Jack Perkins has mastered the art of making hamburgers at Maple & Motor, which he co-owns and operates with partner Austen Wright. Perkins and Wright’s burger joint has been singled out by many local and national publications, and Guy Fieri featured the spot on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Recently, the fearless duo entered the competitive business of barbecue. They gutted the former Backyard BBQ building on Irving Boulevard near the Design District and created a casual, handsome space with hammered metal and rough wooden walls, and patriotic pops of red, white, and blue. The meats of the day are posted on recycled church hymn boards at the head of the cafeteria-style line. Luckily, we hit the carver just as he smacked a new whole brisket down on the wooden cutting board. The crusty, black, half-inch layer of fat glistened and jiggled as he sliced through it to get to the juicy, red-ringed meat. We also loaded our melamine trays with hickory-smoked chicken, pork, and ribs. The moist brisket was so luscious and soft that I ate it with my fingers. Same for the baby back ribs and chicken. The pork loin, however, was sliced thick and a bit dry. The Slow Bone has a long list of interesting sides: green bean casserole, mac and cheese, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and, my personal favorite, cold pea salad. The hot veggies are better if you visit during a busy time; otherwise you might find the green bean casserole in need of moisture and the hushpuppies dried out from the hot lamps. The Slow Bone is a cool place to have a beer and hang out. If Perkins is in the house, there is a good chance he’ll join you.

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