Sunday, July 10, 2011

Burger Pallooza!!!!

With July 4th festivities still lingering in our memories, many people (myself included) are having pangs of burger cravings. Because as we all know, July 4th is about more than just independence, it’s about BURGERS. Whether you’re from Oklahoma or Ponchatoula, the tradition remains the same. Backyard BBQ with all the fixins, beer, burgers, corn on the cob, and maybe even some good old fashioned hot dogs.

If you’re not the grilling type or just don't have the patience to throw another BBQ have no fear, New Orleans has just the solution for you! Unlike the nostalgic chain 50’s diners found in most cities across the US, we have something more unique (and delicious) than your average Johnny Rockets. Of course, many readers probably already know what I’m talking about. Camellia Grill of course! This 50’s style diner serves up food of that kind for a reason…it opened in 1946. So it’s no surprise that they have this shtick down to a t. Although they serve much more than just burgers, if you ask any local what to get at least 9 out of 10 will say a Double Bacon Cheeseburger dressed.

These miraculous grill masters somehow manage to make a slightly crispy crust on a medium rare burger. Not too pink on the inside, and never burnt on the outside. It’s truly an art form that they have perfected. Between the crunch of the bacon, the chewiness of the bun, and the diverse texture of the burger, your mouth will be wondering how all burgers don’t have such a wonderfully complex physical structure.

Camellia Grill on Urbanspoon

Aside from the chomp-worthy texture, the flavor of these burgers is mind-boggling. Cameasy Greasy (as my friends like to call it) definitely serves up a salty burger, in the best way possible of course. I’m convinced the secret ingredient is the grease on the stove that has been building up for over 60 years. Although that may not sound appetizing, it’s the only thing I can think of to explain why everything that graces that grill is truly mouthwatering, especially the grilled pecan pie! Yes, I did write grilled. That is no joke, they heat their pie up right on the grill next to your burger. That may sound odd to those who have never tried this spectacular local delicacy, but rest assured, it is phenomenal. The added butter and warmth somehow make an already fantastic pie even better.

Camellia Grill also serves up omelets, waffles and even chili cheese dogs (as seen at the top of the page), but their burgers really win the gold for me.

If the line is too long for the uptown Cameasy Greasy you can always go to their new downtown location! But if plan B fails, and the line is too long there, we have a plan C! Clover Grill, another 50's diner in the quarter claims to have "The World's Best Hamburgers." They fall a bit short of that claim, but are pretty good if you cant squeeze into a Camellia Grill bar stool. These burgers are cooked in a similar way on an old fashioned flat grilling stove, but come with some fancy extras, including a fried egg!
The combo of the beef and yolk was awesome! I highly recommend trying it out! and don't pass up their onion rings or french fries, which are better than the downtown Camellia grill fries.

Though these two diners have been operating in tandem since the 1940’s, they have never been in such close proximity. With the brand new Camellia Grill walking distance from Clover Grill these competitors now have somewhat more of a competition. With such similar menus, prices, and d├ęcor I have to wonder what the fate of these restaurants will be. Is the French Quarter really big enough for two old fashioned diners? Who will be victorious in this burger joint showdown? I guess only time will tell.

So in honor of the recent July 4th holiday, celebrate the freedom to get your grub on!

Clover Grill on Urbanspoon

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