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“So I finally got around to trying Packers after re-opening”

Packers Bar & Grill
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Ranked #7 of 42 Restaurants in Blaine
Price range: US$30 - US$30
Cuisines: American, Contemporary, Gastropub
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Semiahmoo Bay
Description: ocated on the waterfront at Semiahmoo Resort, Packers Oyster Bar is open daily for lunch and dinner plus Happy Hour, Late Night and Dessert offerings. No reservations required! The ever popular Semiahmoo dining staple for locals and guests has been transformed while maintaining its charm and casual feel. An expanded, open space is complemented by black walnut floors, a sprawling distressed wood bar, leather arm chairs, artisan-inspired bar stools and vibrant fabrics, and the wall of windows showcases a 180-degree view of Drayton Harbor. Packers' menus feature items including oysters on-the-half shell, burgers and fish and chips. Culinary hallmarks on the menus daily are the freshest, often changing products available locally.
Reviewed 29 December 2013

And I'm so sorry I was so disappointed.

We arrived at 6:30 on a Sat night, no reservations, and had to sit at the bar as there would be "no tables until 8:30". That was fine, especially since they did move us to a table about five minutes later, but there were at least four empty tables in the room throughout our time there and more by the time we left at 8:00, so why did they even risk us leaving? Doesn't seem well-managed.

Menu looks pretty good with offerings at several levels--casual and finer dining--and exactly what it needs to be since it is, after all, a hotel restaurant. The wine selection was okay, and there's a full bar for those who want cocktails. And it's a great room, lots of glass and dark wood so light and welcoming at the same time--it clamors in a good way without being noisy.

Was disappointed they were out of the roast chicken at only 6:30 (we've overloaded on beef lately) and wanted something lighter, so we settled on three items to share: a burger, soup and salad. Here's the bad news: we weren't pleased.

The wagyu burger: the meat was cooked medium exactly as ordered but needed salt, and the fries were lukewarm and had to be replaced (they were, cheerfully). Too, don't think the ciabatta bun is a good choice. It's dense and stiff, especially if not grilled or pre-warmed (which ours was not), and hard to bite into. We ended up losing the top bun and eating it like an open-faced sandwich. Not nearly as successful a course as it could have been.

The beet salad: flaccid, overcooked beets with an oily dressing that lacked acidity. A few greens under the beets would have been appreciated, too.

The onion soup: a strong onion broth was poured over a bowl full of wads of pumpernickel bread, several of which had been burnt all the way through. And I mean catch-on-fire burnt which is nastily acrid and unpleasant, not just dark around the edges. I got two bites like that and quit eating--the soup was tainted with that flavor and once I had two burnt bites so were my tastebuds. What's going on in a kitchen that puts badly burnt bread in a bowl instead of the trash?

Overall, the meal we had showed a lack of attention to detail.

Dear Semiahmoo Hotel: I'm a local. You need locals. Packers has always been very popular with locals almost regardless of the food because you've got the best room in this little town. But upping the game on the food is going to be paramount to the revived Semiahmoo's success. Sure, a lot of people around here aren't that fussy or knowledgeable about food, but a lot of us are and you're shooting yourself in the foot to think that in Blaine you can get away with things you wouldn't consider in New York or Paris. The meal we had won't build you the reputation you need.

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Thank UnrepentantFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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208 - 212 of 233 reviews

Reviewed 14 December 2013

Delicious drinks & food...plus they have Happy Hour and it's a good one! Meals for $5! All fries are truffle frieds which are to die for! LOVED their burger & fish and chips!

Thank rillabylund
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2013

We had a very good dinner during the "butcher block" special evening. The lamb chops were outstanding. Tender and beautifully seasoned with excellent mashed potatoes. Started with a good Caesar salad.
My wife started with an excellent seafood chowder and had the beef bourgeon stew. Very good gravy and tender meat. Did not include the usual mini onions and mushrooms.
Very good dinner rolls.
There was a live blues performance. It was excellent. Although you need to plan your sitting for the noise level.
The house recommended Washington red wine was great value.

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Thank David U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Semiahmoo resort and had a couple of meals at Packers. We enjoyed two mornings of very tasty breakfast and a lovely dinner one evening. We found the restaurant not too busy for breakfast so we were seated quickly both mornings.
For our first breakfast we both had a very tasty omelette with sausage, spinach, cheese and mushrooms. The omelette was cooked nicely and the portions of sausage, spinach,cheese and tomato were ample. Toast was provided with our omelettes along with butter and rhubarb jam and the slices of toast were a good size.
For our second breakfast my girlfriend had the eggs benedict and I had the French toast with sausage. Again, the portion sizes were generous and the food very tasty. Food was brought out in reasonable times for both breakfasts. I think the only complaint about breakfast was that it would have been nice to have had our coffees topped and warmed up a tad quicker.
We had made a reservation in advance for our dinner and it was a good thing that we did as the restaurant was full upon our arrival but our table was ready for us right away. There was a nice vibe and ambiance in the restaurant and the place was bustling. My girlfriend and I shared a mulled wine poached pear salad with candied pecans and blue cheese dressing. It was delicious and was accompanied by a little glass of mulled wine that was very tasty.
My girlfriend ordered the Nori wrapped Jumbo Scallops and i ordered the Lamb Loin for our entrees. The pacing was nice as the entrees came about 10 minutes after we'd finished our salad. The lamb loin was cooked perfectly, very tender and tasty. The scallops were large and also quite tasty. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and our server was very pleasant and timely in terms of service and answering our questions.
Overall Packers has improved immensely since I last ate there and the presentation of the food is extremely appealing visually. One area they could improve would be the selections of wines by the glass. I found the offerings to be a bit limited.
Well done and we look forward to coming back..

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Thank Gord L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2013

For some time, we have been visiting Semiahmoo Marina in our own boat, as have neighbors of ours. It was so sad for all mariners when the Semiahmoo Resort and it's restaurant kitchen shut down too.

So, when our friends called to announce that Packers had reopened, and that the resort itself was back in business, we were very glad to hear it! A blessing for all those who worked there, as well as for the boating community who rely upon easy access to eateries when they need a break from cramped, damp, boat galleys. As the designated skipper AND the galley-slave on our 28' welded aluminum power boat, I can tell yo that eating out, on land, is always a good idea!

However, before Packers shut down, I had gotten a bit tired of the "same ol', same ol" grub we'd been eating there. We'd been wind bound enough times in Semiahmoo Marina to have gotten really bored with the previous menu. I have allergies, so I'd eaten everything that I could eat, a dozen times. The food was never bad. It was just never really good. Not memorable. Not legendary. It was just "pub-grub".

On October 18th, 2013, we drove up from Anacortes to rendezvous with our sail boat friends, (who are master mariners), the woman of the couple also being a masterful chef . Everything M. makes is delicious and beautifully presented. So, when they wanted to eat on shore, I knew that she was just tired of being the galley-slave on their vessel. (Even though theirs is a large, beautiful blue-water boat!)

OK. So, at noon we head up to Packers, and friendly staff, some of whom had worked there before, sat us at our table and brought us the libations of our choice. The bar-keep suggested a Danish Apple Cider for me. Alas, I'm a spoiled rotten Apple/Pear Cider snob, having had wonderful ciders all over British Columbia as well as in Denmark and Estonia, and France. The Danish cider was good. Not great, but rather good. I later thanked the bar-keep for recommending it. Now all he needs to do is bring in some Angry Orchard and we'll be sailing.

Next, for the food. I ordered the Grilled Hen Burger and my husband ordered the Wagyu Burger. Judging by his response, I think mine was better, but his entré looked really good too. Our male friend ordered fish & chips, and my fellow galley-slave ordered the gourmet cheese plate.

My chicken burger (the Grilled Hen) was deeeelish! So darn yummy! I had greens instead of the fries, and even the salad was yummy. I'm not crazy about chicken burgers, but I AM crazy about this one!

My husband wasn't as thrilled with his burger, but he snarffed up his fries as quickly as our male friend did his (fries), that came beautifully presented in a colorful waxed paper cone & wire holder. Very bistro-ish.

Our friend's fish part, of the fish & chips, was over done, as the fish was cut too thin to be left in the fryer as long as it had been. At least it wasn't pre-formed frozen fish sticks. But, the way they cooked it you wouldn't know it wasn't right out of a box.

Our other friend, a gourmet herself, commented favorably on her cheese plate: "This is just perfect!" she declared, slowly savoring each item on her plate, but, because she was soon stuffed, she had to take a doggy bag of the left overs.

So, over-all, I'd give this new Packers Bar & Grill a big thumbs up! I'll gladly return for another Grilled Hen Burger, and hope that I will also be able to get an Angry Orchard cider to go with it!

Hopefully, the new management will change the menu often enough so that regulars will NOT become bored. Those on boats get weather bound in any harbor and need something to cheer them up. Good grub and a warm dry place to eat it goes a long way to brightening one's outlook. Hooch doesn't hurt either. But give me good food over a dram of rum any day!

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Thank SkagitSam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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