Phoenix Arizona, Desoto Central Market

It is usually unfair to make one single visit the basis of a review. Full disclosure: I have only been to DCM once but that will change. Yesterday’s lunch was simply wonderful. For those who have not been to DCM, it is a large, airy, former car dealership space that houses several small restaurant pop-ups. Its Central Ave & Roosevelt location puts it on the Light Rail line for easy valley-wide access. Unfortunately, the oyster bar was closed yesterday but the bar was open, pouring Scrimshaw beer on tap for us. We wandered from space to space, making decisions. One of our group decided on a burger from DCM Burger and pronounced it “the best burger I have ever eaten”. A hefty patty, cooked rare as ordered sat atop a brioche bun with softly melting cheese, grilled portobello mushroom and fried onion rings. It was juicy and delicious. Another visited the southern spot, The Larder & The Delta and had a pork belly sandwich with fresh potato chips. The meat was juicy and well-flavored. Everyone at the table snatched the crisp chips. Two of us could not make up our minds so split an order of shrimp & grits. Be warned this is a wonderfully messy version of a classic. The very large shrimp are unpeeled and topped with an addictive sauce necessitating a hands-on approach. The Anson Mills grits were creamy and full-flavored. A nice touch is a small waste pot for shells. After polishing this off, we chose bao buns from Adobo Dragon, the asian-mexican resto next door. There are many choices for fillings and we opted for albondigas and pulled pork. They are a do again! The soft steamed buns are perfect foil for the slightly spicy fillings. A refreshing slaw-type salad accompanied. All in all, although this is an 80+ mile R/T drive for us, we will return. The meals were well made and each was quite special in its own way. Desoto Central Market offers something for everyone.
As we were leaving, I spied a large sack of marble-sized potatoes destined for potato salad to accompany the fried chicken from Larder & delta. Oh how I wish we were staying for dinner.
NB: I cannot speak to any pricing since I was a guest and did not pay. My son and DIL hosted. Also, there were several vendors we did not visit. There’s a coffee bar, pastry shop and healthy juice/salad spot. An ice cream spot will open soon.

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Credit: inkelv1122, Flickr