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Saturday, May 07, 2016

#2448 - Port of Call, New Orleans - 3/17/2014

Try the: Monsoon

The Port of Call is a nifty little nautial/tiki themed dive in a quiet portion of the French Quarter, known primarily for its massive burgers, which some consider the New Orleans style burger. In addition to the larger patty, this means they come with a huge mound of un-melted, grated, cheddar cheese and a big baked potato on the side. The large burgers are a vestige of its early days as a neighborhood steakhouse:
"It was a sort of back of town place," recalled Wesley Schmidt, the longtime general manager of the jazz club and restaurant Snug Harbor, whose history is entangled with the Port's. "It was the kind of place where the floor director for the 10 o'clock news would come and drink after work -- you have to remember, this was before Bourbon Street really became a drunken frat boy weekend. It was another time and place. And George began serving food to those guys, these steaks and these really big hamburgers."  
(Brett Anderson, Times-Picayune)  
The Port of Call, New Orleans, LA
The tiki theme is a vestige of original owner George Brumat's time as a maitre d at the Bali Ha'i, a large, classic tiki restaurant along Pontchartrain Beach from 1939 to 1983. The 55-acre amusement park there closed, and the Bali Ha'i with it, in 1983. The building was then destroyed by fire in 1986, and the only vestige remaining is a portion of the entrance that now opens to Kenner Veterans Memorial Park.

Port of Call is quite popular with the locals so you are likely to wait for a seat if you do not arrive right as they open (currently 11am every day). In addition to the massive burger, we ordered the signature "Monsoon" cocktail from our bartender Floyd. The drinks here are more French Quarter touristy than craft, but the Monsoon is pretty good as these drinks go -- not overly sweet as you might fear.

Mushroom Burger at the Port of Call, New Orleans, LA
















The Bali Ha'i, New Orleans, LA
(Postcard photo via nola.com)


(A few more photos of the old Bali Ha'i can be found at Tiki Central here.)
838 Esplanade s, New Orleans, LA 70116 - (504) 523-0120
Est. 1963
Web site: portofcallnola.com - facebook
Articles ranked: nolathetikichickbeakersandbouillabaisse - tikiroom - 24dollarburger - gonola - redbeansandlifeepicurious - stevesbeenthere - yelp - tripadvisor

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