The soup du jour ($3.99/$5.99) that day was lobster bisque, quite a flavorful preparation with minced bits of the meat. There are savory pies, folded-over triangles bursting at the top with the inner goodies; six for $9.99 and $1.99 apiece. The one with minced chorizo was a pleasant burst of mild spiciness, and I didn't regret tasting the olive and tomato one either.

As for the baked goods, where do I begin? Such an array! I should point out that the biscotti are double wide and only $2.25, and the honey-dripping baklava are twice the size I'm used to seeing and only $2.99. Other favorites of their customers include sesame cookies and various kinds of muffins. I had a favorite of mine, a cream cheese-swirled brownie ($2.49), and sampled my friend's mixed berry torte ($4.99) — heaven in a pastry shell, the fruit atop a cloudlike layer of mascarpone.

L'artisan Café & Bakery made for a surprisingly enjoyable excursion. The next time, I won't need to be nagged into going. And I'll be sure to enjoy a croissant.

Bill Rodriguez can be reached at

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