Three Stars
@ Camellia Grill

No dish has lately received more attention from restaurateurs than the hamburger. In two ways, that makes sense. The cheeseburger is without question the most popular dish in America. And the restaurant guys, from the top to the bottom, find that there’s an almost unlimited opportunity to mark up the already lofty profit percentages on the dish. This is usually done by making the hamburger bigger, and surrounding it with more exotic garnishes.

Left behind in this powerful trend is the normal-size hamburger. Which was very good, and in some ways better than the big ones. For eighty years, the Camellia Grill made a specialty of that kind of hamburger, and inspired thousands of people to declare it the best in town. With good reason. The patties were made by hand, grilled on a very hot grill with pizzazz, with toasted buns and interesting but standard toppings. In the Camellia Grill’s post-Katrina era, with a new owner, the burger has grown in size. I object to that, but it hasn’t ruined it. It’s still on my list on this date every year, as I celebrate a certain evening during my seventeenth year, during which I ate not one but four cheeseburgers.

Uptown 4: Riverbend, Carrollton & Broadmoor: 626 S Carrollton Ave. 504-309-2679

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