After nearly 15 years, Iím really surprised Higgins was still not in the places database until this entry, May of 2008. It is one of the most sophisticated beercentric places I have ever been to anywhere in the world. Opened in 1994, it has also played a very important role in the development of the beer scene in Portland. Higgins should be credited with two things above all else: 1) bringing Belgian beers to the Portland bar scene, thus creating inspiration for seeking international beers, and 2) pairing beers with food long before people did such things. They still do both those things today, the latter at a level of greatness reached by very few. You want your own amazing beer dinner? Go create it nightly at Higgins. It is fairly expensive and you often need reservations. Wanna save buck? Sit in the bar and order their burger. I donít think they will let you order it in the restaurant, so if you want it, sit in the bar.
The selection isnít huge or particularly special, but they do have 2012 HotD Cherry Adam ft Wood for those that like oxidized, syrupy sweet boozy beers. And best of all, just now when Iíve been visiting, by divine fucking providence they tapped Crux Pilsner, one of the best renditions Iíve ever experienced. Lots of Belgian stuff in bottles, and fairly good (but a bit overpriced) food makes it a worthy stop if youíre downtown. If they donít have Crux Pils on, though...you might just keep on walkiní.
Higgins is a more upscale restaurant than where I would typically dine. The food was good, my server was very attentive and polite, and while it is more upscale it was a very comfortable dining environment. While you certainly can find good food and good beer together for less it was great to see a restaurant in this price range focus on beer as well as wine.
The food is above the mark and the great tap and bottle list makes this a great place to visit. The sticker shock on the food is the only thing why I donít go over and over. The taste is incredible. The terrific beers are off the chart awesome.
Another must if you visit Portland. The small size and subtle music help create a cozy, relaxed atmosphere. Bartender was alert and helpful, but never overly friendly. The selection of beers on tap is small, but they offer only outstanding brews. Food is very good - I heartily recommend their wonderful bread with olive oil, and especially the mushroom barley soup.
blanchjoe (2) Portland, Alabama | August 15, 2010| Updated August 18, 2010
Higgins does not have a large menu, this is because they are committed to food that is fresh, in season and local, and as a result their menu tends to fluctuate in choice according to the season. However what is on the menu is expertly prepared.
Higgins also has one of the largest. and best beer menus of any restaurant, or bar in the world.
We did not really plan to visit Higgins, but cquirogaís description was simply too salivating. The place is an absolutely upscale restaurant where I did not feel all that comfortable. They certainly never even gave a hint at refusing us a table, but I could feel that they would have prefered if we had dressed up as most of the other patrons did. The food was rumored to be extraordinary and I sure enjoyed my risotto, but Catherineís steak came out disappointing at 35$ and not tender at all, a pretty disappointing piece of meat which featured on the menu of the day. The cold leek and potato soup was alright, but simplistic. Do not get me wrong, it was a good meal, but for that type of restaurant, I expected much more, I expected to discuss beer pairings as their menus would suggest might be a focus of the house. Also, HOTD Greg was not available on our visit, leaving a rather disappointing draght list consisting of classics from terminal gravity, full sail, new belgium. I usually say Iím glad I tried it, but wonít be back, but this time, Iím not even so glad I tried it. I could always have paid up for a nice bottle, but with the numerous options in Portland, the fact I did not feel too comfortable, not so spectacular food and the hefty price, I regretted on insisting. I guess I might have enjoyed more if Iíd stuck to the pub side.