Month: October 2017

Get Your Ghoul On at the Anaheim Halloween Parade & Fall Festival, October 28th

Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade

Chances of spotting Pennywise in the crowd at the Anaheim Halloween Parade, October 28th? Oh, we’d say about 100%. The beloved celebration of all things hair-raising and spine-tingling draws kitschy costumed revelers like an unattended candy bowl on a front porch draws sugar-fiending trick-or-treaters. Slather on the makeup, finish gilding your get-up, and join the fun.

Festivities kick off at 11am with the Fall Festival on Center Street Promenade. Think old-timey games (bobbing for apples, anyone?), craft booths and enough Fall-themed eat and drink to make the most die-hard lover of all things pumpkin-spice long for a nice, fresh salad. Parking is available in the Center Street parking structure. Expect crowds.

At noon, expect hordes of wee Wonder Women, pint-sized Pokemon and bantam-weight Batmen, taking the stage for the Kiddie Costume Contest. Register your mini monster between 11-11:45am to ensure them a spot in the time-honored spectacle. Entries are capped at 300 participants.

When the sun sets and the bad moon begins to rise, it’s parade time. Ninety-four-years-young, the Anaheim Halloween Parade is enjoying a Renaissance of late, thanks to the rise of maker culture, Pinterest and glue-gun-wielding DIY enthusiasts. The flotilla of floats draws inspiration from vintage Halloween memorabilia, and frequently, from historic parade photos. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the Anaheim Halloween Parade was so popular, it drew more than 150,000 spectators to the parade route, and was televised live throughout L.A. and Orange County.

This year’s parade begins at 6pm at Broadway & West Street, traveling through Center City via Center Street Promenade. It reaches its end at The Packing House, which, coincidentally, makes a supernaturally good destination for post-parade quaffing, noshing and nibbling. Fang-tastic!

Hummos & Pita: From Center City Farmer’s Market to Center Street

Hummos & Pita New Anaheim Restaurant

“I always wanted to have a restaurant,” says Fadi Awwad, whose new eatery, Hummos & Pita, launched on Center Street in early September 2017. “It took me a while, and I did it right.”

Hailing from Lebanon, where his mother instilled in him a passion for fresh, homemade food, and bright, Mediterranean flavors, Awwad always knew a counter-service resto was his endgame. The question was, “Where?” While saving for his future eatery and researching Orange County and L.A. locations, he started working the farmers’ market circuit in 2011.

“I was at five to six different markets a week,” says Awwad. “I ran my booth at the Center City Farmers’ Market for nearly three years.”

Shrimp Kebabs Over Rice

A loyal following grew. And Awwad, who lives in Monrovia but hopes to move to Anaheim in the near future, liked what he saw as Center City continued to grow and attract new small businesses. Between the Packing House and a clutch of breweries and wine bars, the neighborhood was becoming a bona fide destination for foodies. So when a space on Center Street opened up, he decided to put down roots.

His farmers’ market followers followed. “Ninety percent of my clientele were my customers at the market,” Awwad says. “They’ve been very supportive, and very excited for me.”

Restaurant Owner of Hummos & Pita

It’s not hard to see why. No longer limited to the kind of simple fare he could produce on-site at the farmer’s market, Awaad turns out grilled dishes like beef, kefta or salmon kabobs ($9.95-$13.95), served with a zingy Greek salad and, of course, his housemade hummos. “Lemon, garlic and olive oil are my inspirations,” says the chef who bases his dishes on his mother’s original recipes. Try the gyros plate ($9.95), and wash it down with one of the mojito-like libations Awwad makes with fresh mint and lime, and either watermelon, cucumber, pineapple or blackberries.

Berry Mojito at Hummos & Pita

The Med-cuisine-loving entrepreneur’s future plans include expanding the Hummos & Pita menu and crafting new hummos flavors to entice diners. And while, someday, he hopes to open other Hummos & Pita locations, Awwad says he’ll always love Anaheim and Center City. “I like the city and this street. It’s different than anywhere else,” he says.

Celebrate Oktoberfest at Anaheim Brewery, October 7th & 14th

Anaheim Brewery Oktoberfest

Hoist those commemorative steins! Seven years ago, Anaheim Brewery helped christen Anaheim’s ‘Brew City’ designation with its first Oktoberfest. Nearly a decade later, the festival is one of the most hotly anticipated events on the October beer-drinking calendar, this year to be celebrated over two consecutive weekends; Saturday, October 7th and Saturday, October 14th, 5-10pm at the brewery on Anaheim Blvd.

Oktoberfest is all about authenticity for Anaheim Brewery’s Greg Gerovac. No pumpkin ales here. Instead, on tap is the Oktoberfest Lager Gerovac has been brewing since the 1990s. A malty Märzen with caramel and toffee notes, its 100-year old recipe was first recorded in an old leather journal unearthed by one of Gerovac’s former beer bosses during a visit to Munich’s Paulaner Brewery.

It clocks in at a healthy 6.5% abv, which makes the traditional brew a solid pairing for the hearty fare on offer during Oktoberfest from Viking Food Truck. Think smoked Bratwurst with sauerkraut and beer cheese sauce, or tater tots doused with dark ale chili and Viking ketchup.

Dying to don your lederhosen? On October 7th, slip into the world’s sexiest short-alls, grab your dirndl-sporting partner, and hit the dancefloor for traditional German music and folk dancing. On October 14th, the oom pah pah comes courtesy of the 25-piece German-American Brass Brand.

To commemorate their 7th annual Oktoberfest, Anaheim Brewery had authentic salt-glazed pottery steins hand-made for the occasion in Germany. On sale for $20 (plus beer), they’re available at the bar throughout the month, and Gerovac says a version with a pewter-lid is anticipated in-house by mid-October. Prost!