With so many new, interesting, innovative, and exceptional restaurants in Portland, it’s easy to forget about the granddaddy of Portland regional cuisine, Higgin’s Restaurant (1239 SW Broadway).
Higgin’s is consistent. The food, drinks, and service are all generally excellent. I’ve been a semi-regular customer (almost exclusively in the bar, which they call the bistro) since the place opened in the mid-90s. I’ve had scores of meals there, and I only regret ordering two or three.
Higgin’s has, in some ways, ruined me for other Portland restaurants. The only other place that has been as consistently good to me (though in only about a half dozen visits so far) is Lovely Hula Hands.
For me, Higgin’s is the gold standard. If I order something in a restaurant that costs as much as something vaguely equivalent at Higgin’s, it better be damned good. If it costs more, it better be awesome. Unfortunately almost every restaurant in town falls short on these measurements. It has finally dawned on me that one interpretation of the data is that Higgin’s is reasonably priced.
At Portland Food and Drink the Food Dude has a new review of this Portland mainstay. He too was struck by a similar realization.
Maybe my memory is failing, but I don’t remember the restaurant being so reasonably priced, or, as I said before, the portions so large. It is easy for a party of two to have dinner with a couple of glasses of wine for less than $100. You will walk out the door with enough leftovers for a good lunch the next day. Compared to some of the other restaurants I’ve reviewed, this is a deal.
Which brings me to the topic of this post: Over the summer Higgin’s quietly started offering happy hour specials, so the prices have gotten even better.
In the bistro from
3pm to 7pm 4pm-6:30pm on week days, drinks are 20% $1.00 off. (Check with your waitron on the drink discount limitations; I know it applies toward cocktails, wine by the glass, and beers – both draft and bottles- but I’m not sure about bottles of wine.)
Each day there are a couple, constantly changing happy hour food specials too. Last night we enjoyed the $8 crepes, which were folded into pockets, stuffed with charcuterie meats and a little fontina cheese, and then breaded and fried and served with a sweet apricot (maybe?) compote.
Just another good reason not to forget Higgins.
Higgins is amazingly good — so good, in fact, that even a scold like Food Dude has to struggle to find fault.
The Belgian beer selection is deeply impressive AND they have appropriate glassware for many of the selections.
Pricewise, it’s more affordable than many other high-end places, with the vital difference that I’ve never walked away from Higgins and felt that I’d paid for more than I’ve gotten. In fact, quite the opposite. Even when dinner for two has topped $100, my wife and I have agreed that we got more than a good deal.
Superb place — and a pioneer in so much of what makes Portland dining so special.
Bickle – Agreed, very special place!
I usually order the latest 11.2 ounce Belgian bottled beer when I visit, as I’ve seen the beer menu so many times I always recognize the new ones; and there always seems to be a new one or two.