There. I have confessed that I am a horrible native of my home city. It took me 40 years before I visited one of the most popular restaurants in town. I’ve passed it more times than I care to admit, even with its rather out-of-the-way location, and last night I finally said, “That’s where we’re going for dinner!” And so it was that my friends and I enjoyed dinner at the infamous Camellia Grill on Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans. If you ever visit the city, you must go to Camellia Grill. If you’re staying downtown, it’s a very pleasant streetcar ride down St. Charles Avenue, around the River Bend and probably the first stop once the car has turned onto Carrollton. While the restaurant is very much the old fashioned diner from the early years of the 20th century, it’s outward appearance can be deceiving. To look at it from the street, you’d never know that an authentic diner is housed within the Greek Revival style building.
I have to say upon first impressions…. the inside is WAY smaller than I imagined. There is one long counter in the shape of a crude boxy W. I’d say no more than 30 people can fit in there at once. Thankfully when we arrived, there was only one other trio of people in the place. I know from stories and seeing it myself that the place gets packed very quickly, so I was glad we arrived early. One of my friends had a bowl of chili and one of their famous freezes (their version of a shake), the other friend had a chili cheese omlet with hashbrowns and I had a burger and fries. It was delicious!
After dinner we went to see another friend in a play called Hogan’s Goat.