Archive for the ‘Restaurants and Shopping’ Category

Packet House serves Great Food with a side of Amazing Architecture

October 26th, 2012 by Lisa

We’ve all driven by that big old house on Cantrell by Dillard’s Corporate Offices and thought, “That house is beautiful…why isn’t anybody doing anything with it?’  Well, after a few years of sitting empty, someone finally IS doing something with it.  The McDonald-Wait-Newton House, more commonly known as The Packet House, has recently opened it’s doors to the public as a restaurant.

Wes Ellis, the Owner and Executive Chef, describes the cuisine as modernized Southern Comfort Food and the descriptor seems apt to me.  My friend and I dined at The Packet House on a recent Thursday.  We were led through the suprisingly (in my opinion) modern interior to a small room tucked into the back of the house that also led out to a deck.  The atmosphere would have been great if it weren’t for the other occupants of this room (a group of around 15 young women celebrating a birthday) with white table clothes and sparse modern deco.

My companion ordered the trout and I ordered the duck breast.  The menu descriptions didn’t do justice to the perfectly cooked duck sitting in a sweet tomato reduction with good ol’ southern hoppin’ john on the side.  Halfway through our meal we decided to switch plates and I was very pleased with this decsion as well.  His trout was pan seared with the skin still on, sitting on ratatouille and drizzled with a lemon beurre blanc.  We enjoyed a very nice bottle of Reisling with the meal, one of my new favorites that I will be searching out in stores.

Would I recommend this restaurant to guests?  I most certainly would, both for the food and for the beautiful house that it is served in!  What better place to send guests from one beautiful historic mansion than to another!

 

Hot Dog Mike Serves up an Unforgettable Lunch

March 26th, 2012 by Lisa

Looking for a great, unusual, casual place for lunch during your stay at The Empress?  Look no further than the famous hot dog stand of Hot Dog Mike.  You will have to look up his location on facebook, twitter or www.hotdogmike.com, but finding him is well worth the effort.  Try the woopighotdog for an tasty change from the normal hot dog.  Or if you like the normal hot dog, the basicallydeliciousdog is just what you were looking for.

With his fedora atop his head and thick, Elvis Costello-style black-framed glasses on his face, Hot Dog Mike is the perfect host as he slings dogs in his custom made tshirt (which you will want)!  You won’t be disappointed, and you will leave so full your fluffy bed at The Empress will be the perfect spot for the afternoon!

 

 

Do the Locomotive with me!

July 21st, 2011 by Lisa

During a recent stay in The Empress of Little Rock’s Garden Suite, the family and I decided to try out a new restaurant concept in Little Rock that sounded exciting and fun.  So we headed over to 6813 Cantrell Road next to Stein Mart, the location of All Aboard Restaurant and Grill.

What makes All Aboard so fun?   The food at All Aboard is delivered by a network of small, custom-built locomotives that run on tracks near the ceiling. Helped along mightily by a sophisticated computer system linked to a key-activated doo-dad in each booth, the trains drop off a tray bearing your food (without ever stopping, we might add), which is then slowly lowered down to your table by way of a miniature elevator.

The food was only satisfactory, but the trains won the heart of my 3 year old.  His testimony to the greatness of All Aboard?  “Mommy, I want to eat here EVERY DAY.”  Considering that he is the true master of my castle (although I try to pretend otherwise) I have a feeling that we will be making a return trip one day very soon!

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