5 restaurants at DeSoto Central Market, from fusion to burgers

I went to @desotocentralmarket on assignment for @statepress. it's at Central and Roosevelt.

A photo posted by @signsandsymbols on

DeSoto Central Market opened on 915 N. Central Avenue last weekend to the delight of central Phoenicians and frequenters of Roosevelt Row. 

The space is the renovated car dealership, Chrysler DeSoto, according to a preview in Phoenix New Times. It features exposed beams, more metal in the decor than the Iron Giant and huge windows that open onto Central Avenue, where the light rail can be seen streaming by. Stalls dot the landscape, and the bar is open inside and outdoors. There's an upstairs portion as well, but nothing seems to occupy this area except the light from those aforementioned floor-to-ceiling windows. 

DCM Burger, with a bar attached, serves burgers along with a few sides (fries, fried zucchini and cheese curds are the options, all $4). I got the DeSoto Burger, a combination of Niman Ranch beef, braised onions, peppered bacon, cheddar and lettuce ($9). I got the basic option because I was unsure, and the chefs' creation was similarly unassertive. I wasn't asked how I wanted the burger cooked, and when I ordered the fried zucchini, I didn't get a dipping sauce. A real shame considering I dropped $4 for this side. 

The attached bar served a litany of drinks, including Fountain of Youth ($10). This rocket fuel includes — wait for it — Prosecco, Tito's vodka and St. Germain. Wowee. In my friend group, we call it the "SIMUVAC," or simulated evacuation, a reference to Don DeLillo's novel "White Noise." Aside from that digression, the drink menu also serves mojitos ($9) and manhattans ($10) to the delight of boring hipsters everywhere. There's also exhaustive options for draft beers, bottled beer and wines. There are at least 26 beer options, from two to seven percent alcohol. 

We're loving all your pics for our scavenger hunt - keep 'em coming! Shout out to @robbyinphoenix for this one! #DeSotoEats

A photo posted by DeSoto Central Market (@desotocentralmarket) on

Adobo Dragon is an Asian-Latino fusion stall serving bao, a steamed bun filled with a meat or vegetable of your choice. Two steamed buns are served in one order, and I had a combo of vegetable and pork ($9.50). The vegetable bao includes mushrooms, peppers and carrots, along with some unidentifiable chiles. The carnitas had a base of green chiles, along with julienned carrots, pepitas and a crumble of bleu cheese. 

A light side salad with kale and a tart dressing accompanied the two buns that emerged from a bamboo steamer. Bento boxes are also sold here, with the vegetarian option going for $10, accompanying $11 and $12 meat options. This stall is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Jamaican Me Healthy! Pay what you want tomorrow for all of our salads and cold press juices! From 11-4pm

Posted by Radish on Friday, April 17, 2015

RADish is a salad bar with juice options like the 12 ounce Rad But True (watermelon, cucumber and mint) for $6. When I went, the proprietors were sad to say that they had sold out of this drink. Instead, I had a Carrot-E Kit, also 12 ounces, also for $6. The substitution was well worth it. Ginger, carrot and granny smith apples played well together, and ginger shared the limelight in a surprising twist. The salads, with pun-infused names like Gnarles Parsley ($8 and $5) and Kale-ing Me Softly, have a laundry list of ingredients that makes this food reporter blush. Go here and try these. 

Yard Bird + The Larder re-imagines creole and down-South cooking like no other I've seen in the Valley. Options like fried chicken skin po'boy on King's Hawaiian rolls ($13) and Low Country Perlou with white shrimp, clams oysters and andoullie sausage on rice (also $13), coax complex flavors in this renovated space. "Make It Nice" adorns subway tiles next to the register in a pleasing sans-serif type. This mantra carries through to the food, which is definitely the most pristine of DeSoto's options. 

Check out Tea and Toast in the DeSoto Central Market serving Noble Bread

Posted by Noble Bread on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tea and Toast Co., serving toast by Noble Bread, has both tea and toast, according to my careful observations of the menu. There's also coffee, and the cappuccino was needed after the sensory overload of the other restaurants. The tea options, including Manhattan Black, Charles Grey, Green Gold and Cape Town (a decaf), can be pulled like espresso to be included in a Mocha ($4.5), a Latte ($4), Macchiato ($4) or an Americano ($3.5). There are two categories of toasts including bacon jam with a sunny side up farm egg ($5) and three different types of toast with Nutella. 

Coming soon to the space are Camelback Flower Shop, Nieman Ranch Butcher and Sandwich Shop, as well as vague placards in stalls with titles like "ice cream" and "groceries."

Despite these vague references, the spot has happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and a musician by the name of DJ Mr Phoenix on Friday and Saturday. 

Reach the reporter at pnorthfe@asu.edu or follow @peternorthfelt on Twitter.

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