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    2015 NAFEM Show Preview

  • A look at the foodservice equipment industry’s biggest trade show, held this year in Anaheim, California.

    This year’s NAFEM Show, held February 18–21, will host hundreds of booths and countless educational opportunities for equipment professionals.

    The Area

    Looking to kill some time in Anaheim? Or need to get away for a bite? The area around the Anaheim Convention Center has plenty to offer, with several attractions that can either bookend your stay for the Show or offer a brief respite from the hundreds of exhibits. Here are our tips for things to do and see while you’re in town for the NAFEM Show.

    GO BOWLING: A short walk from the Convention Center, the Anaheim GardenWalk features several restaurants, shops, and entertainment opportunities. One such entertainment option is Bowlmor Lanes Anaheim, an upscale bowling alley with a full food menu, as well as beer, wine, and cocktails. While you’re shooting the lanes, help yourself to a starter like the Avocado Hummus or Sloppy Joe Rolls, or brave the Death By Bacon or Behemoth Burgers. Because really, when was the last time you went bowling?

    GO DINING: You’re in the foodservice industry, after all. Check out some of the restaurants near the Convention Center to get a feel for what trends are making their mark on the scene. Here are our five picks:

    • Fire + Ice Grill + Bar: Located in the Anaheim GardenWalk, Fire + Ice is a casual, Mongolian-style buffet that lets customers choose from a selection of veggies, meats, seafood, and salads to build their own dishes, which are cooked on a large circular grill.

    • Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine: James Beard Award–winning chef Roy Yamaguchi opened the first Roy’s in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1988, and has since grown the Pacific Rim–cuisine concept to 28 locations in the U.S., Guam, and Japan. You can find the Anaheim location in the GardenWalk.

    • Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar: This Downtown Disney District restaurant offers both casual and upscale dining experiences. Don’t miss Catal’s Mediterranean-inspired menu, which includes entrées like Suckling Pig and Chicken Paella.

    • Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar: Inspired by Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise, Trader Sam’s sits next to the Disneyland Hotel pool and serves island-themed cocktails with a live acoustic soundtrack.

    • Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen: The renowned New Orleans restaurateur gives Downtown Disney a taste of the Big Easy inside a replica of the French Quarter. Along with traditional New Orleans eats like etouffee and bread pudding, Ralph Brennan’s also offers the quick-service Jazz Kitchen Express, as well as the jazz club Flambeaux’s.

    GO TO DISNEYLAND: If the inner kid in you is inspired by the NAFEM Show, take that energy across the street from the Convention Center to the “Happiest Place on Earth”: Disneyland. Founded in 1955, Disneyland is the third-most visited theme park in the world, offering enough rides, attractions, shops, and restaurants to fill an entire itinerary (so be sure to plan around the Show). Not sure you’ll have time to make into the park? No worries; the nightly fireworks over Cinderella Castle can be seen from several of the hotels in the area.

    The Afterparty

    Who says trade shows are all work and no play? NAFEM is closing the Show out with a bang, featuring a dinner reception and concert from the three-time Grammy award–winning Zac Brown Band.

    The Zac Brown Band’s three platinum-selling albums—“Uncaged,” “You Get What You Give,” and “The Foundation”—have collectively sold more than six million copies and produced 10 No. 1 hits. The group performed for more than 1.3 million fans on the road in 2013, with 70-plus headline dates and more than a dozen major festival appearances.

    Be sure to get your ticket ahead of time!