— Introduction by Jonathan Bui (el Don Staff Writer)
It is no myth that a majority of college students live on a budget, but put that bag of Top Ramen back in the cupboard. Here is a guide to Santa Ana that won’t empty your wallet.
The art galleries in the Santora Arts Building on Broadway showcase local artists, and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art on Sycamore Street also offers free art exhibits.
The first Saturday of every month brings the Downtown Santa Ana Art Walk. From Second Street to Spurgeon Street, music, food and a full spread of activities and galleries will quench your artistic thirst.
On a student’s budget, you can hit the town without having to work overtime. Be sure to check out these local treasures in Santa Ana College’s own backyard.
CALACAS: Tasty waffles, smoothies and parfaits.
Treat yourself to freshly made waffles, wraps, sandwiches and licuados at Cafe Calacas. Local favorites include cinnamon-infused coffee, Cafe de Olla, which is sweetened with grated sugar cane molds known as piloncillo. Pair your cup of coffee with a warm waffle topped with fruit, chocolate and whipped cream. Their Ono smoothie mixes pineapple and coconut, creating an exciting and tropical twist in the drink.
Personalize parfaits for breakfast with yogurt, granola, honey and chopped fruits.
A good lunch option would be the mixed tuna sandwich, called the Don Benjamin. With dishes averaging $6 an item, Cafe Calacas provides a low-cost homemade meal.
YOST: newest hot spot in downtown Santa Ana.
Low-cost shows and gourmet dining have made the Yost Theatre in Downtown Santa Ana perfect for a night out. A rotating menu offers new flavors every night. Featuring musicians and DJs like Asher Roth and Bassjackers, shows cost $15 a ticket on average. It’s a nice alternative to pricier Los Angeles music venues. With low prices and new artists, the Yost has quickly become a must try.
MEMPHIS: Southern cooking goes modern.
Start your day with a quiet lunch at Memphis at the Santora on North Broadway. Memphis puts a contemporary twist on good-old Southern style cooking.
Steamed mussels and clams are only $6, and are sure to please your palate and pocketbook. The dish is accented with a light white wine-tomato broth and a variety of stewed shellfish, onions, peppers and sausage, served with garlic toast for dipping.
Try creamy country gravy served over chicken breast or a sweet grilled leg of lamb that looks good and tastes even better. If you’re 21 and over, enjoy a free show with your meal every night after 9 p.m.