Road Trip New Orleans: Breakfasts of Champions
New Orleans is an eating town, and people like to start eating as soon as they roll out of bed. If you think you’re going to get by with a little cereal or fruit in the morning here, you got another thing coming to you.
My first meal during this trip was at the Trolley Stop Cafe, where you can watch the street cars roll by on St. Charles Avenue while you sip your coffee. The Trolley Stop is one of my brother’s favorites for breakfast, even though I learned later on from some of his classmates that they tend to frequent the place late at night after going out for a few adult beverages.
I decided to get the Southern Special because, based on the name alone, what else would be a better way to start off my eating extravaganza? The Southern Special consists of an order of biscuits and gravy, eggs (scrambled in this instance, but you can get them anyway you want), bacon, sausage and grits with mini-bucket of butter.
Full disclosure: I have never been a huge fan of grits — blasphemous in these parts, I know. I made it through the eggs, meats and 3/4 of the biscuits and gravy before I had to call “uncle.” It was a bit too much so early in the morning, even for my healthy appetite.
The next morning, my brother took me to the Camellia Grill, the throwback diner (think lunch counter open to the kitchen) with the boisterous wait staff (think lots of singing and shouting) that is a New Orleans landmark located in the Carrollton section of town. While there was a slight wait to get a seat at the old-school counter that morning, we were fortunate to not have to deal with the notoriously long lines.
The service is friendly (expect a fist bump from your waiter when you sit down), but fast and efficient. They need to move people in and out because space is so limited. I started off by ordering my regular morning beverages, orange juice and coffee, while my brother went with a specialty drink of the house, the chocolate freeze.
Everything on the menu looked good, and I decided I couldn’t go wrong with the Chef Special omelet. An ungodly amount of eggs holds together bacon, ham, onions, Swiss cheese and American cheese. Add a side of crisp hash browns and top with chili. Just like the previous morning, I was only able to make it through about 3/4 of the meal before I had to tap out after a valiant effort.
Needless to say, the 12 miles I ran in total over the next three days were absolutely necessary after these two meals (and everything I ate in between).