Fate Brewing Company (Tempe, AZ)

As my regular readers know, for the last few years one of our major hobbies here at Offbeat Eats has been backpacking, usually with Fitpacking (review here), with us doing periodic 50 mile hikes through various wilderness areas. This year’s first Fitpacking trip back in March took me back to an old favorite, the Superstition Wilderness Area (you can see a nice photo album over on Flickr) for 50 miles of hiking through some of my favorite canyons. As you could read over on the Fitpacking review, the food on Fitpacking is actually quite good, but I’d be kidding you if said that you don’t have the occasional cravings, and at some point on Day 4 of our hike, someone brought up “Cheeseburgers” as a topic, and I immediately found myself craving a specific item: a green chile cheeseburger (and, once the topic of “green chile” came up, I also found myself craving a green chile beer as well to go with it once guide Julie brought up the topic). While the southern Superstitions are generally no place to score a cheeseburger (although they’ve got a decent chile cheesburger up at Tortilla Flat if you’re by Canyon Lake), I knew just the place we needed to go when we got back into town. It was Fate. Fate Brewing Company, to be specific.

Fate Brewing is a moderately new brewery, originally opening in 2012 in Scottsdale, and in more recent years expanding with additional tap rooms in Tempe and Phoenix. I’ve never been to the other locations, but the Tempe location has been a convenient and nice addition to what I call the “mid Tempe” area (between McClintock and Mill, north of US-60), and not a bad detour if going to/from the airport. It’s a particularly pleasant spot, with a very large dog-friendly outdoor patio with misters, a nice larger interior lower level with a central bar, and even a moderately large upstairs area; as long as you aren’t particular about your seating (the patio is particularly popular in the cooler months), they usually can get even large groups seated quickly. As I perused the menu, they came by for my beer order, and I was quickly able to satisfy craving number 1: a green chile beer. Sometimes referred to as “taco beers”, the combination of a lager and green chiles can work quite well, and the version at Fate, their Hatch Chile Gatos, is a nice variant of their house golden ale with more than a little bit of Hatch chile in it, but the result is only moderately spicy while having a lot of the more rounded flavor that Hatch chiles are known for. Overall, a winner.

Overall, for a brew pub, Fate’s got an impressive food menu as well, with a good variety of appetizers, salads, burgers, main courses, and pizzas. I’d been here a few times, so I knew that the kitchen was particularly good with pizzas (and the flatbreads, also made in the pizza oven) and burgers. Our table started with an eggplant dip (not shown), with caramelized eggplant, garlic and onion topped with a yogurt sauce and served with house flatbread and veggies. It, and the similar hummus and harissa platter, are some of the stronger appetizers/light meal options I know of in the area, and the flatbread has a really good crisped smokiness to it.

For my main course, I satisfied craving number two: a green chile cheeseburger. In this case, their house burger is served as a smashed patty topped with melted pepper jack cheese, hatch green chiles, lettuce, red onion and hot aioli. It’s a winning combination: a good crisp on the burger, two levels of heat from both the chiles and the pepper jack cheese, and a nice secondary spice note from the aioli. And the execution for it was spot-on, with a really nice crisp but a still juicy patty, a lot of Hatch chile flavor, and a nice toast to the bun. Between it and the seasoned tater tots I opted for as a side, and this is one of the better burger options in the area (although I’ll still have to give the chile burger crown to The Chuck Box’s Tijuana Torpedo, which I still consider to be one of the finest accomplishments of Western civilization). Others in our parties similarly enjoyed their burger, including those opting for an Impossible Burger variant.

Previous visits had never resulted in my even consulting their dessert menu, but my metabolism was still amped from the backpacking trip’s high caloric burn, so this time I splurged, and I’m glad I did. This wasn’t a fancy Key Lime Pie, just a classic rendition with a graham cracker crust, a rich lime filling, and cream topping, but the execution was spot on: this was full of lime flavor without being overly sweet or acidic, having a nice balance and a good overall texture. I’ll definitely be considering this on another visit.

Overall, I’m glad we managed to head to Fate after our hike: the restaurant was inviting, the food refreshing and satisfying, the beer good, and the service top-notch. It’s definitely one of mid-Tempe’s gems.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply