One happy hour at The Packet House | Eat Arkansas

Thursday, July 18, 2013

One happy hour at The Packet House

Posted By on Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 8:09 PM


It’s undeniable that the people running The Packet House have done a magnificent job restoring and revitalizing the old 1869 home that resides along Cantrell Road. It’s a gorgeous structure inside and out. But although the place has been serving since September 2012, I’ve yet to find myself dining at one of their tables. Truth be told, I’ve heard some mixed reviews about the place. Some have nothing but high praise to offer, while others have noted that their meals have been rather uninspiring, especially considering the slightly high price tag. But recently, Packet “unveiled” their new happy hour menu and I saw this as a perfect opportunity to finally get a taste of what the place was serving up.

Drink specials at happy hour include discounts on house wine, beer and wells, as well as a $4 Old Fashion and $7 signature cocktail. This night Packet was featuring the "Garden Party," which consisted of Sauza Silver tequila, lightly mashed lemon, cucumber and sugar, finished with mezcal. Another of their signature cocktails included the "Drunken Flower," with elderflowers, Russian vodka, and pomegranate juice.

The menu started with a “sweet pea toast,” which consisted of a pea puree with mozzarella, topped with garlic, basil and truffle oil. All this rested on a slice of grilled sourdough. The dish was a great start to the evening. The mozzarella had a more crumbled texture than expected, and a generous amount came sitting on the spread of bright green pea. The cool smashed peas lent an earthy sweetness that gave the crostini a light, delightful freshness. The truffle was subtle but noticeable, and while I love the flavor of truffle, I was grateful it did not overwhelm the other more subtle aspects of the dish.

Their house fries came highly recommended by the spry, enthusiastic bartender. He described the dish as a “heap of fries,” and at $5 were “the best bargain on the menu.” Even with the man’s warning, I was still startled by the size of the mound of fried potato strings that were presented on that plate. This mini mountain of potatoes sat at least 6 inches high and came with a smear of chipotle aioli. The fries were quite impressive, and I’d easily put them up there with some of the best I’ve had in Little Rock. They’re prepared correctly, and the quality comes through in their flavor and texture. They utilize the “double-fry” technique. Here, the fries are quickly cooked in oil at a lower temperature, pulled out and drained, and then with each order called, they’re thrown back into hotter oil to finish. This creates a soft inner potato with a crispy, golden exterior. They’re rolled in a bit of black truffle oil and tarragon to finish. The accompanying aioli was a little on the sparse side, but it was equally flavorful. Blended with chipotle peppers, it had a deep, rich, smoky flavor reminiscent of bacon. I’d quickly order these if I find myself at Packet House again.

Stuffed mushrooms came next. Meaty crimini mushrooms stuffed with herbed goat cheese, topped with butter and a smooth, creamy white wine sauce. The goat cheese and white wine afforded a piquant, almost sweet note to the mushrooms. Often stuffed mushrooms tend to be a little watery, as their moisture tends to seep out of them as they bake. These were no exception. While the dish was enjoyable, I felt it could have used a bit more richness, fat, or salt to help counter the sharp cheese and subtle flavor of mushroom. It was my least favorite dish of the night.

The menu is rounded out by their house pimento spread with grilled toast and fried crawfish, neither of which did I sample. But at $5 a plate, the menu is a nice accompaniment to their happy hour drink specials. If anything, I felt more inclined to visit the place for dinner and plan on doing so in the near future.

The happy hour menu runs Monday thru Friday 4-6 pm. The Packet House is located at 1406 Cantrell Rd, Little Rock

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (23)

Showing 1-23 of 23

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-23 of 23

Add a comment

More by Daniel Walker

  • The Kraft Mac & Cheese Food Hack

    Recently, we held another food hack competition, taking another childhood classic, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and tried to turn it on its head, creating something entirely new and unique. Again, the results were pretty awesome. The rules were simple: Use a whole box of mac and cheese, both noodles and cheese powder, and turn it into any sinister monstrosity imaginable. We had a vote via the Eat Arkansas Facebook page to crown a winner. Here's what was submitted:
    • Jul 30, 2014
  • Food Feedback Friday: The "We need your vote!" edition know the drill with Food Feedback. Tell us what you're eating this week and what you thought about it. I love to hear all the suggestions and I'm frequently looking back through your recommendations to determine my next meal. So share away! Happy weekend, y'all.
    • Jul 25, 2014
  • Looking in on the new Le Pops, now in the Heights

    Le Pops is a wonderful addition to the Heights neighborhood. Laurie Harrison is incredibly dedicated to her product, she still works here 7 days a week and is constantly experimenting in the kitchen to develop new flavors. Check them out the next time you need a cool down.
    • Jul 24, 2014
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • A sneak preview of Fourquarter Bar in Argenta

    A look at Fourquarter Bar in Argenta, brought to you by the folks behind Midtown Billiards. Beer, barbecue and killer cocktails abound!
    • Feb 23, 2016
  • Coming Monday: Little Rock Black Restaurant Week

    MoTown Monday is Ceci's Chicken and Waffles. Tasty Tuesday is Sims BBQ and Brewster's Soul Food Cafe. Wing Wednesday is Chicken King and Chicken Wangs. Soul Food Thursday is Lindsey's BBQ and Hospitality House and Food Truck Festival Friday is @station801. It's the first Black Restaurant Week.
    • Mar 8, 2017

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.



  • Arkansas Times' photographer Brian Chilson was at Midtown today to check on progress being made towards their grand opening scheduled for July 7.
    [content-1]The owner, Maggie Hinson, will be handing out markers so patrons can "mark their territory" on the walls of the new location.

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation