Dude Food: Maple & Motor
|You want tots? Let's assume you want cheese and bacon as well. You won't regret it.|
4810 Maple Ave.
Dude Factor: 9, or "Mama" Cass Elliot, on a scale of 1 (Billy Elliot) to 10 (Eliot Ness)
I believe the name of this place is actually Maple & Motor Burgers & Beer, but I'm pretty sure a "motor burger" also refers to something akin to a "Dirty Sanchez" or a "Cincinatti Bowtie," so I figured I'd do these guys a solid and cut down on confused, disappointed customers.
When I first saw Maple & Motor's building while on a jaunt down Maple, I couldn't help but be excited--finally, a promising looking burger joint opening within spittin' distance of Observer headquarters. I'd recently been burned by the disappointing Burguesa Burger, however, so I tried to maintain some healthy skepticism about the new venture.
In what must be a good omen for Hughey's health, Maple & Motor did not disappoint, with burgers that stand among some of the best offerings in Big D. I'm not sure I'd go so far as the internet reviewer who likened them to the fare at Angry Dog, but I'd definitely rank the M&M burger (now that's an idea...) well above Jake's, the other decent burger joint near Observer headquarters. The meat, cheese and bacon on mine did not disappoint, but what really stood out was the hot, buttered, grill-toasted bun. Likewise, a grilled cheese (also with bacon, naturally) we sampled on another visit triumphed thanks to hot, buttered Texas toast.
The fries and onion rings were also solid, though the bacon-cheese tots our table received on accident were simply astounding. I've always considered the tater tot the red-headed stepchild of the fast food world, but those cheese tots have me seriously rethinking my philosophy.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that Maple & Motor is still waiting their liquor license, which means you're entitled to two small beers with your meal--for free. And I seriously had to fight back tears when I gazed upon their soda fountain, which features Big Red, IBC Root Beer and R.C. Cola, the world's best cola with somewhat questionable distribution.
The only thing they don't have is shakes or soft serve, which is against burger joint law as far as I'm concerned. But I think they're still within the 90-day grace period, so there's time to buy some ice cream before I have to report them to the city,
Obviously, the Dude Food crew will be back to sample other offerings like the fried baloney sandwich and the flat-top brisket sandwich, but until then the memory of washing down artery-clogging cheese tots with a cold R.C. will have to suffice.
And for all you handy dudes, Maple & Motor is located right across the street from Elliott's, which bests the Home Depot/hot dog cart combo any day of the week.