Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

New Orleans Roadfood Festival, Mar-27-2011: Camellia Grill

Chris and Amy and Anne and Michael had planned their own visit to the Camellia Grill for Sunday morning, and invited us to join them. They chose the French Quarter location based on my vouching for its quality - which made me nervous, because if it fell short of the outstanding Uptown location, I would feel the guilt of guiding them to an inferior meal. Indeed, there was a touch of disappointment because this morning had very little of the banter among the waitstaff that we had come to expect - but the food was excellent.

Lori ordered the pancakes and bacon again, because they are so splendid that she's unwilling to take the risk of any other order being less delightful. She may be in a rut, but it's a rut with perfect pancakes, and she's very happy there.
I see that in my chronicle of our previous trip to Camellia Grill, I neglected to mention the bacon. The bacon was excellent, but I felt at a loss to describe it; it was simply extremely bacony.

Anne got the potato-and-onion omelette with grits. Though I know I sampled this, I don't remember much of it - though I remember that I found the grits pleasant but very mild.

Michael's pecan waffle was really excellent - it tasted like the buttery, roasted pecans at the top layer of a pecan pie. Advocates of small-tread waffles (I know Michael Stern to be one) have this as an excellent argument in their favor.

The cherries in Amy's chocolate-cherry freeze were just barely identifiable, either by eye or by tongue. (As others have noted, it's very hard to take a good photo of a milkshake.)

I do not remember for myself the name of the sandwich Chris ordered. Reconstruction from the menu suggests it was a Camellia Special ("Turkey, Ham, Swiss cheese, Cole Slaw, Thousand Island Dressing, on Rye"), but I would have claimed that the sandwich had a person's name. I didn't regard it as a delight, but it's hard to make a cold sandwich with no special ingredients really outstanding.

While I was dithering about what to order, Chris said that he'd heard good things about the burger. So I got the bacon cheeseburger. It was excellent, a paragon of its style of well-done, thinnish burger with American cheese - but I'm unlikely to ever get it again, because it doesn't feel special to New Orleans to me. I'd rather get the red beans and rice or one of the specialty sandwiches and feel I was getting a New Orleans specialty. (It should be noted, though, that of all the restaurants we've sought out in New Orleans, the Camellia Grill is the one whose menu most tends to food that is not special to New Orleans. They have red beans and rice, gumbo, and a few specialty sandwiches, but the stars of the menu are things like the pancakes - and it is an error for me to say that the burger isn't as much of a specialty as the red beans and rice.)

For dessert, we shared a piece of the pecan pie. I expect that it was warmed on the grill as is done at the Uptown location, but I didn't confirm that. I liked it a lot more than I'd liked the pie last year; it was warm and rich and excellent.
Tags: roadfood
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