Since 1946, Camellia Grill has served diner classics to devoted local customers and tourists on the oak tree-lined streetcar line in New Orleans. Located Uptown on Carrollton Avenue at the riverbend, the large white mini-plantation architecture of this legend stands out with its four bold columns, sweet white picket fence and the contrast of its name in pink neon lights. If you are in town for the NFC Championship game, Mardi Gras or for any reason at all, then hop on the streetcar heading uptown until you hit Carrollton Avenue to check out Camellia Grill. You will surely spot this location immediately by its grand presence or by the line trickling down the street. Don't panic if you see a long line because the Camellia Grill experience is worth the wait. The line moves quickly as the staff is highly experienced in accommodating many diners quickly. Bring your appetite and get in line-you won't regret it. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert-whatever you are in the mood for is waiting.
Walking into this restaurant, unchanged in its 64 years except for its closing after Hurricane Katrina and new ownership since its reopening in 2007, you first notice the energy, excitement and laughter from the waiters and cooks behind the counter. The light pink walls are decorated with framed pictures of camellias. The double-U shaped marble counter top bar and little swivel bar stools accommodates approximately 30 diners at a time. As you take a seat at your bar stool, you are instantly greeted by the waiter of your section of the bar with enthusiasm and humor. These waiters are as thorough as they are entertaining. They make everyone smile, even the most serious or shyest of people will leave Camellia Grill with huge smiles on their faces.
The waiters aren't the only thing that will make you smile, so will the menu. You can keep it simple with the classic breakfast of one or two eggs any style with your choice of bacon, sausage links or ham and fries. Try a side of grits and toast to complete your full breakfast. If you want to stay full until dinner, go for any of Camellia Grill's gigantic omelettes. There is no shortage of omelette fillings with the choice of cheese, ham, potato and onion, bacon, mushroom with gravy, turkey, chili or sausage. Specialty omelettes include the Western with ham, bell pepper and onion, the Mexican with ground beef, pepper, onion, and cheese topped with salsa and jalapeno, the Manhattan with corned beef, potato, onion and cheese or the Chef's Special with turkey, bacon, ham, potato, onion and cheese. If you have more of a sweet tooth, then the waffles have your name on it. Thin and crispy-try the Pecan Waffles for a real Southern treat.
Moving on to lunch, although this item can be eaten any time of the day or night, is Camellia Grill's Cheeseburger, by far my favorite item on this menu. Simple but delicious, a Camellia burger is perfection with a thin large all-beef patty topped with tons of melted cheddar cheese dressed with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and fried onions all stuffed between a toasted buttered bun. It doesn't get much better than that except if you add a side of Camellia's crispy shoe string French fries and a Vanilla double scoop Freeze. You could also make it better by adding a fried egg right on top of the burger-the perfect compromise for combining breakfast and lunch. There are only two New Orleans establishments that I will send out-of-towners to for the best burger in New Orleans. One is Camellia Grill and the other place-well you just have to keep reading my blog to find that one out. Camellia's burger will stick to you all day long keeping your energy up to gallivant through the town, catch some Mardi Gras parades, and cheer for the Saints!
If you want to sample something a bit
different, then try the Red Beans and Rice with a Hamburger Patty and Toast. You can get it without the burger patty but why would you? There are also cold and hot sandwiches aplenty on this menu to take care of any deli sandwich cravings you may have. Cold sandwiches include pretty much any deli item you might like-baked ham and cheese, double decker ham and cheese, sliced turkey, tuna fish, chicken salad, corned beef or roast beef all with what? You got it-lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. New Orleans folks love mayonnaise-that's what makes the sandwich! For a hot sandwich, try a grilled cheese with bacon, a classic BLT, a hot dog with chili, or hot sausage on a bun with of course lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. If you want even more character with your deli sandwich then try the Mardi Gras, turkey, bacon, lettuce, corned beef, thousand island dressing on Rye bread or a Word Special, a double hot sausage on a special roll with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.
Vegetarians are welcome but they might be limited to lettuce and tomatoes, the Vegetable Omelette, French Fries, and dessert-I could make a meal out of that-no problem! The dessert menu sticks to cheesecake, pies and ice cream. Pecan pie, chocolate pecan pie, apple pie, and cream pies round out the pie selection. Try Camellia's version of a milkshake, a Freeze, in flavors varying from chocolate, vanilla, and coffee to orange, cherry and chocolate cherry. Camellia Grill is not the place for dieters and light eaters, so leave your diet restrictions at the door and indulge. This is a place for a hangover breakfast, a lunch that will keep you full all day, or a late night meal after a long night of parading.
Go to Camellia Grill today! Take your appetite and your friends for a classic New Orleans diner experience.
626 South Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA
The Camellia Grill