There isn’t a city better suited for a diner than New Orleans.
Among the throngs of restaurants featuring fine dining and celebrity chefs, sometimes only a burger will satisfy after a late night (or early morning) when the party finally ends.
Rounding out our mother-daughter tourist binge we drove Uptown to Camellia Grill for lunch. Exhausted from a full weekend, we slid onto stools at the counter that snakes around the restaurant.
True to diner fare the menu consists of burgers, omelets, sandwiches, waffles, chili laden dishes and anything cooked on a griddle. They are known for putting slices of pie on the grill which caramelizes the crust and heats the filling. The guy next to us was chipping away at an omelet covered in chili spanning the size of the plate.
Forgoing dessert and breakfast, my mom and I both got hamburgers, french fries and split a large chocolate freeze.
A server kindly poured the freeze in two glasses and we sipped on the smooth, velvety goodness while waiting for our food. Prior to our meal, we had been told half the experience is the shtick cooks and servers performed. I didn’t notice much of a show or any surly attitudes.
In no time our burgers and fries appeared and we dug in. The burger was just beginning to form a nice crust and sat on a bed of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and buttered bun. The french fries are a standard variety and came unsalted.
It was an average meal, not spectacular or worth waiting in a long line for, but simply classic diner fare. (Only the freeze was memorable.) We had a pleasant, inexpensive lunch and got exactly what we paid for, which was a relief after two days of indulging.
I imagine Camellia Grill is meaningful in a variety of ways; to the nearby students it’s a bargain, to the tourists it’s a New Orleans tradition, and to the locals it’s a nostalgic landmark.
From any vantage point, Camellia Grill is a comfortable spot to unwind, serving up uncomplicated food.
626 South Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans LA 70118
Note: There is another location in the French Quarter, a much more convenient place to stumble into.