High Standards: Despite the modern design, it’s still a diner. Order the “meat plus 2” or a “li’l bird” portion for smaller appetites. Kevin Marple


The Mockingbird Diner Is the Answer to Morning Prayers

Jack Perkins' new restaurant is a temple of breakfast food.

The Slow Bone was Jack Perkins’ love letter to barbecue. The Mockingbird Diner, then, is his place of worship for chicken-fried steak. Perkins, also of Maple & Motor, and Jeana Johnson, former chef of the now-closed Good 2 Go Taco, have joined forces for the first time in this light-filled A-frame, reminiscent of a white clapboard prairie church, that serves up home cooking and a warm welcome for weary Love Field travelers and Medical District employees.

Despite its modern aspect, the design pays attention to expected elements—U-shaped counter, booths, glass-walled pie display—as does the menu, which does straightforward diner food best. An unfussy sandwich of sliced meatloaf topped with mashed potatoes on a poppy seed bun, crispy fried chicken with a well-seasoned crust, and cheese enchiladas topped with Texas chili and fresh pico de gallo are pure comfort at lunch.

When green bean casserole is gussied up with French beans or yellow squash is too briefly sautéed in oil, they disappoint. With such an elevated space, you expect elevated food. Lunch doesn’t quite deliver that something extra. But breakfast, where Johnson’s voice is strongest, does. The breakfast tacos on pillowy house-made flour tortillas, stuffed with bright yellow scrambled eggs and Luscher’s sausage, cubed ham, or chorizo, could make a choir sing.


  • InTheKnowDallas

    Really? No mention of the fact they don’t serve breakfast later on the weekends? That they set the silverware directly on the table, not even on a placemat or napkin? Not sure when that picture was taken, but when I’ve been there weren’t any nicely napkin wrapped silverware. The plates are too small for the food they’re serving on them- when I had eggs and hashbrowns it was challenging to cut them without something sliding off the plate. I had high hopes for this place but it’s been rather disappointing. I’m a Maple & Motor fan and loved the Slow Bone when Jack had those. This just doesn’t live up to those kind of standards.

    • Mavdog

      What can I say, my silverware was wrapped in a cloth napkin….

  • Mavdog

    The diner is now open for dinner, and it is simple enjoyment in classic food.
    The staff is pleasant, the environment is welcoming, and the food is right on target.
    The Mockingburger may just be the best burger in town. The patty has a wonderful crust on it and if you have fond memories of a classic Big Mac as a teen you will be in heaven with this rendition.
    A great chicken fried steak with a crust that stays on the meat, a classic gravy that hits the spot. Their offering ranks right up with the best.
    Their sides run the gamut and nothing I have had was disappointing.