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Homemade Doughnuts and Other Breakfast Pastries at Solo

Because it is tucked away off the Fontainebleau Hotel lobby, most locals don't start their day at

Solo

 pastry shop and café. Still, a line forms at the display counter each morning as hotel guests choose from homemade muffins, croissants, bear claws, cinnamon buns, doughnuts, and other breakfast treats.

I was most curious about the doughnuts, a few flavors of which are available each day. Key lime, chocolate, and cinnamon crumb were up for grabs this particular morning; all were fresh and less sugary than the Krispy/Dunkin' type. They don't measure up to, say, Dynamo Donuts in San Francisco, but I haven't had a better one in Miami.

A blueberry-almond muffin was also superior to most, and for the same reason: The flavors are not cloaked in cloying sweetness. The bear claw is a dandy as well.

Exotic teas, espressos, and delicious coffees are served too -- including single-estate coffees for $6 per cup. I wanted to try the latter but envisioned a New Times accountant with steam coming out of his ears.

Solo's treats don't come cheap. Pastries, croissants, and muffins are $3.50; doughnuts are $2.45. Coffees and espressos go for $3.65 ($4.65 large). But the daily breakfast special brings a cup of coffee and pastry of choice for $5.95.

​As the day progresses, so does the menu: Salads and sandwiches are served at lunchtime, when the display cases switch from croissants to the astonishingly bright and glittery creations of pastry chef Jean-Marie Auboine -- meringues, macaroons, marzipan, fruit tartlets, candy apples, petits fours, éclairs, classic cakes, and the like. And I like Solo -- especially in the morning.

Solo opens at 6 a.m. and keeps serving until 9 p.m. 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-4740.

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