Review By: Brittany McCombs -
A good rule of thumb when travelling is that if every person you share your travel plans with recommends the same place, you must try it!
Such was the case with Port Of Call, a New Orleans burger and steak joint on Esplanade Ave in the French Quarter. One of my co-workers, a New Orleans native, recommended it to me on a Google maps list of places to visit. Before I left work the day before my trip, he insisted that if I only did one thing on the list I had to go to Port Of Call. My boyfriend’s basketball teammate echoed my co-workers “HAVE TO TRY!” enthusiasm. So on our last day in New Orleans we did just that.
First recommendation: do not under any circumstance eat anything else before you step foot into Port Of Call. We had heard a lot about Nola’s Garden District and initially thought we would be there for a while. So before we went, we got a lunch, which was a huge mistake.
Despite the beautiful houses, The Garden District bored me to tears and we left early. Because Port Of Call was close to the club we were going to that night we decided to head over there. I should have known that we were in trouble when our cab driver in between bouts of laughter said “he hoped we were hungry!”
When you walk inside there is a huge full bar designed to look like you’re in the cabin of a boat. Apparently, usually the wait time can reach up to 2 hours but it must have been a slow day because we were seated as soon as we walked in.
You won’t waste too much time browsing the menu because you have three options: steak, burger, or a salad. Both of us got the cheddar cheeseburger and a baked potato. I was disappointed at first that I couldn’t have traditional fries until I actually tasted the potato. It was stuffed with chives, bacon bits, sour cream and cheddar cheese and I quickly forgot about the fact that I had wanted French fries.
But, no one is coming here to rave about a baked potato! The main event, a half-pound of beef which is grounded fresh daily, was as advertised. I ordered mine medium rare and that is exactly what I got. You can definitely taste the difference in a burger that is made fresh daily and I would love to know whatever it is they season it with for upcoming summer barbecues. No ketchup, no mustard, no special sauce. I didn’t even want my usual burger condiment staple, bbq sauce, to tamper with what truly was a perfect burger.
Even though we made the mistake of eating before we came, I imagine that even on an empty stomach this is the type of meal that you need to take an intermission from. In total I think we were there almost 2 hours! Some of that time was spent trying to finish not one but two Neptune Monsoons and tagging up the walls with some bad “Brittany luvs RJ 2013” graffiti (writing on the walls is encouraged!).
So if you want to take a break from Cajun shrimp po’boys and gumbo in New Orleans, Port Of Call is your spot. Fresh and quick meat and potatoes and of course some signature New Orleans sugary booze.