Urban Tea Loft

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11 West Boston Street, Chandler
480-786-9600

Owner Glynis LeGrand — a breast cancer survivor who got interested in green tea for its restorative properties — really knows tea. In fact, she holds the highest level of certification for tea and talks tea talk in much the same way that a sommelier discusses wine. But there's nothing snooty or condescending about her adorable restaurant and tea shop, housed in an historic building with high ceilings and big windows. Glynis and her husband (who is also certified in tea) sell over 50 premium teas as well as offering a slew of teas on their appealing menu. If tea sounds a little tame, try one of the cocktails, infused with flavored tea. Meanwhile, with its modern lighting and soft green and gold walls, the Loft really does look urban, not like a tea room for little old ladies. The menu offers sophisticated salads and sandwiches that have a little heft to them, which is why men stop in for lunch and dinner too. The poached pear salad, containing tea-poached pears with crunchy brûléed tops as well as candied walnuts, dried fruit and Saga blue cheese is wonderful, and who can resist gigantic baked potatoes (called Hot Jackets) topped with your choice of extras such as bacon, blue cheese, cheddar, nuts, dried fruit, hard-cooked egg, pickles and spinach. Yum! Imagine a lemon thyme tea-brined, house-roasted turkey sandwich or an Urban Melt with cheddar, sliced egg, bacon and balsamic tomatoes. A children's tea is offered for six dollars; grown-ups may choose between classic tea sandwiches or high-protein sandwiches (priced at $14 and $16 respectively), offered with a pot of tea. Urban Tea Loft also serves house-baked scones, croissants and buttermilk biscuits as well as Devonshire cream, house preserves and honey. Desserts are not made in-house, but they're pretty doggoned good anyway. Two rooms in the back are perfect for tea parties, showers and business functions. And if you're interested in learning more about tea, Glynis has started Tea 101 classes. Call for info.