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The location is a Miami mall (albeit a snazzy one), not the Champs Élysées. But your taste buds'll tell you you're in Paris when you take a shopping break at Lea's. The French pastries -- a Paris Brest (a toasted almond-covered circle of pte à choux, filled with pastry cream and praline), for instance, or maybe a Religieuse(a large cream puff "body" topped by a small cream puff "head" that, draped in coffee or chocolate icing, resembles a nun) -- really are that delectably authentic. There's terrific nondessert food, too: for breakfast oeufs cocotte, eggs poached in a ramekin with cream; for lunch or dinner sandwiches, meal-size salads including an authentic salade niçoise, and a few more substantial daily specials. Meals come with excellent bread, an assortment featuring slices of baguette, cranberry peasant bread, and an equally crunchy-crusted nut bread. But don't skip the sweets.
Coffee usually does the trick. But some days it takes a shot of Formosan Gunpowder to get a person going. Since last November it's been possible to supply oneself even more easily than buying an AK-47 by visiting Lea's -- which is a tea shop, not... More »
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