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Mr. Perkins' Family Restaurant

2001 W. Atkinson Ave., Milwaukee, WI - (414) 447-6660
Posted By Michael Stern on May 20, 2001 4:29 AM
While certain soul food dishes may be an acquired taste – chitterlin’s, for example – many of the things served at Mr. Perkins’ are comfort food for anyone. Baked chicken with dressing is tender and although vividly-spiced, is the gentlest-seeming meal imaginable; meat loaf is firm and satisfying; pork neckbones on Wednesday may be some trouble to eat (they’re little), but the meat virtually falls from the bone as you savor it. At breakfast, the biscuits served with bacon and eggs are warm and buttery.

We especially love lunch at Mr. Perkins’ because of the blackboard behind the counter that lists at least a dozen mouth-watering available side dishes. Macaroni and cheese has a perfect balance of tender noodle and crusty edges; fried okra is vegetable-sweet; fried green tomatoes are tangy and brittle-crisp; there are pot-likker-sopped turnip greens OR turnip bottoms, made into an intriguing squash-like mash with butter and sugar. One week in late September, the kitchen was offering homemade pear preserves, the pieces of fruit sweet as candy and flavored with cloves. When you order lunch, you’ll be asked if you want cornbread. Say yes! This is Tennessee-style cornbread, i.e. a pair of griddle-cooked corn cakes. They are buttery and soft, ideal tools for mopping gravy and vegetable drippings from a plate.

A joyous place that almost always seems a little too crowded, especially up front where so many customers come to pick-up orders to go, Mr. Perkins’ is a kind of community center for people from all walks of life. It is now run by Willie Perkins’ son, Willie Jr., who told us that his father still comes in nearly every day to check up on the operation and make sure it is running smoothly, as it has now for more than thirty years.
4 star rating
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Posted By Neil Rigler on July 29, 2008 5:18 PM
We went to Mr. Perkins' in the late afternoon on a Tuesday. We were warmly greeted, and the waitress (Cherry!) was only too happy to talk through the different menu items with us. We settled on two entrees: fried pork chops and meatloaf. Between us, we also ordered a variety of side dishes: mac 'n' cheese, boiled okra, pinto beans, and corn cakes.

My friend decided not to go with the "smothered" pork chops, although the people at the next table had them; they were covered in a wonderfully thick-looking gravy. No worries; the chops were fried perfectly, good-tasting tender. The meatloaf was one thick slice, topped with a delicious gravy. The mac 'n' cheese was thick and pasty, not the gooier variety, and made for a perfect side dish. We also loved the divided plates, but couldn't help ourselves from wanting to combine a bit of the beans, mac 'n' cheese, and meatloaf into one tasty forkful. All washed down with sweet tea, and it was a great meal overall, as other reviewers have attested!
4 star rating
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