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The new bestseller French Women Don't Get Fat offers answers the age old question, "All that cream! All that bread! How do that stay so thin?" The simplest reason is pleasure. The French savor their meals rather than scarf them down, enjoying the complexity of food with all five senses. If you are looking to test the book's principles, a great local place to linger over coffee and croissant is Blue Dog Bakery & Cafe (2868 Frankfort Ave., 899-9800.

Known for its exceptional articsanal breads and pastries, the bakery's sunlight-filled cafe also offers a small breakfast menu: scrambled free-range eggs with sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and olive-bread toast; poached eggs with prosciutto, wilted spinach and levain toast; and a daily special (all priced at or near $8). On the recent morning of my last visit, the special was brioche French toast, melt-in-your-mouth slices of pan-fri/files/storyimages/brioche that were almost custard-rich with egg. These were definitely bites to savor in the round. Blue Dog serves illy coffee, a smooth, full-flavored Italian espresso, attentively refilled by the cheerful staff, which is another great reason to sip slowly and breathe deeply.

The Blue Dog is also open for brunch on Saturdays and lunch Tuesdays through Saturdays; it is closed Sundays and Mondays. The cafe can overflow at times, but it's generally worth the wait to enjoy a little slow-paced sensuality in your otherwise hectic schedule

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