The Pittsburgh Food Diaries: La Gourmandine.

The morning after anything is (almost) always my favorite. For example, the morning after I graduated college, I woke up to the quiet clamor of my family moving around in my apartment, feeling somehow like an entirely new individual — an adult — and feeling really proud of myself. The mornings after I learned that my great-grandparents had passed away, I cherished that quiet time to myself to reflect on all the things they had taught me in life.

Whether it’s the morning after something wonderful or the morning after something not-so-wonderful, to me, there’s always been something powerful about being curled up in my blankets, light softly dancing across my room, reminiscing about whatever it was that happened the day before, and having an entirely new and blank slate of day in front of me.

So, when Sunday rolled around, the morning after a great day spent with family, I was content. I woke up slowly, Buxton softly purring on my chest, and thoughts of La Gourmandine, a small bakery and pastry shop a few blocks from our house, dancing through my head.

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Stepping through the doors of the bakery, it’s hard to imagine that you’re not in a small hole-in-the-wall viennoiserie in Paris. The food, sound and smells are so authentic. To please my palette for sweetness, I ordered un croissant aux amandes (an almond croissant) and un tortillons de chocolat (a vanilla creme-filled twist with chocolate chips)!

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And because I genuinely enjoy savory foods, I added a croissant du jambon et fromage and a slice of quiche Lorraine to our order. I walked out with my boxes of treats and went home, anxiously anticipating a hot cup of coffee and our breakfast. I curled up on the couch with our smorgasbord of food in front of me, House of Cards playing on the TV, and Buxton playfully tossing her cat nip-filled fish in the air. A great morning after a wonderful day isn’t something I’ll ever complain about.

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