Memorable | One of the Best
Mr. Perkins’ Family Restaurant
Review by: Michael Stern
While certain soul food dishes may be an acquired taste – chitterlin’s, for example – many of the things served at Mr. Perkins’ Family Restaurant are comfort food for anyone.
What to eat at Mr. Perkins’ Family Restaurant in Milwaukee, WI
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’ Family Restaurant 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.
Directions & Hours
|Credit Cards Accepted