The Watershed in Tempe: Happy Hour Report Card
The Hours: Happy Hour is offered Tuesday through Friday from 3 until 6 p.m.
Heather Hoch The view from Watershed's patio is probably the best part of going there.
Tempe's newest lakeside restaurant, Watershed, seems to have gotten off to a bumpy start. The soft opening went off without the indoor dining room or bar being completed. Then that became known as "phase one," which means the restaurant was still unfinished when we came in for happy hour weeks after it had been open. However, the view on the patio, which is finished, is really where it's at, so the lack of indoor dining options didn't really bother us. According to the restaurant's Facebook page, phase one has since been completed, offering some inside dining, but the bar remains unfinished.
Unfortunately, Watershed doesn't discount food at all during happy hour. As is pretty much protocol for us at this point, we tried to assemble our own cheap bites menu from the appetizer list but were met with prices at $9 at the lowest. Nine bucks for three sliders means excellent quality and execution, right? Well, not in this case. The mini-burgers consisted of a thin, dry, crumbly chunk of beef between what we can only describe as Wonder Bread-style enriched white flour buns, likely from a grocery store.
From early word of the restaurant, the Santa Fe-style poutine seemed to be a draw, so that $10 plate of fries was next up to bat for us. Another swing and a miss. The bed of fries, which also seemed store bought, was covered in green chile gravy, whose flavor was reminiscent of those cans of green chiles you buy at (you guessed it) the grocery store. Add to that business a couple of large gobs of cheese, lightly battered and fried, and you have a dish that would make any Canadian drop the polite act and start throwing punches. Finally, the coconut shrimp came out, which was the least offensive of the three dishes, but the quality didn't warrant a 12-spot.
Heather Hoch This is the kind of poutine that would make both Canadians and New Mexicans sad.