If you live in the Southern California area and are looking for a fun thing to check out this summer I highly recommend visiting the Anaheim Packing House. I think it’s my new favorite place to drop in for a quick bite to eat since there are so many delicious places to try. They have places serving up everything from hot pots, waffle sandwiches, beer, cocktails, grilled cheese, fish and chips, gourmet Japanese food, Indian food, comfort food, popsicles, homemade ice cream, crepes and so much more. There are more places yet to open (Ecco, Georgias, Dark 180, Sawleaf Vietnamese Cafe, and a Fish Market) so this will continue to be a growing hub for food lovers.
I’ve been watching them work on this place over the past year or so since a good friend of mine lives right across the street. She’s been the best at keeping us up on the news of the events and details of how things were coming along. They have been renovating this old Sunkist Orange Packing House into what has become the popular new hang out in Anaheim, for quite awhile. The delays in opening have caused much anticipation for what they have to offer and so far they have not disappointed.
The Anaheim Packing House is located in downtown Anaheim which has been under renovation for many years now as new shops, restaurants and nostalgic style housing is bringing some hope to a part of Anaheim that needed a little TLC and, honestly, people with the Benjamins who could do something about the area. It’s fun to see this part of the city spruced up a bit and treasure a part of its history in a fun way.
I was excited to visit them on opening day a few weeks ago with the hopes of trying out the new eateries. During that opening weekend I visited the PopBar which was good, but because of WW I didn’t try what I should have to really give it a good review. So, I will hold my comments back until me, or someone I go with, tries again and I have pictures to show! You might already be familiar with PopBar since I know this is not their first and only location.
This past weekend I had the privilege of being a first timer at Black Sheep Grill Cheese Bar. I believe it was the grand opening for them so it was fun to support their opening day.
I have been to a few grilled cheese places so I was expecting it to be similar to one of those…The Grilled Cheese Truck (Los Angeles/Orange County area), Melt It (Pasadena, CA), and Valley Shepherd Creamery & Meltkraft Grill Cheese Shop (Reading Terminal in Philadelphia, PA).
This place ended up being mostly like the Valley Shepherd Meltkraft in Philly because it was more gourmet in it’s cheese, bread, and ingredient selection then the other two locations. Those “other two” location specialties are more about adding bbq, mac and cheese, pulled pork, etc. to a grilled cheese sandwich. Also good, but this is a different, more unique kind of grilled cheese that you just know is made with a consideration of the best way to pair ingredients with the finer cheeses available.
I decided to try the first one listed on the menu (let’s work our way down the menu each visit, right?) and was not at all disappointed. I think in eating this sandwich I discovered a new cheese love that I had no idea existed…formage blanc. Guys…it’s awesome. Awesome mostly if you like goat cheese since the taste had a similar tang to it that goat cheese does. And like goat cheese, it is a cheese loving dieters friend being very low in fat, calories, etc. The tangy bite in the cheese paired so well with the sweet onions, roasted tomatoes and peppery arugula pesto. It was well balanced as a sandwich…really incredible. As rich as it sounds, it ended up being a very clean sandwich and you were not overwhelmed with a grease ball in your stomach when you were done. Hard to explain but you can’t help but feel it was a sandwich worth all $7 when you were done with it. Since I’m counting points, I think (if I calculated correctly), this sandwich is about 10-13 points (depending on how much butter they use). I would say that’s not bad at all and so so worth the points you would spend on it WW friends. So. Worth. It.
Another treat I have to brag on a bit, because I think they are genius for incorporating them into their merchandise, is the Brown Butter Cookies from The Brown Butter Cookie Company in Cayucos, California.
They had samples out by the register when I was ordering and the kid at the register suggested I try one because they were “soooo good.” I thought…yes, yes. I’m sure you’re trying to upsell me on something that is average. I’m sure they told you to say that.”
Oh was I wrong. He wasn’t kidding. You take one bite into these cookies and stop, look around for someone to share this moment with, and say…”Oh. Oh my gosh. These are so good.” Literally that is what happens. I’m not kidding dear readers….I did that. My boyfriend did that. My friend Michele did that. It’s just what happens. These cookies evoke the same response from everyone. You know you’re biting into excellence with these cookies. So if you’re not a grilled cheese fan, then just go for the cookies. You’ll get a bag of 6 for way too much but shut your mouth and don’t complain because you will not regret it. I promise you. (WW friends they are about 3pts per cookie but you can enjoy 3 cookies for 8 points…if you want to…I might have maybe done this on Saturday…maybe).
There is so much more to say about the Anaheim Packing House, but I hate to fit it all into one post. I hope to try a few more of their restaurants and be able to say a few words about them on here when it works out. I love this new place and all the work they’ve put into it. I would love to do a small part in helping them generate traffic and keep people coming back. I’m thrilled to see so many people swarming the place each time I go. I keep telling everyone about it and you guys are the next ones on my list to excite about it. If you’re an out of towner and are heading to the Southern California area sometime soon, try to stop by the APH and have a quick bite to eat.
More to come later on my adventures in the APH!