Sherman's Food Adventures: Anaheim Packing District

Anaheim Packing District

We weren't planning on visiting the Anaheim Packing District Food Hall while we were in town, not because we had better things to eat, but we didn't even know about it!  While we were dining with Jess at Playa Provisions, she suggested that we check it out.  That we did... twice!  There is a good selection of eats there and it offers a little of something for everyone.  Best thing of all, most of the food stalls are unique where you won't be finding any big chains setting up shop.

My son didn't need to see what was available because he essentially ordered the first thing he did see!  That would be Zabon Ramen and Rolls.  He got the aptly named Zabon Ramen featuring a chicken and pork broth with soy, chashu, cabbage and fried onion.  He added an egg as well.  The broth was definitely rich as advertised and even a bit greasy.  Not advisable to drink the whole thing.  It wasn't salty, but had good umaminess.  Noodles were al dente and the pork was generally tender with some chewier portions.  Egg was custardy in the middle and nicely seasoned.  He added a California Roll with Salmon for good measure and it was pretty standard.  Rice was chewy being a touch dry.  Good rice-to-ingredient ratio and the amount of salmon was enough.

For myself, I ordered 2 items from 206 BCE including the Sausage Anti-Gravity Noodles.  I know, I know, this looks like a complete gimmick that won't taste good.  Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news (or is it good news?) because this was tasty!  The ample egg noodles were bathed in a delicious garlicky soy butter that was impactful and aromatic.  I couldn't stop eating the al dente noodles! There was plenty of sliced sausage (of the seafood boil variety) hidden underneath.

The other item was the Specialty Pho featuring an entire beef rib, rare beef, meatballs and brisket.  As you can clearly see (sorry for the pun), the broth was clean and clear.  Hence, the flavor was mild and light with only the slightest meatiness and sweetness.  I could pick out some daikon and minor hits of anise.  The amount of meat in this was mind-boggling, especially for the price ($14.00).  I found the meats to be tender and the rib fell off the bone.  Worth the price in my opinion.

My daughter was extremely boring with her choice of the French BLT Sandwich from Le Parfait Paris.  This consisted of brie, lettuce, tomato, turkey, prosciutto, honey and garlic aioli.  Maybe I'm being a bit harsh saying this was boring because brie and prosciutto are higher end sandwich ingredients, but she normally chooses the most complex things!  All-in-all, this was a good sandwich with layers of flavor from salty to sweet.

Viv decided on the Shrimp Pad Thai from the White Elephant.  Although this may not look like a lot of food, it was actually more than enough.  Loved the high wok heat applied to the dish as there was caramelization of flavors as well as evaporating most of the moisture.  In turn, the dish didn't eat wet, but was not dry either.  Good tang from the tamarind balanced off by the palm sugar.  Decent spice too as this was well-balanced and tasty.

On our next visit, I decided to hit up Georgia's Kitchen for the Fried Catfish Po' Boy with shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, tartar and garlic mayo on a French roll.  I thought the catfish was nicely prepared being soft and almost flaky.  The cornmeal batter was crunchy and well-spiced.  However, the French roll was a bit dense.  This was a bit much for the amount of catfish and therefore, the fish got lost.  Otherwise, this was generally good.  The side of fries were hot and crispy.

For some inexplicable reason, my daughter once again went for a sandwich. At least this was something I would've considered ordering.  This was the Classic from Black Sheep GCB.  Featuring sharp cheddar and Swiss, the sandwich was simple yet flavorful due to the sharpness.  Bread was evenly grilled with a crispy surface.  She got a side of Scratch-made Tomato Soup on the side for dipping.  It was tangy, yet balanced with nice depth and sweetness.  Perfect match for the grilled cheese she chose.

My son went for the Loco Moco Poutine from The Kroft.  Yes, this looked messy and ate equally messy.  Other than crispy fries, this boasted meatloaf, brown gravy, fried onions, cheese curds, fried egg and ketchup glaze (he omitted the green onions).  In one sense, he enjoyed this as it was super filling and each individual ingredient was prepared well.  However, it became a bit monotonous the more he ate it.  Maybe if there was a smaller portion, it would've been enough.

Viv had probably the most visually unappealing dish in the Chili Cheese Baked Potato also from the Kroft.  I guess it ate better than it looked, but there seemed to be lacking in toppings.  For the size of the potato, there should've been more chili.  About that chili, it was quite good though with spice and tang.  There was also bacon, sour cream, chopped onions and green onion, so the flavors were there, we just needed more of it.

We got something sweet to end things off with some Gelato Pops from the Popbar.  We've actually had these before and although they aren't the best gelato/sorbetto we've ever had, it is portable and serviceable.  We got them all coated in chocolate (with one in sprinkles).  From left to right is pineapple, berry and vanilla.  So these are the places we visited at the Anaheim Packing District.  There are a few more that we didn't get to but looked promising.  If you have wheels and are tired of all the stuff in and around Disneyland, just make the short drive here to get something different.

The Good:
- Nice variety of vendors
- Appealing dining space
- Not too far from the tourist attractions

The Bad:
- Parking is limited
- Place gets a bit warm


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