Yesterday, Three-Course meal profiled Jack Perkins, who grills up one of the city's most popular hamburgers at Maple & Motor. Today, Perkins gives his thoughts on foodies, good and bad burgers and the best wine to pair with a patty. Friday, he demonstrates how a Maple & Motor burger is made.
CofA: Everyone loves a taco these days, any chance of adding tacos to the Maple & Motor menu? Jack Perkins: Not to the main menu. That would split our focus. We are going to begin serving breakfast for pickup. That will be primarily breakfast tacos.
CofA: Oddest request from a homeless person? Perkins: "Agua." The day before we opened, a guy comes in the door with a mouthful of half-cooked bacon from the dumpster. He asked for water in Spanish. He was not a Spanish speaker so none of us understood him.
CofA: What do you serve the vegetarian guest? Perkins: A grilled cheese sandwich. They are good with grilled jalapenos and tomatoes. Before they get anything, they get a strange look.
CofA: What is the strangest burger request you have received? Perkins: I haven't really had a really strange one yet. We do serve a "Clark Burger" in honor of one of our regulars, Clark Hampe. It's a cheeseburger with a slice of fried bologna on top.
CofA: Where do you get a good burger in town besides Maple & Motor? Perkins: Neighborhood Services, Lee Harvey's, Kenny's Burger Joint, Wingfields.
CofA: What is the worst burger you have tasted? Perkins: I've got to tell you, I was in Irvine, California, about a month ago. I went to In-N-Out and ordered a Double Double with fries animal style. It was terrible. Whataburger has nothing to worry about unless Dallas falls for the emperor's new clothes.
CofA: What would you pitch to the Food Network? Perkins: An Algonquin Roundtable style show with real food people talking about food and the restaurant business. I also like the idea of Mixin' it up With Jack. I would invite people who call themselves "foodies" and try to make them sound goofier than they make themselves.
CofA: Will there be a prize for the person buying the millionth burger, and if so what will it be? Perkins: No. We don't give away anything...ever.
CofA: What ingredient doesn't belong on a burger? Perkins: The fingers of a whiney self-important gasbag...and Gouda.
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CofA: What was your worst kitchen disaster? Perkins: Ten minutes before lunch service started, an exhaust fan broke. The place filled with smoke and grilled jalapeno fumes. I also have a cook that wears earrings. That's always a disaster.
CofA: What wine goes best with a Maple & Motor burger? Perkins: Chateau Petrus 1985 or 1990. If you can't swing that, a good Zinfandel. We serve Axis. It's a Cab drinker's Zin.
CofA: If you could master one sport what would it be? Perkins: Competitive logging. Chainsaws, axes and log rolling. There is no better conglomeration of applicable skills.
CofA: What is the best music to cook by? Perkins: It's between Kid Rock and the Bee Gees.