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Port of Call and other questions

texasredtop Jun 30, 2011 06:05 AM

We've never been to Port of Call and want to try it but I never hear anything about it anymore. Anyone been recently? We'll go at lunch on a weekday.

Places that are off the list (for various reasons) are:

Couchon
Acme
Crabby Jack's
August

Looking for good food mainly and will be there during the week. On the list so far are:

Drago's - Metairie
Sucre - Metairie
Mr. B's
Mahoney's
Middendorf's (the week prior as we pass through on our way east)

Need lunch (possibly dinner) spots where hubby doesn't have to wear slacks and dress shirt. Maybe jeans and dress shirt but I've seen worse at dinner at August so I'm guessing we could go almost anywhere.

I'm leaning towards Galatoire's but was just wondering what's new out there. We can always work in some light dinners if there's something worth trying. We have a vehicle and know the city well. Will arrive on a Monday, leave on a Friday after a farewell lunch. Staying at Harrah's.

Thanks for your help!

-----
Crabby Jacks
428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

Galatoire's Restaurant
209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Port of Call
838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

  1. marthasway Jun 30, 2011 06:38 AM

    I was at a party just last night where the topic of Port o' Call came up. Still great burgers or a steak with massive baked potatoes. I have fond memories of cold nights by the fireplace back in when I first moved here in 1987. My friends' visit last week sounded just as good as ever!

    1. j
      jmorri26 Jun 30, 2011 09:38 AM

      Haven't been in ages. Just greasy burgers, which is great if that's what you're after. If you plan on oging at all in the evening, if its anytihng like it used to be when I was in high school, it was crazy popular spot for high schoolers to go drink, so you'd have to deal with that crowd.

      5 Replies
      1. re: jmorri26
        j
        JazzyB Jun 30, 2011 11:05 AM

        Drinking age is21 therefore no high schoolers. Burgers/potatoes remain the same. Doesn't matter if it's weekday, if you don' get there when they open, or off peak hours, you'll have a wait.

        1. re: JazzyB
          j
          jmorri26 Jun 30, 2011 11:06 AM

          I agree about the drinking age, but when has that stopped anyone in New Orleans? Late 90s/early 2000's Port of Call was THE place most of the girls from my school went to get trashed on the weekends.

          -----
          Port of Call
          838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

          1. re: jmorri26
            texasredtop Jun 30, 2011 04:08 PM

            Well, I can tell you that when I was 13 I was going in liquor stores and buying half pints of whiskey (southwestern Louisiana). Not just one liquor store either. And I looked all of 10. Liquor stores were just used to parents sending the kids out for their liquor and never questioned us. We were also going in nightclubs at 15 but by then I looked all of 13.

            Thanks for the tips on Port of Call, we're going to try it and we'll go early on a weekday. We don't eat breakfast so early lunch is ok. I can't believe we're doing burgers in NO but I gotta let "him" have something he likes too. We used to go to Lee's Burgers in Metairie before the hurricane but the new place is not worth it.

            Any other good places to try?

            -----
            Port of Call
            838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

        2. re: jmorri26
          k
          kibbles Jun 30, 2011 12:38 PM

          actually, POC burgers are not greasy. theyre the only joint i know of in town that grinds their own beef and shreds their own cheddar. they go thru so many buns, lettuce, tomato and onion that they are all fresh as well. (POC can do up to 500 burgers a night...their butcher is off-site).

          the filet mignon is actually great good too, w/ salad and bread and large potato for 27 bucks. good deal, we usually split one of those, and possibly a burger.

          just there last nite :)

          1. re: jmorri26
            Argol Jul 28, 2011 12:09 AM

            How can a grilled burger be greasy? And the crowd is far from high school kids. I don't think it has changed much in 30 years, but your memories are suspect.

          2. N.O.Food Jun 30, 2011 04:08 PM

            Port of Call = good, handmade, cooked-to-order burgers. Mahoney's = worst overall poboy shop in town. I wouldn't wear jeans to Galatoire's, even at lunch. I'm not sure they'd let you in with jeans at dinner. I know they'd put your hubby in a house jacket if he didn't wear one.

            -----
            Galatoire's Restaurant
            209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

            Port of Call
            838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

            15 Replies
            1. re: N.O.Food
              texasredtop Jun 30, 2011 04:23 PM

              Yeah, I forgot about that at Galatoire's. We go there for lunch. I just don't want to drag his jacket because we're stopping in NO on the way back from a trip on the east coast.

              About Mahoney's, the pictures look so good. I think I'm going to cry :-( I wanted a fried chicken liver po-boy. Were they good when they first opened because Emeril recommended it on some Food Network Show not that long ago? I was just in NO in December and don't remember Mahoney's being open then.

              -----
              Emeril's Restaurant
              800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

              Galatoire's Restaurant
              209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

              1. re: texasredtop
                c
                califkatie Jun 30, 2011 04:27 PM

                praline connections chicken livers are great. maybe they'd put them in a po-boy for you. their fried chicken was great ,too.

                1. re: califkatie
                  texasredtop Jun 30, 2011 04:38 PM

                  Their menu looks really good. I love soft shell crawfish and you just don't see them anywhere. Thanks for the tip.

                2. re: texasredtop
                  j
                  JazzyB Jun 30, 2011 04:37 PM

                  No jacket required at Galatoire's for lunch. Hubbyy can get by with jeans and polo or dress shirt for lunch : Emeril's (3 courses $19.50), Coquette (3 courses $24), Patois....he would not feel uncomfortable most places with the exception of a few(Galatoire's, Commander's, August come to mind).

                  -----
                  Galatoire's Restaurant
                  209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                  1. re: JazzyB
                    texasredtop Jun 30, 2011 05:57 PM

                    Yes, jeans, dress shirt with belt and boots. He wore dress slacks, dress shirt and jacket to Galatoire's last time we were there in December but it was cold so no problem.

                    We had dinner at August in December and the table next to us with grown men and women (6 or 8 of them in their 40's) were dressed in sloppy sweats and dirty tennis shoes. I was very put off by it because I called to confirm he would need a jacket and they said absolutely. So regardless of what they say, if there's an available table, anyone is welcomed.

                    -----
                    Galatoire's Restaurant
                    209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                    1. re: texasredtop
                      k
                      kibbles Jul 6, 2011 02:13 PM

                      yep, this is true. i had a conversation w/ August management about it. they said they debate it w/ besh occasionally, but in the end he wants his guests to be "comfortable" in whatever that means for them. even if that makes us uncomfortable? i guess thats why they bring it up once in a while.

                  2. re: texasredtop
                    N.O.Food Jul 3, 2011 08:31 PM

                    Hey texas, I will say that I have heard that the chicken liver poboy is very good. I've never had it, so I can't comment. The only thing I've had there that I thought worth going back for is the meatball poboy. I thought it was really good. So, maybe go and get the livers and the meatball. The onion strings are good, too. But for traditional poboys, e.g., roast beef, shrimp, oyster, etc., I'd recommend going elsewhere. I found those to be way subpar.

                    1. re: N.O.Food
                      texasredtop Jul 4, 2011 06:10 AM

                      I scratched them. Hubby would want shrimp po-boy so I may have to let him have a Crabby Jack's. He really liked those.

                      -----
                      Crabby Jacks
                      428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

                      1. re: texasredtop
                        N.O.Food Jul 4, 2011 08:33 PM

                        Yeah, I think Crabby Jack's gets my vote for best shrimp.

                        -----
                        Crabby Jacks
                        428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

                  3. re: N.O.Food
                    texasredtop Jun 30, 2011 05:52 PM

                    I was ready to throw Galatoire's out the window but the more I thought about it, the more I NEED to have it. I found this on their site.

                    Galatoire's dress code is business casual for lunch.
                    No shorts or t-shirts.
                    Jackets are required for gentlemen starting at 5 p.m.
                    nightly and all day Sunday.

                    -----
                    Galatoire's Restaurant
                    209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                    1. re: texasredtop
                      j
                      JazzyB Jul 1, 2011 07:52 AM

                      Sucre's desserts/cupcakes look much better than they taste. They have creative gelato flavors however, you'll get better gelato at Brocato. Drago's chargrilled oysters and crab salad (enough for 2) are their best items. Skip the rest of the menu. You'll pay nearly fine dining prices for mediocre food. That's my $.02. Bon Appetit!

                      1. re: JazzyB
                        texasredtop Jul 1, 2011 06:13 PM

                        Thanks! But I do not share my chargrilled oysters :-) I saw someone get the crab salad and it did look amazing. My husband had some kind of seafood pasta dish that he liked. He wasn't in love with it but said it was good. I may just get 2 dozen of the oysters.

                        I'd heard great things about Sucre's but what you describe is my usual experience. Looks fabulous but take one bite and leave the rest. Not worth the high prices. That fancy cup cake place down in the Garden District struck me the same way. I don't care what it looks like, my deal is that I want it to taste amazing. We like Creole Creamery but the last visit there, I didn't even want to finish that. Any other ideas for a decent bakery to pick up some sweets? Brocato is okay, but it's too out of the way for us.

                        -----
                        Creole Creamery
                        4924 Prytania St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                        1. re: texasredtop
                          j
                          JazzyB Jul 8, 2011 06:15 AM

                          salad is enough for 2, oysters , definitely not.

                          1. re: JazzyB
                            texasredtop Jul 8, 2011 01:42 PM

                            We saw them bring someone that salad and it was huge and looked delicious. But I think I saw on their menu they offer a smaller version of the same salad. There had to be over a cup of lump crab piled on top. I still think I'm going for oysters, however many that will take to satisfy me :-) Why waste stomach space on secondary items? I love love love those oysters.

                          2. re: texasredtop
                            r
                            Ris Deveau Jul 16, 2011 07:06 PM

                            La Divina gelateria is right near the Magazine St. Sucre, at 3005 Mag., and they actually do make their gelato from scratch. The recipes are in metric because they've been translated from Italian. My husband is the gelato chef.

                            There are fresh pastries and panini as well. I know what you mean about Creole Creamery, it tastes amazing at first, but it's like your tongue gets a combination of flavor fatigue and frostbite.

                            -----
                            Creole Creamery
                            4924 Prytania St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                    2. Suzy Wong Jul 1, 2011 12:45 PM

                      Bon Ton, downtown on Magazine, is classic cajun cuisine in an old school atmosphere, excellent crabmeat au gratin, well worth a visit...

                      http://www.thebontoncafe.com/

                      Casual New Orleans neighborhood po boys, seafood N.O. Italian Mandina's on Canal St in Mid City. Brocato's (mentioned in another post) just a few blocks away.

                      http://www.mandinasrestaurant.com/

                      I think Mr B's is mediocre at best....

                      No longer wat beef, but I thought Port of Call went way down the last time I went, some years ago dry hard potato, just icky Maybe it has improved...Have heard quite a few friends rave about the hamburgers at Yo Mama's on St Peter....

                      http://www.yelp.com/biz/yo-mamas-bar-...

                      Galatoire's is a must, it's a total New Orleans experience food and atmosphere.....

                      (Obviously these are just my opinions and am only speaking for my own likes, experience etc

                      )

                      -----
                      Mandina's Restaurant
                      3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

                      Bon Ton Cafe
                      401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      Brocato Angelo Ice Cream & Confectionery
                      214 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

                      Yo Mama's
                      727 S Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Suzy Wong
                        texasredtop Jul 1, 2011 06:22 PM

                        Thanks Suzy. I eat at Mr. B's every trip, at least one time sometimes more. There bbq shrimp are my favorites in all the world. I can't get enough of them. Galatoire's is on the list and one of our favorites already. Brocato was great but the location is just not convenient for us. We're back and forth from the Quarter to Metairie so the Garden District is an easy stop as we use Claiborne to Jefferson Highway mostly. The freeway is so boring.

                        I'm going to add Bon Ton to the list because we've never been there.

                        -----
                        Galatoire's Restaurant
                        209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                        Bon Ton Cafe
                        401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                        1. re: Suzy Wong
                          k
                          kibbles Jul 6, 2011 02:21 PM

                          i used to also be a fan of Yo Mama's burger (the peanut butter) but have since decided its average at best -- they use pre-cooked, refrigerated & cold, soggy, bacon pieces..i asked them to at least heat up the bacon and they just microwaved my whole plate. awesome. standard potatoes and condiments; had some not fresh.

                          POC has been consistently good for us, sometimes weekly for 5 years running. sometimes the potato skin is burned, but if you dont eat the skin its likely not an issue.

                          1. re: kibbles
                            texasredtop Jul 6, 2011 07:34 PM

                            We are definitely doing POC - husband has wanted to go there for years and I've gotta give him something while in NO. Normally he just lets me have my way about meals there but he's wanted this for a long time and I'm going to make it happen for him. Probably lunch on a Thursday or Friday. We'll go early. If we go Friday, we'll head for home right after that meal. On second thought, making that drive after eating that, I'd better rotate it to Wednesday or Thursday :-)

                            1. re: texasredtop
                              c
                              Christine Jul 7, 2011 08:52 AM

                              POC will always have a fond place in our hearts because that was the first place we dined on my husband's first trip to New Orleans a couple years ago. It really fit the lunch bill after a long morning of airline travel and being famished. And POC also has the distinction of being not only the first place we ate, but it was the last place we dined for lunch this year before catching our ride to the airport. We think their burgers, salads, and drinks are huge and fantastic. And I'm like you, Redtop: my husband usually lets me pick all the places we eat, and I haven't let him down so far....no complaints anyway! :-)

                        2. u
                          UrDaddy Jul 6, 2011 02:35 PM

                          Mr. B's is very good. Also, you should consider Coquette.

                          -----
                          Coquette
                          2800 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: UrDaddy
                            texasredtop Jul 6, 2011 07:35 PM

                            Mr. B's bbq shrimp is my absolute favorite and if I miss it while in NO, look for my cold dead body somewhere because nothing else would keep me from it. I'll check out Coquette.

                          2. texasredtop Jul 7, 2011 05:54 PM

                            If I wanted to go to POC for dinner on a Thursday night, what time should I arrive for less than a 30 minute wait? We don't eat really late so no later than 8:00 PM. I could probably switch it to another night if they are overly-crowded on certain nights.

                            My line up so far is:

                            Lunch - Galatoire's, Mr. B's, Johnny's, Emeril's
                            Dinner - Drago's, Bon Ton and Port of Call

                            I had my heart set on Mahoney's (until I read reviews here) - hubby has his heart set on Crabby Jack's so I'm hoping Johnny's will get him off of Crabby Jack's.

                            -----
                            Crabby Jacks
                            428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

                            Emeril's Restaurant
                            800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                            Galatoire's Restaurant
                            209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                            Bon Ton Cafe
                            401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                            Port of Call
                            838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: texasredtop
                              j
                              JazzyB Jul 8, 2011 06:12 AM

                              Who can say for sure? I'd try before 6:30.

                              1. re: JazzyB
                                texasredtop Jul 8, 2011 01:44 PM

                                Ok, thanks! Maybe we'll pass ourselves by three in the afternoon to see what's up. I remember driving by there once and there was a huge crowd outside. Don't remember the day but it was late afternoon or early evening.

                                1. re: texasredtop
                                  texasredtop Jul 15, 2011 07:54 PM

                                  lol - three shd have been "there"

                            2. texasredtop Jul 30, 2011 07:52 PM

                              Reporting back. Sunday, on our way to Biloxi we stopped at Middendorf’s and had the thin fried catfish and fried shrimp. I had the bbq oysters also and the bbq seasoning overpowered the oysters. They were good but too rich for me. The thin fried catfish was excellent, the shrimp were good. The thin fried catfish is the way to go there, no doubt about it. It was jam packed at 1:30 in the afternoon and we had to wait about 15 minutes for a table. It was raining so I didn’t get to look around for Vickie and the other kitties.

                              Eight days later, we stopped at Drago's for a late lunch on the way into NO. First bite of those charbroiled oysters and I was wondering if they are outranking Mr. B's bbq shrimp. They were awesome. Even my husband who never eats oysters had several and loved them. We both had crab salad after the oysters and it was good. Next time I'm just ordering MORE oysters. I think I said that the last time I had these oysters but this time I mean it!!

                              After Drago’s, we drove over to Maurice French Bakery and got a small box of goodies ($20.00 worth) to have that night. The almond croissant was so stale that it had to be at least two days old. I spit out the first bite and tossed the remainder in the trash. My Russian Cake was not good at all but at least it was fresh. I ate about 1/4 of it and threw out the rest. My strawberry doberge was confiscated at the front desk of Harrah's by a sweet girl that was drooling over the site of my box from Maurice as we checked in. Husband's swan was good. I took a taste of his cannoli and didn't like it and he bit into it and threw it out. He also had a napoleon which was good. We were snubbed from the minute we walked in the door of Maurice and had to practically beg the girl to answer a few questions so we could make our selection. She just glared at us the entire time like she was angry we were there. It was about 2:30 or 3:00 so it wasn't like she was fixing to close the place. We were the only people in there except one of the chefs or deliverymen who she fell all over adoringly in a totally inappropriate way for an employee to behave in front of customers. She was about 20 and he was about 60. It was my absolute last visit to Maurice. We have never had a visit to NO that we didn't buy a big box of goodies there and always stopped there on the way out of town to get a box for the road. What a huge disappointment it was this trip. I never liked the store on Napoleon as well as I liked the original location and after several visits there wrote it off and was pleased to see the one on Hessmer was reopened. It’s sad they just aren’t what they used to be.

                              Tuesday we ate at Emeril's. I had the chicken gumbo and the chicken and waffles and husband had the shrimp bisque and shrimp mac and cheese. The gumbo was very good. The chicken and waffles was okay. I didn't like the waffles much so only ate half of one of the halves. The chicken was very good. Husband's shrimp bisque was amazing. His shrimp mac and cheese did not look appealing to me at all so I didn't try it. He liked it. We split a piece of banana cream pie which was very good - we could only finish a little more than half of it.

                              Wednesday we ate at Mr. B's. We both had the bbq shrimp and they were wonderful. We also had a blood orange margarita which was very good so we had another :-)

                              Wednesday night we went to Port of Call. Their hamburgers are wonderful. They taste like they are cooked on an outdoor pit. All they need to serve is a bun and the meat. This burger needs nothing else as the meat is the highlight. We went about 6:00 and there was plenty of seating available. Within 20 minutes, it was packed wall-to-wall and down the street with people waiting on a table. We'll go back.

                              Thursday we went to Galatoire's. We got there about noon and were seated right away. It was crowded but not full. I ordered the oyster and bacon appetizer (en Brochette). I should have asked about it because I assumed it was grilled and it turned out to be fried. I did not care for it. I had the soft shell crab topped with lump crabmeat and the soufflé potatoes. Both were excellent. Husband had the shrimp remoulade and he now says that is his favorite dish in NO. He also had the etouffee. The etouffee was just wonderful, better than my crab even. I was wishing I'd have ordered it too. Husband says my etouffee is better but to be honest, I'm not so sure. Mind you, mine is wonderful but so was Galatoire's. I'm getting that next time. Charlie was our waiter and he was great. I didn't see Dorris and was afraid to ask :-(

                              We headed over to Magazine to La Boulangerie to pick up some pastries for that evening. We were disappointed to find them closed due to the construction on Magazine. I was looking forward to trying their pastries. Later that afternoon we decided to drive over to Angelo Brocato. We each had a gelato which was delicious. I’m not a gelato fan but theirs is denser than most and is more like ice cream. I got a slice of tiramisu and he got a chocolate dipped cannoli that we ate later. They were both excellent.

                              Friday we went to Johnny’s PoBoys for lunch. I had an oyster poboy which was just okay. He had a fried shrimp poboy and the shrimp were wonderful. I was wishing I’d ordered his (oh no, not again). Shrimp poboy is the thing to get at Johnny’s. That was one of the best fried shrimp I’ve had in NO. I was tempted to trash my poboy and go reorder but decided to take my lumps and have something to look forward to in December.

                              -----
                              La Boulangerie
                              4526 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                              Emeril's Restaurant
                              800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                              Galatoire's Restaurant
                              209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                              Port of Call
                              838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: texasredtop
                                noradeirdre Aug 4, 2011 09:46 AM

                                Great write up! Thanks for sharing.

                                1. re: texasredtop
                                  mrsfury Aug 4, 2011 05:10 PM

                                  It's ok. I'll tell Vickie you said hi. ;) Thanks for the info. I appreciate the details on some places I have not been to yet.

                                  1. re: mrsfury
                                    texasredtop Aug 4, 2011 05:40 PM

                                    :-) I went there as much to see Miss Vickie as to eat the catfish. lol

                                2. s
                                  sufficientlybuttered Apr 3, 2014 07:10 AM

                                  How is Port of Call these days? When I went in 2011, it was towards the end of a rather long day of "merriment" so I don't remember the taste of the meat, just that the burger looked alive it was so big and cheesy. I do remember the Pink Drink...

                                  Wondering if I should make a stop here again over my Easter trip.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: sufficientlybuttered
                                    m
                                    montuori Apr 3, 2014 07:31 AM

                                    Hasn't changed a bit. Everyone seems to get the burgers; for my money the steaks are where it's at. It's not the best in town but for late night dive bar food, it's pretty damn good.

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