Corrections & Clarifications: A previous version of this article contained incorrect information about Saint Pasta’s ownership. Also, Saint Pasta updated its cocktail menu and hours of operation.
Downtown Phoenix’s outdoor entertainment hub, the Pemberton, has become one of the most popular hangout spots on Roosevelt Row. The venue houses local food and retail businesses on the grounds of the historic Sarah H. Pemberton House, a 1920s mansion surrounded by paved paths and greenery.
The space has seen many food and drink vendors rotate in and out. While Dino’s Napoletana and FilmBar said farewell, new food businesses were waiting in the wings to take their spots. Joining the lineup are a Thai street food vendor, a wine and charcuterie shop, and a place to kick back with a boilermaker.
Newly opened at the Pemberton
May-Ling Tang wants to serve the kind of food she makes at home or that she has found on the streets of Bangkok, where her mother is from. At Nam Pik, a food truck supported by the team behind Baby Boy, she says to expect the kind of dishes people in Thailand eat at parties or snack on with their beers, like nua kem (Thai beef jerky), satay gai (chicken skewers), moo krob (pork chips) and som tum thang (spicy cucumber salad). Many of the recipes come from Tang’s mother. She’ll also be making her own version of the namesake condiment, nam pik kapi, a Thai chile sauce made with fermented shrimp paste.
For drinks there will be Singha beers and a playful take on a Thai whiskey drinking custom — a cup of shaved ice served with mini whiskey bottle and soda water.
The name of John Cornelio’s food stand, Toduken, means “skewers” or “things to be skewered” in Ilocano. After getting a start at Uptown Farmers Market, Toduken now has a weekend spot at the Pemberton.
Cornelio’s signature barbecue skewers reflect his childhood in Anchorage and memories of his parents — his mother cutting up pork butt and shoulder while his father made a marinade with banana ketchup, a popular Filipino condiment made with mashed banana, vinegar and spices. The weekly rotating menu features his whims of the week, from tomato garlic shrimp skewers to chicken thigh filets with a citrus teriyaki marinade. Desserts, such as ube tres leches cake, also pop-up.
Food and drink vendors at the Pemberton
Since opening in early 2021, this collective has welcomed and parted ways with several food and drink vendors. These are the current occupants. For updates on pop-ups and events, check the Pemberton’s social media accounts
Sommelier Kristin Humphrey and her friend Grace Perry, owner of Gracie’s Tax Bar in Phoenix, have combined powers to open a wine trailer inspired by cafes hidden on the backstreets of Paris. Moiselle’s light pink trailer is outfitted sits on a blue-tile patio with tables. The menu offers a rotation of French wines, frm Cabernet Franc from Chinon and unoaked Chardonnay.
Guests will have the option of ordering red, white or sparkling wine by the glass, or select a higher-end bottle from the list. Food options will include charcuterie boxes with mostly European cheeses.
Pasta, tacos and craft beer: 20 new restaurants and bars in metro Phoenix
Italian-American food company Saint Pasta, run by Racan Alhoch from New Jersey, gained a cult-like following after opening in 2019. Now parked at the Pemberton, vodka sauce fans can order East Coast Italian dishes like pomodoro made with tomato and basil and vodka sauce served with snow peas, along with chicken cutlets, available to add to any pasta dish on the menu. The trailer also serves classic, Italian cocktails.
Racan Alhoch of Omerta Hospitality dedicated this project to his own baba, who was “obsessed with making the perfect falafel” before dying in December 2020 from COVID-19. Alhoch, who’s also behind another Pemberton vendor Saint Pasta, offers a menu of falafel pita wraps, za’atar fries and hummus.
Baja Fish Tacos & More
The name says it all. The Tolleson taqueria opened a second taco truck at the Pemberton slinging Baja fish tacos and tacos de camarones. Wash them down with an agua fresca or Tecate.
Abnormal Beer Co.
This tap room housed in a vintage Airstream trailer is the first Phoenix outpost of the San Diego-based craft brewery that features gluten-reduced beers.
Valley beverage experts Colton Brock, Tyka Chheng and John Sagasta teamed up to open this cocktail bar in an Airstream built in the 1970s. Offering a variety of drinks including banana daiquiris, blue Hawaiians and Mexican rum mojitos, Brock describes the whole thing as a little bit kitschy: “I’m thinking big citrusy cocktails, bright red cherries, umbrellas, a little bit tropical, not tiki, but those drinks that you remember from the ’90s.”
Melt Ice Cream
This inventive ice cream stand offers locally made ice cream and sorbets in rotating flavors like vegan pistachio almond, peach habañero cobbler and Guinness.
From the same team behind The Boiler Room — John Sagasta and mixologists Colton Brock and Tyka Chheng— comes Hop Box, a craft beer trailer featuring a rotating selection of beers on draft, as well as bottles and cans from independent breweries. People can find some international beers too, Sagasta said. People will be able to pair their brew with a shot of bourbon to make a boilermaker.
Where: 1121 N. Second St., Phoenix.
Hours: Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. to midnight; closed Monday and Tuesday.
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