The Christiane Chronicles: Enough with the monster-sized pastries

Plus: Hash is the best way to repurpose your leftovers
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Christiane Chronicles

Illustration by Zohar Lazar

Rant
Supersize Me Not
I have lived in the United States for decades, but the monumental size of everything still shocks me. The other day, as I stood opposite the glass case at Amelie’s bakery, I came face to face with a pastry the size of a prize-winning eggplant. No, no, no, I thought, croissants should be compact enough to dunk into a small café crème.

The Frenchwoman in me yearns for reasonable dimensions: skinny baguettes rather than ones as fat as my arm; one-bite chocolate bonbons making up in intensity what they lack in bulk; dainty cookies that don’t resemble cow pats; bracing espresso and not watery pour-overs. Not only are monster cinnamon buns and bagels as big as training wheels unattractive to look at, but the calories they pack will hurt you in the long run. (Remember that book French Women Don’t Get Fat? It’s because they satisfy their cravings but do so within reason. They indulge—in small doses.)

My gold standards in Atlanta: the ideally proportioned TGM bagels at the Canteen, the never-bloated pains au chocolat at Star Provisions, and the petite plain chocolate truffles at Cacao. The maker of each takes a stand for beauty and quality in a tight package. Size matters!

Christiane Chronicles
Rising Son’s “Hashed Out”

Photograph by Dayne Francis

Rave
For the Love of Hash
Maybe I am having a negative reaction to all the Instagram-ready food we seem to be inundated with these days, but nothing comforts me more than a plate of hash—preferably a gloriously messy one with two sunny-side-up eggs on top and a bottle of hot sauce within reach.

Hash is the original “revamp your leftovers” dish, a combination of cooked bits of meat, potatoes, onions, and whatever else is in the kitchen. The English have their shepherd’s or cottage pies made of minced beef or lamb and gravy topped with mashed potatoes; the French have their equivalent called hachis Parmentier; and turkey hash is an established post-Thanksgiving tradition in countless American homes.

The best hash you can buy in Atlanta is the one Kathryn Rouse convinced her husband, Hudson, to serve at their Rising Son restaurant in Avondale Estates. Inspired by the scattered, smothered, covered, and chunked hashbrowns she shared with her grandfather at Waffle House, Rising Son’s “Hashed Out” includes diced bacon and onions, sausage, potatoes, pickled jalapeños, and cheddar topped with fresh pico de gallo and sour cream. Eggs come at an extra cost ($2 on top of the reasonable $11) and are well worth ordering.

Another to try: The brunch menu at Ford Fry’s Beetlecat in Inman Park features a hominy hash with chorizo, corn, queso, avocado, and cilantro.

This article originally appeared in our February 2018 issue.

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