Helio Basin Brewing Co. is quite the spot for flavorful food and good brews. You’ll find this hidden gem, located off Thomas and 40th Street in the Walmart Supercenter area. Inside the large eatery you’ll probably find owner and brewmaster Dustin Hazer, working his magic in the brewery area. You can watch him through the glass windows as he creates a few of their in-house beers. Dustin knows a thing or two about brewing, with many years of experience at three breweries from the local brewery Four Peaks, to Ellicottville Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewing Company in Western New York. After gaining knowledge and furthering his passion of brewing, it only made sense for Dustin to break ties and start working towards his own dream. At Helio Basin Brewing Co. you can currently find 7 beers, everything from a robust porter, to a blackberry wheat or an American pale ale. May I suggest you do the beer and ice cream flight, it’s a wonderfully delightful way to try a few of the beers and some of Chef Tamara’s house made ice cream.
Speaking of Chef, Tamara Stanger comes from a culinary background, starting her early days working the grind at her family’s restaurant in Utah. Cooking might not have been what she wanted to do growing up but it had her number and we’re glad she finally answered that call. From talking to her, you’d probably never guess that she was a trained fighter but I love that her cornbread recipe comes from her fighting days. It’s delicious and different and I’ll take seconds. Chef has been cooking for over 20 years now and I’m digging the vibe she’s putting out in the kitchen and on our plates. With the help of her Sous Chef, Irwin Hernandez, these guys are putting out some pretty stellar flavors from sips to bites.
I’m starting to see a trend around town at breweries and I’m liking it. They are taking a different route in the kitchen and switching up the kind of food that you might expect them to serve. Looking to head to Helio, don’t go expecting that same old bar food. Chef Tamara isn’t going to be serving you burgers and fries, in fact, here’s what she started us out with. We tried the Achiote-marinated beefy meatsticks with jalapeno pesto, two meatsticks that were tender and flavorful, a perfect bite to start with. The Native Oodham white tepary bean puree with whipped milk curd, fine herbes, roasted pepita, pickled vegetables and fresh frybread was a nice twist that worked well. You have to try the seared banana cornbread with cracked pepper honeybutter and the sweet & spicy chicharrones with buttermilk lime dressing. In fact, you could order the entire starter menu and be happy with your meal but then you would need to come back to try some of her tortillas.
We tried one of each tortilla listed on the menu. My two favorites because it was hard enough picking two, there was no way I could only choose one, were the Mesquite honey chicken with apricot pepper compote, spicy goat cheese and a micro epazote and the roasted Oodham tepary bean blend with sweet potato, portabella, arugula, sweet corn and blackened tomato hummus. On the menu you’ll also find the Yucatecan banana leaf roasted pork with pineapple jicama pico and crispy fried onion, beer-braised pork belly with spicy coffee rubbed skirt steak, red quinoa, avocado mousse and sundried tomatillos and the house chorizo, roasted tomato, crema agria, sunny side up egg and fine herbes, all of these are on top of stoneground Pima corn tortillas.
As I mentioned earlier in the post, save room or start with the beer and ice cream flights (I’m all about starting dinner with dessert). You could share a beer and ice cream flight with one or maybe two other people. Chef makes the ice cream in house and I absolutely loved the horchata and the lime. Again, it was hard to pick favorites when so much of the food is done right. You could also opt for their bubblegum, chocolate porter + wild chiltepin, Mexican lime or pistachio, date + black pepper. They will be changing up their menu throughout the year but you can find more information on their website, linked below and you can also stop in for happy hour pricing too.
3935 EAST THOMAS ROAD
PHOENIX, AZ, 85018