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$10 Lunch at Coffee & Tea Express

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Coffee and Tea Express lives up to its name, and beyond -- the cozy coffee bar in downtown Glendale provides quite a few tasty options that don't fall under the beverage category. Hidden behind a parking garage (bonus: constant shaded parking) and open at 6 a.m., the café is a popular spot for City of Glendale employees, tourists, or really anyone just looking for a cool couch on which to relax with a glass of iced tea.

From moist, house-made cranberry-orange scones and thick breakfast sandwiches ($3.50-$4.50 ea) to the Veggie Lover's sandwich with sweet peppers, artichoke hearts, provolone, and hatch chilies ($6.25), the restaurant has an array of options for the budget-conscious. Don't expect anything fancy - think Reubens, BLT's, chicken salad - but every item is made-to-order and amply portioned, arriving with chips, fresh fruit or macaroni salad sprinkled with feta.

Follow the jump to see what we ordered:

For around $8 including a tall glass of cold Chai, we ordered the Mozzarella Sandwich and the Chicken Salad on sourdough (there's a choice of a bagel, croissant, rye, white, wheat, multi-grain or featured bread). The Mozzarella was fresh, with hearty spinach, tomato, and zesty basil pesto, and the Chicken Salad had a ripe, plump texture - not too "mayonnaise-y," not too sweet.

What we liked best: the sourdough was thick and the macaroni salad was doused with a chilly vinaigrette: perfect for a hot day. The staff is incredibly friendly, too, and they know their coffee and tea; they have coffee specialties from $3 to $4 ea, but they'll pretty much create anything you want (like the Elvis, a blended mocha frap with peanut butter, chocolate and a whole banana). A fresh batch of tea in unique flavors is also brewed every day.


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