Eating your way through Instagram

by Annie Sullivan


As you mindlessly scroll through the countless selfies of 432 of your closest friends, you begin to wonder why you waste so much time on this iPhone application.


And then suddenly your thumb screeches to a halt. A golden brown crust fills your screen. It’s covered in bright, smooth tomato sauce, and scattered with buffalo mozzarella cheese melted to perfection. And now you remember why you’re here: for the love of food.


“I follow five local restaurants on Instagram,” said junior biology major Robyn Smith. “And the quality of their photos is consistently higher than most of my friends' photos.”


Aside from keeping up with friends, Instagram has become a way to discover new places, activities, and foodie paradises.


Freshman film production major, Michaela McLeod, said she never would’ve found her favorite new spot, The Anaheim Packing District, without Instagram.


This popular social media site provides the perfect platform to find the newest, coolest, and mouth drooling eateries all over the world. Luckily for Smith, McLeod, and every other Chapman student, several of these trending restaurants exist within ten miles of campus.


Nearly a mile away from campus lies a student favorite, Brew Hawg BBQ and Brewing Co.  Delectable barbecue is Brew Hawg’s specialty along with a tap of home-brewed root beer to wash it down. In addition to its shop on N. Tustin Street, Brew Hawg also provides catering services.


Brew Hawg’s sandwiches and meat plates are for the hungriest of lunch and dinner-goers. The sandwiches are made a choice of seven barbecued meats and comes with a side, such as baked beans or french fries.


“The Knuckle” ($9.45), a barbecue sandwich piled high with a choice of meat, a fried egg and cheese is an immediate standout. Brew Hawg also offers barbecue combo plates to give guests a chance to sample menu items. “The Barbecue Heaven” ($14.75), includes two servings of meats, two sides, and a slice of bread.


“The entire menu was impressive,” said Chapman junior strategic and corporate communication major Jon Wormser, “but the clear choice was ‘The Duke’.”


Stuffed with pulled pork and mac & cheese, “The Duke” grilled cheese is the most popular sandwich among students. When asked how he discovered Brew Hawg, Wormser responded. “My buddy instagrammed a picture of his Duke grilled cheese and I had to have it.” So he did. And then he instagrammed it.


Once this delicious cycle continued a few times, students began coming into the shop every day of the week. In fact, Brew Hawg’s owner, Leo Martinez, has since dubbed this sandwich “the Chapman special.”


Martinez welcomes the free publicity on Instagram and other social media websites, and said that there are “worse things than having Chapman students flock” to his barbecue shop or hire him to cater events and fundraisers.

The two most popular dishes at Samurai Burrito: the Samurai Super Nachos and Daruma on Fire burrito, served with a Ramune Original Soda.


Do you like sushi? Some students do. Do you like burritos? Most students couldn’t live without them. A little further from campus in Fountain Valley, Samurai Burrito, has combined these two popular dishes to make a sushi burrito.


The ordering environment resembles Chipotle with customizable meats, toppings, and sauces, while the ingredients are what you’d find in any sushi roll. As if this combination wasn’t trendy enough, Samurai Burrito adds personal flare to everything on the menu. Instead of a traditional crunchy roll, the roll is the size of a burrito and called the “Rockin’ Daruma.”


University of California Irvine senior, Jerry Allen, said that the “unique names and products” are what initially caught his attention. “The friendly staff and fresh food made me stay.”


In addition to both trendy and traditional sushi rolls, Samurai Burrito also sells a classic miso soup, a dish of edamame, and original creations that fall under the “Mega Munchies” section of the menu. But the true king of this section is the mighty “Samurai Super Nachos,” which features king salmon, tuna, eel, masago, crab mix, unions, and multiple sauces, all layered atop wonton chips, all for $11.50.


Allen, a business and marketing major, said he found Samurai Burrito scrolling through a fraternity brothers Instagram account. And this wasn’t a freak accident continued Allen, “My friends and I have found several other delicious restaurants on this app.”


This 3-acre downtown Anaheim project, The Anaheim Packing District, is a gathering spot for local food, drinks, and music.
Just like Wormser and Allen, McLeod credits the discovery of her new favorite place in Orange County, The Anaheim Packing District, to a friend's Instagram account.
Similar to San Francisco’s hugely popular Ferry Building, the Packing District is a foodie’s paradise in Orange County. Refurbished in historical downtown Anaheim, nearly 10 minutes from Chapman University, it offers an expansive and hip food court complete with a farmers market, many local restaurants, and a brewing company.
The 3-acre area includes the Packard Building, the Farmers Park, and the Anaheim Packing House. The Packard Building is home to the Anaheim Brewery and Umami Burger.
Students know of the Packing House’s operator, Shaheen Sadeghi, from some of his other trendy projects. Sadeghi created two popular alternative malls, The Lab and the CAMP, in Costa Mesa. After partnering with Anaheim city officials, Sadeghi transformed the vacant and neglected 42,000-square-foot Packing House into a culinary food hall reminiscent of classic food markets.
The space is vintage Americana – the perfect backdrop for hipster vendors in beards and wearing plaid shirts, aprons, suspenders, and work shoes. The Packing House used to be a Sunkist orange packing plant from about a century ago when oranges were a primary product in Anaheim. Today, you can still see the original Sunkist label above the door.




“All the food I tried was delicious,” said McLeod. “But the best part about the Packing District, and the part that captured my attention on Instagram, was the atmosphere, layout, and decor. It was unlike anywhere else in Southern California.”
The main floor is divided into “plug and play” stalls, big and small, separated by barn-style sliding doors. Each is equipped with modern conveniences but designed with a retro-looking touch. The Hammer Bar showcases tractor-style bar seats, period mind-green coolers, and kerosene lamps.
Though most eateries offer seating, the Packing House is peppered with tables to encourage communal dining. Visitors can even borrow a picnic basket for grab-and-go dining in the grassy outdoor amphitheater.
“Honestly, I came to see the place after I saw it on Instagram, but I go back for the food I discovered,” said McLeod, “Umami burger is my favorite. I go all the time. I’m even showing some more friends later this week.”
McLeod laughed and said, “The Packing District was one of the only good things that came from the time I wasted on that app!”
Moral of the story: For the love of food, keep pretending to like your friend’s fifth picture of her ugly little dog, because one day you may stumble upon a gem like these.





















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