Budget Beat

$10 Lunch at Maizie's Cafe & Bistro

Maizie's Cafe and Bistro -- on Central Avenue just south of Camelback, right on the light rail --  serves up not only an "attitude adjustment" hour(s), but a decent lunch special as well. You guessed it--it's all under $10.

This small cafe can be easily missed, but stepping inside is quite memorable. Wine bottles create a fun "wall." The outside patio area carries on this theme, making it hard to decide where to sit, especially on a nice day in Phoenix. Inside there are plenty of places to enjoy a meal--in a chair, booth, or at the bar.

The lunch specials have just as much variety, allowing you to make your own among the choices you are given. For $8.50 you can choose to "pick two" off the menu, which features half sandwiches and sides. The sandwich is served on an herb flatbread and choices include  chicken salad or ham and cheddar. Among the sides: soups, salads, fries, cottage cheese and fruit.

The soup for the day was beef chimichanga,. which began with slow roasted beef in a creamy tomato based broth. To complete the whole effect of the chimichanga there was a lot of cheese, chunks of tomato, guacamole and fried tortilla strips served on top. All in all, this was a good option, even if it did sound a little wild.

Italian meats and havarti was also another great choice. This half sandwich came with salami, capicola and ham. The meat was all very fresh, including the vegetables served with it: red onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. Surprisingly, it came without any extra condiments, but this is easily fixed if you ask your server for some mayonnaise. The herb flatbread was very flavorful and there was no need for fancy aioli or vinaigrette.

For a total of $9.29 with tax, this meal deal under $10 is a great bargain. For that price, anyone's attitudes can be adjusted -- and that's without a drink in hand. But, hey that could help, too!

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Amy Morris