The Harbor Bar and Grill (219 N. Peters, 504.525.4111) opened earlier this summer near Canal on N. Peters street boldly promising “the world’s greatest 12 oz. burger.” Given that this is right by my office and I crave a good burger about once a month, I was pretty ecstatic to have a new place coming in. A first visit about two days after they opened proved pretty successful.
Although hampered by a very limited menu, everything we ordered was pretty good, albeit a little expensive. At the time I simply chalked up the slightly excessive cost to “French Quarter” pricing. Three people, three burgers that were too big to finish and a side of cheese fries split between us all. All which registered as pretty good. Maybe this rating got a subconscious bump from the fact they just opened or that they were so much closer than any other burger joint or that the last place was just terrible (as its quick closing attested to).
Having been stung by my monthly hankering for a hamburger, I scooted back to the Harbor. It had been a few weeks/months since they first opened and they should certainly be better than they were before right? Eh, not so much.
The burger is massive, that is for sure, but there simply isn’t much to it. For being touted as the World’s Greatest Burger, it certainly comes across kinda bland. Although larger than a normal burger elsewhere, I’m not sure it can really justify its $8.50 price tag ($1.00 extra for cheese and $0.75 more for bacon)–especially in light of the nearby competition. Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Stanley and Yo Mama’s all have at least as good and more likely better burgers for the same price or cheaper. Add in that many of those places give you sides as part of the deal, and the Harbor is just looking a bit more pricey.
The Harbor’s location as the first bar on N. Peter’s as you head into the French Quarter means you’ll have plenty of tourists stopping in for shots to start their day of drinking. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, lunch is a little less pleasant when you’ve got packs of girls screeching as they down some shot or guys fist pumping the tequila shot they managed to hold down while declaring the obvious “We’re in f@#$ing New Orleans, bra!” I don’t know, maybe I was just jealousy that I had to head back to the office.
Seeing as how it was a work day, I opted for New Orleans finest tap water. In retrospect, I guess I should have had a beer instead. The cup of tap water cost me $1.00 and the beer likely would have made the experience a little more enjoyable.
While you can’t really blame the Harbor for taking advantage of its spot as the first bar along the way, you can fault them for the so-so burger and the high(er) prices. In all, if you can’t possibly make it any further into the Quarter the Harbor will do, but I recommend you just keep walking and hit up one of the other Quarter burger joints.