Not everything that Katrina hit became a total loss. Not even close. Here’s one of many examples – Camellia Grill’s triumphant return! Beloved diner and local institution, famous for its cheerful, friendly service and the best damn chili cheese fries this side of Texas, Camellia Grill [www.atneworleans.com] was shut down immediately after the storm. It remained closed for nearly two years, breaking the hearts of its regulars. Then on April 20, 2007, a pair of brand new owners who respectfully maintained Camellia’s old style swung the doors back open, much to the joy of the local community. Wesley, our Field Coordinator, covered the Grand Opening [www.youtube.com] event, in which every diner stool sold big and easy for $1,000.

Yesterday we filmed a scene at the Grill with Casey and Carter during a busy Sunday Brunch. Maybe not the best time for a camera crew to be hanging around (the place was packed, lines flowing out the door), but like most people in New Orleans, no one flinched or gave us any trouble. They were too focused on their cheese fries to give a hoot about the camera! And anyway, the star of the show was Marvin, our waiter. Yup, that’s him up above, holding the menu.

Needless to say, we knew where to eat our Crew Meal.

Milkshake, anyone?

“When you meet us now and you look into our eyes, you will see the saddest story ever told. Our hearts are broken into a thousand pieces. But don’t pity us. We’re gonna make it. We’re resilient….We are what made this place a national treasure.”
- Chris Rose, 1 Dead in Attic

Rachel Clift