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Thursday, Apr 18, 2024

Anaheim’s Expanding Eating Scene

I’ve been spending time in Anaheim, and not just because I have a Disneyland annual pass—although one of my favorite restaurants in Orange County is Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian hotel.

However, now that Disneyland has reopened and people are flocking back to the park, reservations at Napa Rose are all but impossible to get.

In the meantime, I have been exploring other Anaheim eateries thanks to tips from Lindsay Swanson from Visit Anaheim and Devon Reeves, communications relations manager for the Anaheim Packing District.

For those who have not yet explored the Anaheim Packing District, it’s the brainchild of Shaheen Sadeghi, who also created The Lab and The Camp in Costa Mesa. It encompasses four historic landmarks and the Farmers Park. The main ingredient of the foodie sprawl is the Anaheim Packing House, one of the last remaining citrus packing warehouses in Orange County, which has been historically preserved and retrofitted as a great original American market hall.

At the southern end of the Packing District and across the street from the Packing House is Modern Times’ Leisuretown, OC’s only craft brewery with a swimming pool.

Modern Times opened last year and has gained a loyal following, especially on weekends, when I’m told the 33,000-square-foot facility is packed with happy millennials.

Modern Times boasts more than 60 beers on tap along with a handful of bottled and canned varieties. The food menu is all plant based, and Impossible meats are the stars of many of the dishes.

I finally made it out to Modern Times last month and strolled around the grounds and checked out the pool, which has a 1960s Palm Springs vibe. So too do the colorful seating areas, most of which are outside.

I sampled one of the tap beers and ordered the Throwback Slider: a smashed Impossible patty with traditional burger fixings. I’m a fan of Impossible burgers, and this one certainly satisfied my burger craving.

I also shared the classic Munchwrap with Reeves, who met me at Modern Times to fill me in on all things Packing District. The Munchwrap is a hearty dish with seasoned Impossible taco mix, queso, creamy chipotle sauce, crispy corn tostada, shredded lettuce, pico, and cashew sour cream, all wrapped and grilled in a flour tortilla.

Preserving History

Modern Times is an adaptive reuse of a historic warehouse, as well as a 1911 Craftsman house.

Prior to Modern Times opening its doors, Sadeghi said in a statement, “It is an amazing feeling. The Modern Times project is an extension of preserving and supporting our history and culture here in Anaheim.”

“Our firm has been involved in restoration projects throughout Downtown Anaheim and the birth of the Packing District. Each time we have done so, the appreciation, support and enthusiasm from the community has been fantastic,” Sadeghi said.

The Packing District has welcomed several new and noteworthy restaurants over the past few months, which I’ll cover in my January “New Year, New Restaurants” column.

Modern Times: 549 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 874-4439, moderntimesbeer.com. 

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