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Sunday, Aug 14, 2022

Packing District Packs ‘Em In

It seems every time I dine at the Anaheim Packing District I discover new restaurants. On a recent visit with Lindsay Swanson, communications director for Visit Anaheim, she took me to Craft by Smoke and Fire, a recent addition to the downtown Anaheim area, as well as two new spots in the Packing House.

Craft is an offshoot of Smoke and Fire, which has locations in La Habra, Paramount and Pomona. Like those restaurants, Craft features over-the-top barbecued treats such as prime brisket quesadilla, brisket and grits, short rib and short rib sausage, brisket grilled cheese, and the signature MAC sandwich with two smash burgers, caramelized brisket and slow-smoked beef rib with the bone intact, all layered between pieces of Texas toast. And yes, the bone slides out for easy eating—easy if you can find a way to wrap your mouth around this gigantic sandwich.

Naturally, I had to try the MAC dish. I cut the sandwich in half, gave half to Swanson, and then dug in with gusto, a pile of napkins at the ready. This is one messy and delicious dish. And satisfying. Tender, juicy, and filling.

We also sampled the brisket tacos, brisket grilled cheese sandwich, loaded mac and cheese, and street corn. Craft does not skimp on the portions, nor the flavor. This was a feast for a family of five. Swanson and I barely made a dent, but we agreed this was elevated comfort food worthy of repeat visits.

Pie’s Delight

Then we went down the street to the Packing House, where Swanson ordered an Instagram-worthy drink from Mini Monster: a milk tea with boba and cotton candy on top. Visually stunning, definitely over-the-top. We ended at Pie Hole for—what else—a colorful piece of pie. We sampled the Earl Gray tea pie, and the Cereal Killer pie, both tasty and unusual, but next time I’ll probably stick to something more familiar, such as the blueberry pecan or the mom’s apple pie.  

Swanson pointed out several other new food purveyors in the Packing House including White Elephant and Le Parfait Paris, but by that time we were full, so I promised to return soon.  

Craft: 195 W. Center Street Promenade, Anaheim, (714) 603-7194, craftbysmokeandfire.com

Packing House: 440 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, anaheimpackingdistrict.com 

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