Dining With Dre: Packing House ~ Popbar

I’ve heard about the Packing District from many friends and have been wondering what all the hype is about. What I heard is that it’s a “trendy cafeteria,” so this week I decided to check it out for myself.

In the heart of downtown Anaheim, California in the Packing District lives the “trendy cafeteria”–Packing House. Outside of the cafeteria-style plaza is a green, hilly courtyard adorned with a ping-pong table and colorful chairs and benches to sit on and enjoy the surroundings. Short staircases lead up to the Packing House doors and inside is filled with a variety of restaurants, bars and yummy sugary-goodness for after the main meal.

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A must-try for me was the oh-so-trendy-and-popular Popbar. I’ve seen a plethora of Instagram posts that make the gelato on a stick look so scrumptious so I made sure to save some room in my stomach for the dessert.

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What I didn’t know about Popbar is that it originated from New York and has made its way to the west coast. There are more than a dozen gelato flavor options ranging from fruity sorbets to creamy hazelnut and chocolates.

I usually gravitate toward fruity gelato flavors, but for some odd, unknown reason, I went on the creamy hazelnut route this time. The employee sold me on making a hazelnut gelato on a stick into a Ferrero Rocher flavor by combining several toppings. It was a combination of dipping the Popbar into chocolate and covering it in nuts and wafer bits. Needless to say, it did taste exactly like a Ferrero Rocher truffle, but it definitely became too overwhelming after just a few bites. I can’t say I wasn’t warned about the overpowering of the toppings and chocolate dipping. Apparently my sister stood beside me and told me she wasn’t a big fan of the fancy Popbars, but I guess that went in one ear and out the other. Next time I’ll definitely be opting for the one of the fruity flavors, like mango or peach.

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A Ferrero Rocher-flavored Popbar.
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Popbar gelato flavor options.

Michelle Gerstein, a huge ice cream fanatic, said she loves all the flavor options and toppings that Popbar offers.

“I like that you can customize it to your liking. If you want white, milk or dark chocolate or just two different chocolates or all three if you want, too,” she said. “I like how they give you nut options. I like ice cream with nuts. The possibilities to customize your Popbar are kind of endless.”

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