100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 46: The Tater Tots at Maple and Motor

Please don't let anyone I love see me eat the tater tots at Maple and Motor ($2.70).
Please don't let anyone I love see me eat the tater tots at Maple and Motor ($2.70). Nick Rallo
Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2017 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

Once a basket of Maple and Motor’s tater tots lands in front of you, there’s no stopping what happens next. These concentrated crave pods — hot, crusty, addictive poppables — will lodge in the center of your brain and cause minor blackouts as you devour them one at a time. Actually, you may eat more than one without knowing. You probably were just planning on having a few tots. Then your juicy, flat-grilled burger showed up with a basket of these potato pods, as bronze as an Olympic award. You were probably not going to see the bottom of the greasy wax paper, but there it is — it’s exposed because you ate them all.

How is it possible that these tots are so drug-like? They’re not handmade or artisanal anything. They’re the frozen kind, but they’re fried in the dark magic of an undisclosed oil. No, seriously: On a trip to Maple and Motor, we asked owner Jack Perkins, "Why in the name of everything good are these tater tots so addictive?" His answer was succinct: “Magic oil.” So it’s proven: The tater tots at Maple and Motor are real-life magic.
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Nick Rallo
Contact: Nick Rallo