Monday, July 14, 2014

“This Place is Packed!”

…I exclaimed to Chuck. What’s packed? Why, Pack’s is packed. And why is Pack’s packed? Here is where once again real-time and blog-time diverge. It was noon on the day that the U.S. played Germany in the World Cup, and it appears that all of downtown Asheville—like us—wanted to have lunch while watching the soccer match.
And packed Pack’s was. Every table was full,
and patrons were lined up two or three deep at the front bar.
Fortunately, the tavern and restaurant had enough flat-screens that every table had a good view of the game.
“Located on the southern edge of Pack Place Park, Pack’s Tavern has become a popular watering hole and dining spot for locals and visitors alike. Built in 1907 and known as the Hayes and Hopson Building, it was for many years the home of the old Bill Stanley’s barbecue and bluegrass restaurant.

“The late Stewart Coleman, along with his sons-in-law, Ross Franklin and and Tom Israel, renovated the space in 2009 and returned it to its earlier turn of the century grandeur. The result is a spacious restaurant and bar with several levels, as well as outdoor dining on a patio adjacent to the park. There is also a magnificent upstairs ballroom which is available for private events” (

“The Hayes & Hopson Building, built as a supplier of lumber and then automotive parts, most recently housed county offices. Demolishing the offices exposed original brick walls, wood floors, bead board ceilings and heavy roof trusses.
New window openings provide a friendlier façade to the City’s Pack Square Park while offering daylight and views to restaurant patrons. The period-designed restaurant and bar occupy the main level, while an events venue was developed on the upper level. Historically-appropriate lighting, fans, woodwork and ceramic tile were incorporated into the project. An outdoor dining patio fronts the City Park. The project received a Griffin Award for excellence in preservation.” (

“Restoration included much care to expose the brick, tongue and groove ceiling, wood trusses, and uncover the 100-year-old flooring” (

“…hidden behind steel doors in the basement lies a Hayes Hopson secret. These heavy doors open to a dark chamber that leads under South Spruce Street and once continued to adjacent buildings. The Hayes Hopson building has supplied lumber, auto parts, BBQ to Asheville, but during the Prohibition years it supplied illegal liquor to local scofflaws (people who disobeyed the dry laws of the Volstead Act) via this underground passage” ( I think that our trolley driver mentioned that one of these passages led from the police station to the Hayes Hopson basement.

I wanted to eat light—sort of—and first reviewed the salad menu that included: Roasted Beet and Baby Greens Salad with your choice of chicken, shrimp, crab cake, or salmon; Fiesta Salad with black beans, roasted corn, tomato, and onion with grilled chicken breast and shredded Cheddar Jack cheese tossed in a bed of romaine lettuce; or Thai Chicken or Salmon Salad with romaine lettuce, red cabbage, diced red peppers, shredded carrot, green onion, and rice noodles tossed with Thai vinaigrette.

But, after determining that I could get the tuna seared to medium-rare, I finally decided on the Coriander Crusted Tuna and Avocado sandwich with wasabi mayo, marinated cucumbers, tomatoes, baby spinach, onions, and sprouts. Chuck, a man with a bigger appetite, ordered Bison Meatloaf with tomato glaze and served with mashed potatoes, mushroom sage gravy, and grilled Texas toast.

And then the wait began. As I looked around the dining room, it appeared that most of the diners were also waiting for their food—unless beer was their entrée of choice. I suspect that, like us, most had arrived at the stroke of twelve noon not wanting to miss the kickoff nor any of the subsequent action. I’ll bet that the kitchen was swamped.

When our food finally arrived, the tuna on my sandwich had been cooked well past medium-rare.
I contemplated sending it back, but since it took at least forty-five minutes to get this sandwich, decided to just accept it and eat it.

The roll had been nicely toasted and the crisp cucumbers gave texture to the sandwich. And if that wasn’t enough cucumbers, my side choice was the marinated tomatoes and cucumbers—cold and crisp and just perfect for a rather warm Asheville day.
Chuck fared far better with his Bison meatloaf—although with the seasonings, I couldn’t tell the difference between this and a regular ground beef/pork/veal meatloaf.
Still, it was juicy and flavorful, and the tomato glaze wasn’t your regular catsup and brown sugar glaze.

But the high point of his plate was the wonderful mound of skin-on mashed potatoes (Yes, this is really me writing this.) that had just a hint of garlic and were covered with a light mushroom gravy.
And the mushrooms had been chopped small enough that he had no choice but to eat most of them. And he still lives to talk about it.

Chuck was the winner that day. Unfortunately, neither the U.S. nor I were. Pack’s Tavern may be worth another day and another time when they are less busy. For now, they rate only 3.0 Addies.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.


adham said...

اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

adham said...

اهم شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بالخرج
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم

adham said...

شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك
شركة نقل عفش بابها
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بحائل
شركة نقل عفش بالظهران
شركة نقل عفش واثاث
شركة نقل عفش

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