Battle Downtown Santa Ana $5 Happy Hour Pizzas!

I bounce back and forth between The Crosby and Memphis in downtown SanTana depending on what I want to eat. If I'm looking for Crosby chef (and half-Mexi!) Aron Habiger to wow me with his monthly menu, I drop by and read the magazines I bought at Rags next door. If I want the comfort of a Cobra sandwich, or perhaps a po' boy, Memphis is for me.

Happy hour, though, is where I get torn. Both make killer Manhattans, and both offer great $5 happy hour pizzas, each with their own allure but in vastly different sizes. I order each at least twice a month, depending on who I'm meeting and where--love them both, but which is the master of hipsters?

Click after the jump for my comparison, and behold the blurry photos I took of each!

The Crosby's pizza--not as blurry in real life
The Crosby's pizza--not as blurry in real life

If you're with a group, the Crosby pizza is perfect. For 5 bucks, they deliver a gargantuan disc in the thin-crust tradition, baked with stretchy cheese and fresh tomato sauce (if you want pepperonis, you can have 'em--and it's still $5!). Habiger and his crew slightly burn the bottom, the better to lend crispiness. I can finish this pizza easily, but then again, I'm a glutton; one slice will do for a soul. My main problem with this pizza is the hot sauces that accompany it--while I like Sriracha and Tabasco, they don't have a Mexican hot sauce option. ¿Qué que?

Apologies for the flash photo, but it WAS Happy Hour at the Crosby, y'know...
Apologies for the flash photo, but it WAS Happy Hour at the Crosby, y'know...

Behold Memphis' $5 Happy Hour Pizza--smaller by half than the one at the Crosby, but also more gourmet. Those green bits you see aren't jalapeños but okra; the tomato slices are fresh and bouncy; the arugula, great. And they have Cholula, Tapatío AND Louisiana hot sauce to spike up the pie. It'll fill you fine for five, but I always find the cheese disappointingly rubbery--I like it, but this fromage is a letdown given the foodie quality of the rest of the ingredients.

The winner? I have to go with the Crosby's take, with size being the determining factor. But either one is a worthy meal--and did I mention they're $5? Doubt you'll find cheaper, better, non-chain pizzas anywhere else in Orange County--but if you pick one, go to the Crosby.

The Crosby, 400 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 543-3543;

Memphis at the Santora, 201 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 564-1064;

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The Crosby - Closed

400 N. Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701


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