Working as a freelance writer guarantees a steady stream of press releases in my inbox, and while the majority of them are off target or just plain useless, occasionally a truly exciting opportunity comes my way. The latest example was an offer for a $100 credit for Instacart, a grocery delivery service that recently launched in San Diego. I’d previously used a $20 credit to stock up on Cool Haus ice cream sandwiches and found the service convenient, so obviously I said yes. This time around, I gave myself a noble challenge: use the $100 to procure the ultimate selection of snacks.

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The Gaslamp Quarter was in dire need of a bakery. Before Le Parfait Paris opened shop, croissants, eclairs, and tiny, perfect cakes were practically nowhere to be found…and when they could be found, they were nowhere near as good as what Executive Pastry Chef Jean François Fays is stocking the cases with at this bright and airy bakery in the former Borders building.

Chocolate eclair from Le Parfait Paris