for bingeing?

I paid a visit to H&F Bread Co. (2255 Peachtree Rd., 404-350-8877) earlier this week and ate what I think may well have been the best almond croissant I've ever shoved in my mouth. I didn't have to hunt for the almond paste. It was there with nearly every bite. The pastry itself was buttery and flaky but densely layered.

Not content with that, I moved onto a blueberry scone. Same deal. The crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth scone had a glittery outer shell of crystalized sugar. There were plenty of tart explosions of dried blueberries.

I also took home a few plain croissants (above) and a very good baguette stuffed with ham and gruyere — for under $6!

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On my way to Flip last week, I stopped in Via Elisa (1750-C Howell Mill Rd., 404-605-0668), home of our city's best homemade pasta and sauces (left). I bought a chunk of Sweet Grass Dairy goat cheese with herbs, one of the few domestic cheeses for sale in the shop and not quite as bank-busting as most imported cheese is these days. The aged cheese was coated in smoky, slightly bitter rosemary.

I also bought a bottle of Elisa Gambino's Sicilian caper sauce, which is as good as anything homemade.

Via Elisa has developed a neighborhood delivery service that is unique in our city, as far as I know. The shop is dispatching a truck, ice-cream-truck-style, to several neighborhoods on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can order ahead or just shop off the truck.

The neighborhoods rating the service are Collier Hills, Brookwood Hills, Ansley Park and Sherwood Forest. Call the shop for more information.

(Photos by Cliff Bostock)

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