Hereghty (Raleigh, NC)

image courtesy of flickr

Even if you’ve never been to France, you probably know that a nice buttery, flaky croissant is one of life’s great pleasures.  Fortunately for those of us in the triangle, you don’t have to go nearly that far to enjoy one.  Tucked away in a bland shopping center at the corner of Oberlin and Glenwood in Raleigh is Hereghty Patisserie and Cafe.   I  consider it something of a hidden gem in Raleigh, and it’s a great place to pick up a light lunch, an excellent pastry, or a decadent dessert.

Inside it’s about what you’d expect – a handful of tables, richly appointed seating, and, of course, a set of long glass cases showcasing all of the tempting options.  On one side are the cakes, tarts, and other fancy desserts; the chocolate desserts, in particular, are well worth the trip.  A chocolate mousse cake and a chocolate tart are memorable for being rich and pretty much perfect.  In the other case are scones, cookies, and, of course, croissants, among other things.  You can get a chocolate, almond, or plain croissant, but it doesn’t matter – they’re all delicious.  As for the other items, a triple berry scone I tried recently was outstanding, if a bit too similar to a muffin.  For lunch, Hereghty offers sandwiches, salads, crepes, quiches, and soup.  A turkey croissant sandwich was just right (with nice ripe tomatoes), although the accompanying green salad was nothing special.  A cup of tomat0-basil soup was fine but a little creamier and a lot less basil-y than I would have liked, though it had a nice subtle spiciness to it.  A surprising letdown was a piece of biscotti that was oddly shaped – a thin flat plank – and lacked all crispiness.

To sum it up, you won’t be disappointed if you go to Hereghty for the desserts or croissants.  If you’ve been to France, it will remind of that lovely country, and if you haven’t been, it will give a taste of it.