Short Order: Wheat & Sons, Anaheim

photo by Brad A. Johnson

If you’ve been to the Anaheim Packing House you undoubtedly have seen the ridiculously long queue at The Kroft sandwich shop on the lower level. Most diners in that line will order the porchetta sandwich. Their porchetta (rotisserie pork) is very good. But what most people don’t know is that there is an even better porchetta sandwich next door at Wheat and Sons Butcher.

Wheat and Sons is the best-kept secret of the Packing House. There is almost never a line. Most people walk right past it and see only the meat shop, with tattooed butchers intensely focused on disassembling a hog, frenching a rack of lamb, trimming and tying a rib roast or whatever.

But they are not just butchers. They are also very good cooks.

Look more closely and you’ll notice a small menu of sandwiches. They almost always offer a porchetta sandwich. And if you look toward the back of the shop, you’ll notice their rotisserie.

When you step up to the counter, one of the butchers will stop whatever they’re doing and make you a sandwich.

Their porchetta is tender and juicy and soulful, with just the right amount of crunchy pork skin here and there. It doesn’t take more than one bite to realize that these guys know a thing or two about roasting a pig. They slather the sandwich with an authentic Italian salsa verde and stuff the chewy, ciabatta-style bun with so much porchetta that it becomes more than enough for two to share.

photo by Brad A JohnsonThe burger at Wheat & Sons, simply perfection. (photo by Brad A Johnson)

What might be even better than their porchetta, though, is their burger. They don’t always offer a burger, but when they do, it’s pretty incredible. They keep it ridiculously simple: meat, cheese, pickle, tomato, mustard, bun. Done. This is a butcher shop, remember? The meat tastes like dry-aged ribeye, or something equally luxurious. And while the patty is grilling, they top it with a bit of pork fat, which melts into the beef and adds an extra layer of decadence. Unlike the porchetta, this is not a sandwich to be shared.

Wheat and Sons doesn’t have its own dedicated dining area, unlike most of the other restaurants at the Packing House. So you just order at the counter and then take your food elsewhere in the building to eat it. Perhaps that’s why most people don’t really notice this place.

Oh, and in case you’re planning a special dinner at home, you would be hard-pressed to find a better dry-aged ribeye than the ones in the butcher case here

Wheat and Sons Butcher
Where: Anaheim Packing House, 440 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim
When: Lunch and dinner Tuesdays-Sundays
Phone: 714-603-7860


This article originally appeared in the Orange County Register. To view more of my work for the Register, check out the archives. I also invite you to follow me and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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