900 New Hampshire, Suite B
Lawrence, KS 66044
Phone number: (785) 856-2535
RATED I forgot my phone in the car, so please excuse the lack of photos. I have been wanting to try Port Fonda since they opened, but, to be honest, the menu never did do much for me. I like traditional Mexican food and am not enamored with the many Mexican-fusion menus and ingredients that have become so cliche lately. However, before I leave Lawrence and the Midwest for the Left Coast later this year, I thought I should give them a try.
I met a friend downtown and we walked over, entering a large, but mostly empty, dining room that looks more like a sports bar than a Mexican restaurant. I despise paying for chips and salsa, but we ordered it anyway ($5), coming in a small tin bucket accompanied by choice of two salsas (we got the corn and roasted tomatillo). The chips were a bit skimpy, but fresh and obviously homemade, and the salsas good. but not great. I was a bit disappointed for $5.
The "special" sounded good, a deep fried chimichanga filled with chicken, rice, pork belly and some other stuff topped with a poblano (or was it serano?) chile cheese sauce ($14). The chimichanga was quite tasty, but very greasy, feeling my arteries clogging with every mouthful. It was about half the size of your average chimichanga and came with zilch, zippo, nada, making it the equivalent of a $28 chimichanga, ale carte, no rice, no beans, at your run of the mill Mexican place. Not a great value by any stretch.
Because my ratings are based on value, bang-for-the-buck, and not on just the quality of the food, I cannot in good conscience give Port Fonda even an average rating (5 Bombs Out Of 10). Let's face it, their ala carte chimichanga belongs in the $6 to $8 range max, not $14, particularly at lunch. Additionally, I detest restaurants that charge for chips and salsa and $5 is ridiculous for what we were served. The highlight of our lunch was the server, who was very friendly and attentive, but then she should be as we were two of the few customers in the place at noon on a Thursday.
Now I know why the place is empty and why they have received such mediocre ratings. I doubt that this place will be around much longer and am surprised they have remained open for over a year.
Title: Lawrence, KS: Port Fonda's Ship Will Soon Set Sail ... Into Oblivion
Key Words: Port Fonda, port, fonda, New Hampshire, Lawrence, Kansas, Mexican, Mexico, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, Tabelog
Translation for Civilians: SNAFU = "Situation Normal, All Fucked Up"