Skip to main content

Best Apple Pie I've Ever Had - Higgins, Portland, OR

I've never been to Portland, OR but I've read enough food blogs to know that there is a lively food and beer scene. So when my hubz tells me he's always wanted to go to Portland and books our trip there as a winter getaway, I get schoolgirl giddy.

This time, I leave everything up to my hubz so I don't have to plan a thing. I don't research food blogs or read restaurant reviews. I just sit back and relax as my hubz creates an itinerary for our winter getaway. He deftly calls on his foodie friends who have been there before and through all the recommendations, we have a food and hiking plan.

Portland is a beautiful city. Lively, even when it's soggy. I get a lot of mileage out of my yellow rain boots as we walk the downtown streets. It's great to take a break from driving everywhere in LA. We decide to check out Higgins, based on a few friends' recommendations. Located on the corner of Broadway and Jefferson in Downtown, Portland, we wade through rain with our loaned hotel umbrellas from Hotel Lucia.

We pass by the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, where a line forms to watch Woody Allen and his New Orleans Jazz Band. WTF? I never knew Woody Allen HAD a band. I'm the worst film school student ever.

There are two parts to Higgins. The restaurant and the bar. The bar is obvious from the outside as it is the one that has the fogged up windows while the restaurant is dimly lit and quiet. The ambiance is that of a serious gourmet restaurant in that old school kind of way. The food, however, is very much up to date.

The menu is all locally sourced. Our server has a fun sense of humor and one of the servers zig zags throughout the restaurant with his dancing feet.

We start with the House-made charcuterie plate with Higgins pickles ($15.50). The salami, lardo, the thinly sliced salami, mortadella, pate, terrines, the Italian cookies, and the pickled asparagus and vegetables are out of this world and only made better knowing that everything is made in-house. It's plentiful for two people, probably better shared for a group of three or more. The only thing I'd question is the plating. That looks awfully sexual.


At Higgins, ordering beer is just as easy as ordering wine. Their beer menu is extensive and the markup isn't bad. We get a bottle of Delirium Tremens ($16) and a bottle of Lindemen's Framboise ($9).

My hubz orders the Rigatoni pasta with spicy fennel sausage, broccoli, garlic cream and pecorino romano ($20.50). He likes it, doesn't love it.


Nothing really jumps out at me from the menu except the oysters and my hubz is allergic so I opt for their special that night, the Flat Iron Steak ($30 something ish) that comes with cauliflower, potatoes, and collard greens. The steak is perfectly cooked but the sides made the dish. The potatoes, cauliflower, and the collard greens round out the dish and it all goes down well with my Delirium.


The best part of the entire meal and the reason why I'm even writing this post, is the Apple Pie. I know what you're thinking. It doesn't even look gooey or gelatinous - how could it be good? Well, I'm telling you... this apple pie expands your mind. Look, I don't want to feel like I put on ten pounds eating a slice of pie. I just want to enjoy it.

The menu's description doesn't do it justice, "Warm pie, cheddar crust, bay leaf ice cream." From the rum soaked raisins that dot the plate to the cheesy contrast to the warmth of the apple pie in juxtaposition to the cold and creamy ice cream makes this dessert the best thing ever. I'm not even mad that I can't taste the bay leaf flavor in the ice cream. It's very subtle.

There is no way to describe this apple pie than saying that it's the epitome of culinary contrast in a bite - cheesy/crusty/creamy/warm/cold/sweet/salty/herby/subtle/flavorful. My hubz just says the pie is "erotic" and come to think of it, that might be the best way to describe it.

Higgins Restaurant
1239 SW Broadway 
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 222-9070
Mon-Fri 11:30am-12:00am
Sat & Sun 4:00pm- 12:00am

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


"Cuñape" is the best cheeseballs in the world, and it’s from Santa Cruz, Bolivia. These gooey and addictive cheese balls are similar to the Brazilian "pão de queijo" or the French "gougères" or the Colombian "pandebono" but all of these are different from each other as well. Gougères are lighter and more airy while the Brazilian ones are chewier but drier on the outside. I would say the pandebonos are closest in taste and texture to the Bolivian cuñape but it is slight more bready.

In Bolivia, we use mennonite cheese (farmer's cheese) for this recipe and honestly without that cheese it will never be exactly like the original but you do what you can. I've been hunting down a similar cheese in the U.S. for ages but the closest I can get to it is to use the queso blanco or fresco and add some more salt (or even mix some feta into it).

The history of the cuñape is very interesting. It is a Guaraní word that means "a woman's breast&…

Making Mocochinchi

I get really excited when I can think of a food or drink that is solely Bolivian. I admit there isn't too many Bolivian dishes that are not influenced by the many countries that it borders. Even the Saltena, Bolivia's most famous empanada looking pastry comes from a woman who came from Salta, Argentina, to Tarija, Bolivia. 
So when I'm researching Mocochinchi, my favorite childhood and now adulthood drink, made from dehydrated whole peaches, sugar, and cinnamon, and I find that it's a "Bolivian"drink, I get really really excited. Bolivia Bella goes on to describe regional favorites. 
In Santa Cruz, you can buy the dehydrated peaches in the open markets. I snag a pound of dehydrated peaches because you really can't find these in the U.S. except maybe in Miami or Virginia, where there is a huge population of Bolivians. Using sliced dehydrated peaches don't really work for this particular drink because the fun is eating the reconstituted peaches afterwa…

Donut Friend & Town Pizza - York Blvd, Highland Park, CA

First, Donut Friend - a DIY donut house. They also have some on their list that are already made. I like ordering off their menu because well, they spent a lot of R&D money to make sure some of these ingredients work together. When left up to my demise, the donuts I create end up tasting off. 
My favorite off their menu is the Jets to Basil and Nutella Vision. This one below is neither of these. I don't even quite remember which one this was but it contained reese's pieces and it wasn't as good as the two aforementioned donuts.

You end up ordering at the cash register but the setup looks almost like you order it when you walk up to it and follow the donut maker to the cash register. That is not how it works here. You just order at the cash register and someone makes it for you (and you're allowed to watch this person make it for you). Yes, it is a confusing set up and I get annoyed as well. 
Another place we go to frequently just because it is convenient and becau…