Memphis at the Santora
201 N. Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Their hours are a little weird, so check the website to make sure they're open when you want to go.
Memphis at the Santora is located in the Artist's Village in Santa Ana. For those of you unfamiliar with the Artist's Village, it is a small oasis of galleries and trendy restaurants in the middle of a......um....not so nice area. Don't feel too intimidated to go here though. There is a secure parking garage nearby and the block that you have to walk from the parking garage to the Santora building in the Artist's Village isn't too bad. Santa Ana seems to be making an effort to make this part of Santa Ana look better, so I anticipate this area will still get a little nicer over time.
I visited Memphis on a Thursday evening around 6:00 PM. Since they have a happy hour that runs Wednesday-Friday from 3:30 PM-6:30 PM, they brought us a special menu that had delicious looking specialty cocktails for only $5.00 and lots of different food items for only $4.00.
While we were perusing the menu, my wife decided to order one of the cocktail specials. She went with the Capputini. It was made with Stoli Vanilla vodka, espresso and Irish Cream. She really enjoyed it and said that is was well worth the $5.00.
Since the happy hour specials looked too good to pass up, we decided to make a dinner out of them. With the exception of a cup of soup, and a half rack of ribs that R ordered, everything else came from the happy hour menu. Here is what our order looked like.
(Cup of Tomato Soup $4.00)
(Half Rack of Ribs $13.00)
(Zuni Frybread with Pepper Jack Cheese, Corn Salsa and Chicken on half $4.00)
(Mini Meatloaf Sandwich $4.00)
(Crab Cakes $4.00)
(2 Goat Cheese and Beet Salads $4.00 each)
(Buttermilk Fried Chicken Wings $4.00)
(Cornbread-Free With Meal)
Even though most of the stuff here was pretty good, my favorite part of the meal was the free cornbread. It had the perfect flavor for cornbread with just the right amount of sweetness. My only complaint about the cornbread was how soft it was. If you attempted to do anything with it, like spread butter on it or even pick it up quickly, it disintegrated into a million little pieces in your hand.
Other than the cornbread, the only things I ate were the tomato soup and the crab cakes. I wasn't feeling that hungry. The tomato soup wasn't bad, it just tasted odd to me. I usually love tomato soup, but this one just had an odd flavor that I couldn't put my finger on. The crab cakes were just average. They were nothing special. The consistency of the interior of the crab cakes reminded me of canned tuna. They were nice and crispy on the outside though.
The beet salads seemed to be a big hit. They were served with warm balls of goat cheese that were rolled in finely minced pecans. The Zuni Frybread was described by those who ate it as a sauceless pizza supreme. The chicken wings were described by J as burned pieces of nothing. She was surprised how chicken wings could taste like nothing, not even chicken. I don't remember hearing any comments on the meatloaf sandwich, but this place is supposed to be known for their meatloaf.
R said that his ribs were a little dry and "less meat than you'd expect to get from Outback ribs." J said that they had a strong smoky flavor.
Despite what might sound like a lot of complaints about the food, I believe it was generally good. I enjoyed eating at Memphis and I do plan to return again. Maybe I'll check out their Sunday brunch sometime soon.