Living: Croissant Vite

France's answer to le burger

Frenchmen in the mass, alas, have succumbed to American fast food. McDonald's has hamburger dispensaries all over Paris, and Burger King has opened a shop on the Champs-Elysées. But the French have launched a spirited counterattack. Their ammunition is the croissant, the flaky, crescent-shaped roll that is as dear to French palates as scones to the Scots or Mom's apple pie to Americans. Gourmands are lining up for McCroissants at American-patterned restaurants rapides from sleazy St. Denis to the Boulevard St. Germain.

The first chain, named Croissanterie, was kneaded...

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