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Friday, April 12, 2013

Cameli's in L5P disappoints

One of the short-lived nearby restaurants I miss most is Cameli's in East Atlanta Village. The restaurant specialized in traditional pastas at low prices, but didn't last long. Its original restaurant on Ponce de Leon remains open, as does its gigantic second location in Little Five Points.

I had never visited the latter until Monday night. It's located in that block of buildings on Moreland with party places like Front Page News and Tijuana Garage. None have serious food, but can be fun. I expected more from Cameli's, though. But it turned out to be much the same as its neighbors, almost living up to its logo slogan: "Pizza for the people." More accurate would be "Pizza for the inebriated people."

I ordered my usual test of any pizzeria, the margherita. The appropriate ingredients were there but didn't deliver much flavor at all: excessive and flat-tasting tomato sauce and mozzarella that was so not-mozzarella that it slid off slices like squares of chewy Silly Putty. The fresh basil alone provided some flavor.

The good part: The pizzas have a super-thin, crispy crust. It reminds me a little of the "pizza crisps" that Everybody's used to offer. And the price is super-low, too, not even $8 for my single-serving pie. I'm sure it all works fine if you eat your margherita while you knock back margaritas.

I followed up my pizza by walking to the L5P Zesto for my beloved coffee-toffee Arctic Swirl. The place was crazy, backed up with a weird vibe. It turned out that one of the employees had disappeared. The person taking my order left suddenly to hunt her down. Gone. The woman then returned to the register and asked, "Now what were you ordering?" The happy ending is that they made a version richer than the Ponce store, which is stingy with the toffee.

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