In The Daily Meal’s list of the best burger in every state, Dallas haunt Maple & Motor is tops in Texas. The burger was picked, in part, because the authors called Maple & Motor’s cheeseburger the No. 23 burger in the country a few weeks prior.
Maple & Motor is a no-frills burger joint in the Love Field area of Dallas, near UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Stemmons Corridor. We named it in our list of 15 essential burger joints in Dallas-Fort Worth. After owner Jack Perkins opened Maple & Motor in 2009, we said it was “up there” among Dallas’ best burgers in a 2010 restaurant review.
From that review: “Maple and Motor is one of those rare places that draw a real cross section of Dallas citizenry: Jags and Benzes jostle with pickups and beaters in the parking lot. Their owners line up patiently in the small, cramped space, an erstwhile gas station turned taqueria, to place their orders at the counter. Then they grab a beer or fill Styrofoam cups with soda or one of three iced teas — plain, sweet or, horrendously, Jolly Rancher. Now you may be seated.”
These days, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Maple & Motor isn’t quite as packed. But the sentiment remains.
Owner Jack Perkins hadn’t read the Daily Meal’s article but appreciated the accolade, subjective though it is.
“We tell our regulars not to tell other people we have the best burger — but that we have their favorite burger,” he says.
The Daily Meal says the thing to get at Maple & Motor is the half-pound cheeseburger. Add a side of tots or onion rings and you’ve got a “low-class cool” lunch. (That’s how the restaurant website describes itself.)
Perkins guesses that the article will bring him new business, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he’s down about 50%, that’s a good thing. Still, Perkins is more optimistic than most restaurateurs about the future:
“We’re doing fine,” he says. “We haven’t laid off an employee, we haven’t cut an hour. ... I’m not making much money, personally, but that’s OK.”
The restaurant remains open and is restricted to 50% occupancy, to comply with Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest order. The company continues to use platforms like Caviar and Grubhub for customers who want burgers delivered.
Maple & Motor is at 4810 Maple Ave., Dallas.