Good Food + Good Beer

There remains one great frontier for good beer: good food. Well over a decade ago, Higgins added the most expansive beer list in Portland to their menu (even hiring a beer steward), an act I assumed would precipitate full beer integration into the city's best restaurants. But no. Go to a nice place, and you'll be offered a wine list, a cocktail list, and a slightly anxious look by the waitress if you ask about the tap list. Beer remains segregated.

A tiny bit of good news, then. In today's Oregonian, Christina Melander alerts us to Micah Camden's newest venture, Fats:
...a gastropub centered on burgers, beer and brunch at Northeast 30th and Killingsworth. Fats will be his fourth restaurant. His mini-empire stretches over a couple of blocks and includes Beast (The Oregonian's Diner Restaurant of the Year 2008, co-owned with chef Naomi Pomeroy) along with foodie spot D.O.C. and design-savvy Yakuza Lounge, co-owned with Dayna McEarlean....

Camden says he wants to attract a more everyday clientele than his other restaurants. The beer list -- some 80 brews strong -- and digestible prices (with entrees around $15, burgers $9-$10, desserts $6-$8) should help draw a wider swath of Portlanders.
Admittedly, this isn't upscale food, and Camden's other restaurants haven't exactly rolled out the welcome mat to good beer. One could argue that there's a ghettoization problem here--the downscale restaurant gets the beer, Camden's chi-chi joints get the wine and liquor. Let's take the opposite view: at least good beer will now be served alongside good food, pushing the ball down the field a bit. For someone who laments the lack of good beer places to get decent food, this is a great piece of news.