Snapshots from New Orleans: Exceptional Pecan Pancakes at Camellia Grill

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[Photos: Chichi Wang]

The Camellia Grill is an old-fashioned diner with two locations in New Orleans—the original near Tulane University, with a newer location in the French Quarter. Friendly servers in white jackets take your order and the kitchen, where slices of pecan pie warm up on the same griddle as the sizzling bacon, is right behind the diner countertop.

I was told that the thing to order at Camellia Grill is their "nutty" pancakes, a term of endearment the waiters use for the pecan pancakes. On my first visit, the pancakes were very good but not exceptional; on my second visit, they won me over.

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Why so special? The texture is perfectly browned and almost crispy on the surface, with a tender, fluffy interior. (Ask the obliging cooks to leave your pancakes on the griddle until the surface is nicely browned.)

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Though the pitchers of yellow liquid look like they could be jam, it's actually full of melted butter (which, of course, made the pancakes even more delectable.)

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For those who want something savory in the mornings, Camellia Grill's corned beef omelette comes with savory nuggets of meat inside fluffy, cheesy eggs. (Like the pancakes, order the hash browns extra brown to ensure maximum crispiness. )

Breakfast is a happy time at Camellia Grill. Coffee is smooth and free-flowing, making it all the easier to wash down your pancakes, along a side of the restaurant's creamy grits if you have any space left in your stomach.

Camellia Grill

540 Chartres Street, New Orleans LA 70130 (map); 504-552-1800

626 South Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans LA 70118 (map); 504-309-2679
camelliagrill.net

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