Saturday, April 03, 2010

Standing Around Waiting to Eat

(New Orleans) - While the young among us slept alarmingly late, my wife and I went on a morning stroll along Canal Street. Chased indoors by the ever-thickening humidy, we ultimately heeded the advice of many New Orleans advisors and extricated ourselves from downtown.
We were urged to eat at the Camellia Grill.
If you go down there, you better just beware you have to want it. The lunchtime line was out the door and curved up the sidewalk. Of course, this can be perceived as a good thing. The obvious demand would indicate that something good awaits inside.
We waited for more than an hour before we were allowed to pass through the legendary doors. As hungry as we were, expectations were soaring.
The menu was basic: burgers and sandwiches, as well as signature omelettes and other breakfast plates. My daughter went for the chef's special, an omelette smothered in chili. Maybe we were really hungry, but it was shockingly good. My Manhattan omelette was outstanding and my wife's cheeseburger (that's the best she could do?) was fresh, hot and served on a buttery bun. When it was all done, we agreed it was worth the effort.
The food was better that we anticipated and the atmosphere, which includes a lively, engaging wait staff and animated cooks, made the experience memorable. It affirms that there's much more to New Orleans than the French Quarter and the Superdome, which until this weekend was pretty much all I knew.

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