A guide to food and drink at the Pemberton, plus new vendors to look for soon

·6 min read

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.

Here's what's new and coming soon to the Pemberton:

Newly opened at the Pemberton

Toduken

Toduken's OG Baboy skewers served with proot salad, pulled pork, dipping sauces and white rice at the Uptown Phoenix Famers Market.
Toduken's OG Baboy skewers served with proot salad, pulled pork, dipping sauces and white rice at the Uptown Phoenix Famers Market.

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.

Details: instagram.com/toduken_bbq.

'It's authentic to me': How chefs are redefining what Filipino food means in metro Phoenix

Moiselle

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.

Details: instagram.com/moisellephx.

Pemberton PHX is a new outdoor entertainment venue that opened earlier this year.
Pemberton PHX is a new outdoor entertainment venue that opened earlier this year.

Baba's Falafel

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.

Details: instagram.com/babasfalafel.

Coming soon to the Pemberton

NamPik, an upcoming food truck at the Pemberton in downtown Phoenix, will serve Thai street food and dishes chef May-Ling Tang learned from her mother, such as pla goong (pictured).
NamPik, an upcoming food truck at the Pemberton in downtown Phoenix, will serve Thai street food and dishes chef May-Ling Tang learned from her mother, such as pla goong (pictured).

NamPik

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, an upcoming 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 pla goong (shrimp 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 topped with mini whiskey bottle and served with a side of soda water.

Details: instagram.com/nampikphx.

Food and drink vendors at the Pemberton

The Pemberton PHX in Phoenix
The Pemberton PHX in Phoenix

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 on Facebook and Instagram.

Saint Pasta

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.

Details: saintpasta.com.

Read more about Saint Pasta: Everything to know about the truck's move to downtown Phoenix

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.

Details: instagram.com/bajafishtacosandmore.

Strada Street Cuisine

Strada Street Cuisine at the Pemberton in downtown Phoenix serves sandwiches such as this Japanese fried chicken sandwich with sweet chile aioli, furikake seasoning, green papaya slaw and yuzu vinaigrette.
Strada Street Cuisine at the Pemberton in downtown Phoenix serves sandwiches such as this Japanese fried chicken sandwich with sweet chile aioli, furikake seasoning, green papaya slaw and yuzu vinaigrette.

Nick Balsamo, with business partner and sous chef Ting Chen, launched an homage to dai pai dong, the open-air food stalls found in Hong Kong. Balsamo lived in Hong Kong and opened a restaurant there before returning to the U.S. He and Chen, who's Taiwanese, started Strada Street Cuisine in San Diego before opening the Phoenix outpost.

Menu items include baozi with confit duck or pork char siu fillings. The buns are steamed, then pan-seared for a flaky bottom. Strada Street Cuisine also serves sandwiches served on handmade brioche buns, like eggplant katsu topped with shredded cabbage, scallions, Japanese mayonnaise and hoisin sauce.

Details: wheretoeatcalifornia.com/strada-1

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.

Details: abnormalbeer.co

Baby Boy

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."

Details: drinkbbyboy.com.

Read more about the men behind Baby Boy: What to expect at this Airstream cocktail bar

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.

Details: instagram.com/meltphx.

You can also find a list of all the events and retail businesses at the Pemberton on pembertonphx.com.

Why Not?

This vendor parked at the Pemberton offers a rotation of craft beers on draft, ciders, hard kombucha and wine. Catch musical performances on the patio on First Fridays and follow Why Not?'s Instagram for updates on happy hour and brunch.

Details: instagram.com/whynotphx.

Hop Box

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.

Details: instagram.com/hopboxphx.

Pemberton

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.

Details: pembertonphx.com

Reach the reporter at Priscilla.Totiya@azcentral.com. Follow @priscillatotiya on Twitter and Instagram.

Subscribe to azcentral.com today to support local journalism.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Pemberton food and drink vendors in downtown Phoenix

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting