Month: November 2016

Let’s Give Thanks

Best macaroni and cheese from Center City Anaheim

We went in search of the ultimate comfort food in Center City Anaheim for a little Thanksgiving meal inspiration—and we were not disappointed. We also learned a valuable lesson in the process: there is no such thing as bad macaroni and cheese. Some are better than others, and some are more exotic, and some barely resemble the old standby Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in the reassuring blue box, but it’s all good. So we tracked down the best mac and cheese dishes in and around the Packing District to help you complete your holiday menu.

Georgia’s Restaurant

Georgia’s in the Packing House is a real-deal, honest-to-goodness Southern restaurant and we had high hopes for their cheesy creation. Again, it’s only a side dish here, but when you accompany it with golden fried chicken, mashed potatoes, collard greens, and corn bread, it pretty much checks all the boxes for comfort food, and everything here tastes fresh and homemade.

Georgia's Restaurant mac and cheese dish.

‘Soulful Sides’ mac & cheese dish with a half rack of St. Louis BBQ Ribs and corn on the cob from Georgia’s Restaurant.

Primo Sports Bar & Grill

Back over on the Center Street Promenade you’ll find Primo Sports Bar & Grill (formerly Cafe Primo, who formerly served an exquisite lobster macaroni and cheese, but let’s try not to think about that). Their latest version of mac ‘n’ cheese comes as a glorious main dish topped with crispy bacon. Now we’re getting somewhere. Elbow macaroni, toasty bread crumbs, bacon bits, and chives take this dish up a notch. Bonus order: they also serve bacon mac ‘n’ cheese balls if you don’t want a meal or if you prefer spherical food.

Note: Primo Sports Bar & Grill has since officially closed down as of January 2017.

Primo Sports Bar's 'Bacon Mac N' Cheese' dish

Primo Sports Bar’s ‘Bacon Mac N’ Cheese’ with bread crumbs, bacon bits, and chives.

The Kroft

The Kroft (in the Packing House) dials up the heat on their Chili Mac ‘N’ Cheese with macaroni, cheese sauce, chili, bacon, herb breadcrumbs, and green onions. Again, this one’s only a side dish, but a hearty one at that.

Chili Mac N Cheese from The Kroft

Mac and Cheese with chili, bacon, herb breadcrumbs, and green onions at The Kroft restaurant.

The Blind Rabbit

This list would be woefully incomplete without including the enigmatic Blind Rabbit. This speakeasy bar is in the Packing House and is hidden behind a wall of sake barrels downstairs next to the hot pot restaurant. Look for the tiny brass rabbit for your way in, but be sure you have a reservation, the secret password, and an appetite for exotic food and craft cocktails. If you remember nothing else about your day in Center City, you’ll remember the Duck Confit Mac & Cheese. With savory duck, al dente cavatappi macaroni, and a three-cheese béchamel sauce, topped with shaved Parmesan and fried garlic bits, this is one that raises the bar.

You can find directions to Anaheim’s restaurants with the best macaroni and cheese here.

Artists Unite At Night

Anaheim Art Crawl Experience

If you’re looking to bring a little culture into your life, or just want a fresh way to experience Center City, this month’s Art Crawl Experience might be just the ticket. Once a quarter local DIY aficionados, art enthusiasts, and crafters converge for a night of artistic exploration.

Art Crawl craft stand

Indie craft fair stand at previous Anaheim Art Crawl Experience event.

Saturday, November 12 from 6pm to 10pm stroll and view public artwork, pop into pop-up galleries or tour some of Center City’s more traditional style museums. The brainchild of artists and community leaders, this unique art walk is a great way to view a variety of creative works in a fun, casual atmosphere.

If you haven’t taken it in already, the Art Crawl is a perfect opportunity for a self guided tour of the “Art of Anaheim.” Start at Center Street Promenade and wander down the road, looking for the circular plaques that signify a public work of art. Highlights include Peter Shires’ “The Neighborhood” installation or the “Hammer Clock,” which stands 12 feet high on the corner of Clementine and Promenade.

Not your typical local holiday craft fair, the Art Crawl Experience is packed with live entertainment, food trucks and more. Of course for those who love good DIY craftsmanship and home-made handiwork, there are rows of locally hand-made creations in the indie art area. These carefully crafted treasures are perfect for getting a jump start on that holiday wish list.

Jewelry stand at craft festival

Craft jewelry stand at Art Crawl event in Center City Anaheim.

Even the local shops get in to the artsy spirit during this event. Many of your favorite haunts will play host to pop up galleries, giving you a chance to take in the view at a variety of venues. For a more traditional art tour experience, local galleries like Joy Art Gallery, Promenade Gallery, Center Gallery and more will be open for touring.

If you plan to have the kiddos in tow, or you just feel like waxing a little holiday nostalgic, stop by Muzeo. This night will kick off the second annual Holiday Model Trains Exhibit presented by the Toy Train Operating Society and Train Collectors Association.

To make getting here even easier, the Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) is offering complimentary passes during the Art Crawl Experience. Don’t miss the last Art Crawl Experience of 2016. For a complete list of artists, visit: http://www.downtownanaheim.com/artcrawlexperience

Fun Date Ideas

Man and woman having fun on a date in Anaheim

From the cute to the creative, here are some unique ways to have a good time with a date in Anaheim.

Whether it’s a first date or you’ve been married for years, coming up with unique date ideas can be tough. Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. From daringly adventurous to delightfully romantic, here are some fun things to do right in your own backyard.

Say Cheers

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a self-proclaimed hophead, Colony Wine Merchant is the perfect stop for a sip. Located on Cedar Street, this neighborhood wine bar offers a selection of fine wines and craft beer by the flight, glass or bottle. Snack on artisan cheeses or other small bites that pair perfectly with your selection. And be sure to check out the monthly calendar for fun events like Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursdays and beer & wine tasting events.

Colony Wine Merchant in Anaheim.

Wine and dine your date at Colony Wine Merchant in Center City Anaheim.

Cultivate Your Intellectual Side

Fun dates don’t always need to include dinner. Anaheim offers a variety of ways to explore culture while having a good time. Start your date off with a visit to Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center. This 25,000 square-foot art hub offers an ever-rotating collection of creations along with a calendar of events and activities for the artfully minded.

Muzeo museum in downtown Anaheim.

Explore the arts & culture of Anaheim at Muzeo contemporary museum.

If you’re not so much a fine art fanatic, you could impress your date by writing a little romantic poetry at the Ink & Bean Coffee Saloon & Workshop. Here you’ll find all the supplies a writer would need—coffee, pastries, and plenty of writing utensils. If you can’t find your writing muse, you can always browse some existing works at the free Airstream Library located right outside. 

Body Ink & Bean in Anaheim

Foster your inner poet at Ink & Bean Cafe in Center City Anaheim.

If your style of art is more of the graphic novel nature, try stopping by Pop! Comics & Culture Emporium. Located in the heart of Center City, Pop! offers all your comic favorites from Marvel to DC—in both comic and collectable forms. Who knows, maybe you and your date will bond over a first edition?

After your artistic adventure, stop by the Gypsy Den Café + Bar, where you and your date can continue your cultural consumption as you take in the eclectic atmosphere while indulging in a healthy snack or sip on one of their specialty coffees.

Airstream Library in Downtown Anaheim.

Enjoy a night out in downtown Center City Anaheim.

Dates For Daredevils

Yes, we know it’s a strange concept in Southern California, but Anaheim is home to a world-class ice skating facility. The Rinks, located on Center Street, is a cool date idea, offering you the opportunity to show how well balanced you are—or impress your date with your ability to “fall gracefully.” Open to the public 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, cost of admission is $11 plus $4 for equipment rentals for adults ages 16 to 54. That post ice skate-session bruise to your ego? Well that’s priceless.

The Rinks ice skating rink in downtown Anaheim.

Public ice skating at The Rinks in Center City Anaheim.

For those who love too oohh and ahhh, stick around after your skating session to view the Disneyland fireworks—without the steep price of admission. You can see them from a range of spots in this area, including the parking structure across the street from the The Rinks, on the patio at Gypsy Den, or from a comfy seat in Farmers Park. To plan your night around this performance check out the schedule at: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/entertainment/disneyland/fireworks/

If sliding on ice doesn’t get your heart pumping, how about flying through the sky? Located in the heart of downtown, SwingIt Trapeze offers circus and acrobatic classes for all levels. The two-hour flying trapeze session will teach you how to hang from your knees high above the safety net. Nothing says, “I love you,” like grabbing for your date mid-air.

For more fun date ideas, check out our Cheap Date Alert article or 19 Restaurants and Eateries.