Phoenix Public Market Cafe: Happy Hour Report Card
The Hours: Happy Hour is offered daily from 3 p.m. until close.
There's no doubt about it -- Aaron Chamberlin's newest joint, Phoenix Public Market Café, is a beaut. The chalkboard menus, large community bench seating and mellow yet bright color scheme all contribute to a slightly retro but mostly modern feel that's both rustic and clean at the same time. There's nothing you can dislike about the place aesthetically, and you can have a seat at either the indoor or outdoor portion of the bar. It's everything a local cafe should be, if appearance is what's important to you.
Heather Hoch If you want soup, stick with the lentil curry coconut soup.
There aren't discounted happy hour food items, but you can do what we do at so many other happy hours and make your own. Though the entrées are slightly overpriced for the portion you get, you can grab a couple of sides or a cup of soup for $3 each. While the lentil curry coconut soup, which is vegan and gluten-free, is a great start, thanks to its creamy heartiness, the black bean soup is dreadfully underseasoned. It's almost as though someone dumped a can of beans in a bowl and sent it out with a cute garnish. Stick to the lentil soup or try out the seasonal offering if you're going to get a cup.
Other $3 options include beans, rice, cole slaw, and a baked sweet potato with chili lime butter. The French fries have been hit or miss in the times we've tried them, while the garlic mashed potatoes are consistently good. The steamed broccoli could have used some seasoning help, on top of being overcooked. The real winner of our side-dish-tasting adventure was the market vegetable option, which was Brussels sprouts with applewood-smoked bacon. The salty, fatty, smoky bacon accented the sprouts, which were roasted enough to be tender while not losing their texture entirely.