Secret Diner: At FEZ, you don't have to be a king to get a burger how you want it


A good burger is hard to come by. The right bun, the right combination of flavors and the right price are not the easiest combination to find, but look no further than FEZ in downtown Phoenix.  

The first time I had a FEZ burger was about a year ago, when I went out with my then boss and now dear friend.

I remember being skeptical about pears on a burger, but I decided to go with it anyway. My friend promised me it would be good. This was an understatement.

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By Reilly Kneedler / The State Press

Pedestrians walk by FEZ, a restaurant and bar located on the corner of 1st and Portland Street in downtown Phoenix, on Friday, Sept. 12, 2015.

The FEZ burger comes with spicy honey molasses barbecue, cinnamon pears, feta cheese, lemon garlic aioli, onions and cilantro. Personally, I am not a fan of onions and the burger is just perfect without them. The cilantro tones down the sweetness of the barbecue and pears. Combined with a ciabatta bun and a medium-cooked patty, this is the perfect meal. 

What’s great is that you could also add bacon, avocado or even guacamole for the extra kick if you're into that. I’m a fan of options and FEZ knows how to cater to the crowd with flavor.

Its menu is selective, but extensive with flavor for any palette. I decided to have the FEZ burger with a side salad and house dressing on this particular visit. menu items range from burgers to arroz con pollo to the FEZ golden curry.

This time, I went along with a friend that had never been, and he went with the pasta con spago alla norma, a penne pasta dish with tomato sauce paired with eggplant, olives, red chili and Parmesan cheese and a garlic mini baguette on the side. Again, the option to add chicken, shrimp and even gyro strips made the meal that much better.

We did not order any special drinks given that I am underage, so I cannot attest to the restaurant's alcoholic flavors. All I can say is that it was rather colorful, as the rest of the menu and décor at FEZ.

Our food was served rather promptly, which was great given the fact that the restaurant was quite busy. I was really digging the music here, as I had every single song that played on a playlist at home. No wonder the vibe fits perfectly with the arts district downtown.

A little surf n turf this whole weekend @fezoncentral delish!

A photo posted by FEZ Restaurant & BAR (@fezoncentral) on

As a fan of the Roosevelt Street scene, I was more than happy when I learned that FEZ was moving in last year. The restaurant was originally on McDowell, but lucky for me its new location is right off of Portland Street. What more could I ask for? 

Located next to Fair Trade, the orange chairs and canopy shades make FEZ certainly stand out on the ground floor of the Roosevelt Square Apartments.

Noted in 2014 by the Arizona Republic as one the “Top 10 Affordable First Date Restaurants,” make FEZ your next stop for that awkward Tinder date you’ve been postponing. Even if it goes terribly wrong, you’ll have some great food. 

And if it goes really well and you seem to have a lot in common, you can credit FEZ for the flare. 

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Contact the reporter at rramir30@asu.edu or @rubythewriter on Twitter.

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