BEST NEIGHBORHOOD COFFEE HOUSE, WEST VALLEY - 2005
Espresso Garden - CLOSED
This quaint coffee commissary located in downtown Glendale wants a piece of the caffeinated action. Steel your wiry nerves, business-minded baristas, 'cause instead of wi-fi access or Joni Mitchell CDs, the smallish Espresso Garden offers a kinder, gentler java junction built into the converted garage of a Victorian-era home and teahouse. Within the country-store-like setting -- complete with checkerboards painted onto tabletops, and abundant antiques -- traditional coffee-house fare is served up to commuters bound for downtown Phoenix and pedestrians strolling among the doll shops and other kitsch klatsches of the Caitlin Court Historic District. Get your drink on with an assortment of steaming cappuccinos, iced lattes, aromatic teas, spiced ciders, and refreshing Italian sodas. If the hunger bug is biting, try a fresh deli sandwich (such as the veggie bagel with cream cheese, carrots, tomatoes and avocado) or choose from a selection of homemade biscotti, muffins, turnovers and other baked goods. It might seem too homespun for the hipsters, but a greeting card taped to the front counter sums up this demitasse domain's contribution to Glendale's cultural landscape: "She ain't much, but she's all we've got."