Maryal and I always seem to have a blast when we go downtown in this wonderful, yet seasonally warm city of ours. We don't always want to go some place for cocktails or an afternoon cold beer, and most of the dining scene downtown on a Sunday afternoon is made up of restaurants and bars, which focus more on the day-sipping setting. This particular weekend, we were in the mood for a delicious and fresh menu with a relaxed scene, perhaps a spot inside for us to get our creative minds stirring and get some work done. So we cruised through one of our favorite neighborhoods on Central, and were both drawn in by the lush patio, trickling misters, and a curiosity for what lie inside the Cafe at Phoenix Public Market.
As we wound down the sidewalk and came upon the entrance, I couldn't help but notice the vibrant and healthy urban garden along at the windowsill of the retro brick building. Huge squash loomed out over the concrete and crisp green tomatoes were stretched out for some afternoon sun... a place after my own heart! We could smell the coffee brewing as we walked through the incredible open dining space and approached the cafe counter. Mar's eyes lit up and feasted on the pastel colorscape of orange and lime macarons, strawberry-frosted sugar cookies, and towers of chocolate bars and treats. We started to scan over the menu when we were guided in the right direction by the service team, and WOW! They were just so hospitable and well... downright sweet!
The helpful young ladies at the front ensured us that pulled pork came out of the kitchen rich with flavor and beautifully composed on the plate, sure to dazzle a couple of foodie types wielding a camera. Well, the recommendation could not have been more on point. Mouth-watering pulled pork layered with rich and smoky BBQ sauce, crunching with a fresh and vibrant purple slaw. The bun was soft and sweet, complimenting the other flavors and textures nicely. The dish was served up quickly, and came out to our table with a fresh summer fruit salad. Man, so good! Let's just say, we didn't get any work done while we were there, but we had a blast fighting over the last of the salty little pork morsels and smears of sauce.
a sunday afternoon stroll
More often than not, we go on dates to get out in the world and experience culture together. We share and create memorable experiences by venturing to new destinations. I can close my eyes, and see the rays of sunshine dancing around Maryal's smirking face. I can feel that mellow market vibe, that vibe that let us be ourselves, make a mess, laugh, and take few pictures. I dream of spending more days like that, and am so blessed to be able to spend those days with someone as fun as Mar.
We left the market full, but not uncomfortably full, and both opted to kick our feet up at one of downtown's most zen-like, refurbished mid-century houses turned restaurant. Songbird Coffee & Tea House on 3rd Street is right in the heart of the city and compliments the neighborhood so well, offering a simple menu that puts that local feel in every item. We loved the homemade lemonade, cold brew, and an insanely delicious made-in-house Nutella pop tart that blew anything we had growing up out of the water! We took our treats out on the porch, listened to the birds chirp, enjoyed the breeze, and forgot all about the rest of the world.