Monday, December 30, 2013

Unseasoned at Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar

Black Truffle Meatballs
Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar has been located in Old Strathcona for as long as the humans can remember, however neither had been there since their post secondary days, and the only thing that they could remember about Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar was that the restaurant seemed expensive when they were in their early 20’s. When a Groupon for $40 worth of food at Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar went on sale, they took the opportunity to revisit.

Bent Tip of Knife
Upon first glance there appeared to be a serious juxtaposition at Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar between what they were trying to portray themselves as versus what they perhaps were in the past. Their restaurant listing on described Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar as a casual dining restaurant – confirmed to us by the brown craft paper covering all of the dining tables. However, the linen tablecloths beneath the craft paper, the menu prices and items seemed more on par with a nicer, more expensive and elaborate restaurant. Also their cutlery was obviously older and needed to be discarded as the male human received a knife with an obviously bent tip.

The humans started with an appetizer of black truffle meatballs, which they found were excessively dry, which resulted in a crumbly meatball that kept falling apart, while the mildly sweet balsamic glaze did little to add moisture to the meatballs. Mushroom was the dominant taste, but they lacked any hint of truffle. The meatballs themselves were fairly sizeable, as were the two pasta shells that accompanied the meatballs, but the humans were disappointed that an appetizer of this size and quality cost $14, as they were no better than meatballs one would find on any spaghetti dish.

Grilled Pork Chop
The male human ordered the grilled pork chop which consisted of a 12 oz bone in Sterling Silver chop, caramelized onions, smoked bacon risotto, sautéed vegetables, demi-glace, and Guinness aged cheddar cheese. The pork itself was cooked through and was unfortunately bland, as was the demi-glace, while the cheese sauce was very mild with no Guinness flavour detectable. The risotto tasted more like plain rice as it lacked any creaminess, while the carrots were completely raw instead of sautéed.

The female human ordered the hickory rubbed ribeye, which consisted of a 14oz Sterling Silver Ribeye, gratin potato, fried hickory sticks, horseradish demi, and sautéed vegetables. Although she found the ribeye to be cooked to a proper medium rare, it lacked flavour and the marbling normally associated with a ribeye steak. The potatoes suffered from the same blandness and lack of seasoning as everything else we had experienced that evening.

Sterling Silver Ribeye *MooFaint*
When asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu, they whipped out a stamp and ink pad, and proceeded to stamp the dessert menu on the brown craft paper covering the table. I found this to be a bit baffling as having a stamp made can be quite costly, which likely meant that their dessert menu rarely changes, so why utilize a stamp instead of having real menus printed like their dinner menu? It seemed like they were using a stamp for the sake of being different, and from my perspective, felt gimmicky. Given that our entrees were disappointing, we opted not to stay for dessert.

Although the Groupon covered $40 of the meal, it wasn’t even close to 50% of the total bill, which was unusual as other Groupons we’d purchased was usually priced to cover at least 50% of the total cost of dinner for two. Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar could have valued their Groupon a bit higher to make it seem like more of a deal, as the $40 just barely covered a single entrée. If they do another Groupon, I’d suggest they re-evaluate the value of the Groupon they offer so the cost it covers for a table of two is somewhat more substantial, even if it means the Groupon costs more to begin with.

Dessert Menu
Overall we were far from impressed and were left feeling the meal was overpriced for the quality of the food, considering similar and tastier fare could be found at many other restaurants in Edmonton, at comparative prices or even lower. Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar needs to work on the core of what should be at every restaurant, the food, and strive to improve on the quality of what they present to diners. Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar was far from impressive from a flavour standpoint and I doubt I would return unless their food quality improves.

Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar
10335 83 Ave NW
Edmonton, AB  T6E 5C3

Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar‎ on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Sounds pretty much like the experience I had there last year. Big thumbs down!


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