Come for Beer, Stay
For Superlative Food
By Fred Delkin
Portland lays a serious claim to being microbrewing heaven, and one establishment
seeks to be a single stop where patrons can sample over 100 examples of the brewer's art.
Henry's Tavern very appropriately is a vastly remodeled brewery site where, for 140 years, Henry
Wessinger and his descendants once satisfied a region's thirst. No other current Rose City pub
comes close to offering such a choice of beers, a majority on tap, but this facility also produces a
broad array of superbly crafted food items.
All this within an amazing transformation of the old brewery,
which still retains its original brick facade still looming above
Portland's W. Burnside @ SW 12th, complete with the towering
old smokestack.. Inside, all is redone, with iron-railed
mezzanine seating areas overlooking a main dining room and
entry area. An upstairs walkway connects with a poolroom
with multiple tables adjacent to a compact private function area
with upholstered seating and a large projection screen.
Downstairs, the old malt storage area accomodates a full-bar
lounge with seating along a unique iced bar drink rail, Wii
gaming booths, and an entry to an outdoor patio area with
tables and seating. Above the lounge
area a glassed-in room holds Henry's massive collection of tap
beer kegs. It seems the designers of this posh libation
destination haven't missed a trick!
Pricing is all well within reason for any order. A Happy Hour food
menu is served 3-6 pm daily, 9 pm-close Mon.-Fri., 10pm-close
Fri. & Sat. and all day Sunday. This selection includes Hot Dog sliders
with chips, bacon & fennel kraut, Texas No-bean Chili with Jalapeno Cheddar muffin,
Hummus w/housemade Flat Bread, 1/3 lb. Cheese Burger, Cheddar Cheese Soup,
Tomato Basil Soup, Hot Spinach/Parmesan/Artichoke dip, crispy Orange Chicken,
Seafood Cakes, Classic Caesar Salad, Gorgonsola Fries and evens a gourmet
Mac&Cheese...with each of th3se selections ranging from just $2 to $5 in cost.
There's a lunch and dinner menu that will make your hunger run rampant.
This menu offers a variety of soups & greens that include grilled hearsts of Romaine, pear
waslnut and Manchego cheese and a Cobb creation. A special section offers a choice of sausages
produced by Portland's Zenner Co. and including Knockwurst, Bratwurst & Louisiana Spicy
Links, each with a choice of sides that include bacon and cheese. If you're into a full dinner,
start with achoice of 'Apps' that include BBQ Chicken, Sushi Rolls, seared Ahi Tuna and
Cornbread or Flat Bread crafted in house. Then scan a choice of 28-dry aged Top Sirloin, bone-
in Ribeye or a pepper-crusted Filet Mignon...or consider a grilled, boneless BBQ half Chicken,
grilled smoked Pork Chops, ddddWok-seared red Childi Scallops & Prqawnsf, Baby Back Ribs
or a pepper-crusted honey basted Alaskan Salmon.
If lunch is your thing, there's no less than seven Burger preparations with variouys cheeses &
sauces and each accompanied by pickles & fries...or you may opat for an order of Onion Rings
whose batter coating is toothsome and they're served stacked on a peg atop a wooden board with
a choice of sauce dips. We can attest to the Hank's Stuffed Burger which has smoked
Mozzarella, onions and tomatoes mixed into the ground beef. There are also artisan sandwiches
that include a corned beef Reuben, Philly Cheese Sterak, Meditteranean Chicken and smoked
Turkey on light Rye.
The Henry's menu proclaims "You have reached Beervana!"...and even in a city that lays claim
to being the microbrew capitol of America, the choice of sips here is mind-boggling. Choose
from "New, Seasonal or Specialty Ales", Fruit Ales', " Wheat, Amber, Strong or Cream Ales",
"Stouts", "Porters", "Brown or Red Ales", "Pilsners," "Blond or White Ales", "Lagers", "India
Pales", with the preponderance of taps in these sections brewed in Oregon. There's also several
European drafts from Germany, Belgium & England...and even three hard Ciders from Oregon,
Washington & British Columbia.
Wine has also schieved atttention here, with 12 whites and 12 reds femanating not onfly from the
Pacific Northwest, but imports from Chile, Argentina and Australia. Yes, you can find non-
alcoholic libations, if you must, that include Root Beer, Bottled Water, Lemonade and Red Bull.
Oh, Coffee and Tea are also available.
Service at Henry's, in our experirnce, matches the attention to detail of the menu, with the latter
doing a superb job of describing each and every choice of food or drink.
This joint is worthy of patronage from anyone particular about what passes their lips.
Original text © 2011 Oregon