In a little strip mall a few blocks away lies a mysterious place, unimportant from the outside but full of delicious flavor and excitement inside. When I first walked into Ritter’s Steam Kettle I was blown away. I expected a fast-casual, counter service, unassuming place. What I found was a cute family restaurant full of steam kettles lining the brick walls. Although nothing fancy or overwhelming, Ritter’s brings a sense of character and style I just wouldn’t expect in Santa Ana. And the food was just as pleasant.
I started with the Cajun calamari. I really like calamari because its fried, crunchy stuff that you dip in a lot of sauce. I am pretty sure you could fry almost anything and add sauce, and I would eat it. I liked it and the sauces it came with where good but the smaller pieces were clearly overcooked. The portion was pretty big for an appetizer (although the price wasn’t cheap). It was easy to share between two people and we still didn’t finish everything.
For our main dishes we got Chicken Gumbo and House Pan Roast. The Pan Roast was amazing. It is a sweet, creamy sauce that was unbelievable. It could have used more meat, but it was very tasty. The Gumbo was also really good. However, if you don’t like okra you will hate this. The clam chowder is also supposed to be great, as well as the bacon wrapped shrimp. All I know is that whatever you do order, come hungry and expect to bring home leftovers for the next morning. (But gumbo goes great in a frittata.)
Long story short, the Pan Roast is wonderful. The other stuff is pretty dang good, but you won’t get out of here without paying at least $50 for a meal for two – granted you will have leftovers for days (and yes all you males, I do eat a lot of food and still had leftovers). Check out Ritters, it may be unassuming but you will have a good time. And the best part is that it is welcoming for dates, friend-dinners, and family events with children.
|House Pan Roast|