This is the first and last time you will ever read anything positive about the Orange County Register's nauseatingly chipper intellectual black hole of a weekly newspaper, Squeeze OC.
Okay, so that wasn't nice. But it is nice of Squeeze OCto sponsor Memphis at the Santora's upcoming fundraiser for artists devastated by Hurricane Katrina. There, we said it. Wasn't easy, but it's not too hard to think nice thoughts when it comes to a worthy cause like Project HEAL (Helping Employ Artists Locally), a non-profit group that provides work for artistic folks—everyone from dancers and painters to actors and writers—whose livelihoods were ruined in Katrina's wake.
This Saturday, Memphis at the Santora hosts an evening of soul food and music to raise money for the cause. The five-course meal includes cornmeal-fried oyster fritters, Cajun remoulade, lump crab, Louisiana hot links, grilled gulf prawns, corn macaque shoux, tasso ham, blackened gulf snapper, red beans and rice, crawfish etouffee, smothered pork chops, mustard greens, dirty rice, cake and cajun coffee—served alongside traditional Southern libations such as Hurricanes, fresh mint juleps and Old Fashioneds.
While you eat, former Weekly executive editor Jim Washburn spins from his collection of dusty old records by New Orleans musicians and the Todd Oliver Quartet plays live. Reservations are recommended. And if the $69 fixed price is too steep for you, the bar will be open and a portion of your tab will still go toward helping artists in New Orleans. After dinner, stick around for a festive Mardis Gras-style party. Wear bright colors and bring beads.
Project HEAL Benefit, Memphis at the Santora, 201 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 564-1064; www.memphiscafe.com. Sat., 6 p.m. $69.