Juniper Launches ‘All You Care to Eat’ Fried Chicken Sunday Suppers This Weekend

Juniper Launches ‘All You Care to Eat’ Fried Chicken Sunday Suppers This Weekend

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You can eat whatever your heart desires from this fried chicken at Juniper's Sunday Suppers.  -LUCAS PETERSON

  • LUCAS PETERSON
  • You can eat whatever your heart desires from this fried chicken at Juniper’s Sunday Suppers.

John Perkins knows that, right now, people need all the comfort they can get. That’s why he and his team have decided to up the ante on their already comforting restaurant, Juniper (4101 Laclede Avenue, 314-329-7696), by offering a new Sunday meal package that is sure to please.

“I think the idea of ​​sitting around a pile of fried chicken and drinking a jug of cocktails is the kind of comfort people want right now,” says Perkins.

In that spirit, Perkins, Executive Chef Matt Daughaday and the Juniper team are excited to launch their new Sunday Dinners, a weekly event that will feature all-you-can-eat dishes, whether it’s hot or regular fried chicken, family fare. . Style side dishes and cornbread for the all-inclusive price of $ 24.99 per person. Batch cocktail pitchers, containing about four drinks, will be offered for $ 19.99, bourbon and tequila shots are available at $ 1.99 a piece, and Busch beer will cost you just 99 cents. The event that occurs regularly will run from 5 to 9 pm, starting this Sunday.

As Perkins explains, the idea for Sunday Suppers dates back to a popular dinner series called “Monday Night Meat and Three” offered at Juniper’s original location on Boyle Avenue. When he moved the restaurant to his new corner on Laclede Avenue in 2018, he discontinued the series because he felt it didn’t quite fit in with what he was doing there, although he always had in mind that he might try again. Perkins doesn’t beat around the bush as to why it seems like the right time to do it at this particular time.

“On a very practical level, we need to find ways to generate income without overextending ourselves on the job front,” explains Perkins. “We are currently open five days a week, and within that time frame, we wanted to see what areas we could get more business in. Lunches are not really an option right now, and the only service that we are not doing in a day. we are open on Sunday nights. We started brainstorming ideas and this made sense because chicken has always been our calling card. ”

However, fried chicken is not simply a source of income for Perkins. Though he’s been frying crispy poultry for the past eight years, Perkins insists he’s not tired of doing it and considers the dish to be a labor of love. He believes that is why Juniper’s fried chicken has held, and continues to hold, such a special place in the hearts of St. Louis diners.

“This is going to sound very cheesy, but it’s true: I love fried chicken,” says Perkins. “I really love it and I never got tired of it. Maybe chefs at different times got tired of it, but I didn’t, and I think that’s important on some level. I think it’s easy for master chefs.” I resent that because it seems too vulgar, but Matt [Daughaday] it doesn’t have that focus. He gets it and really understands that there is still a lot of art in making really good fried chicken, as well as the intention and thought that goes into it. He cares about making sure it’s the best version possible when he leaves our kitchen. ”

To that end, Perkins and Daughady are not content to simply stick to the usual recipe and stick with the way they have always made their famous dish. Instead, they are always motivated to improve it and take opportunities to modify and refine the recipe rather than rote.

“We’re constantly thinking about it and wanting to improve it, because I don’t think it’s ever perfect, and it’s worth improving what is already a good thing,” says Perkins. “When you always try to improve it, I think you end up with a product that people really enjoy and love to eat.”

Perkins plans to continue Sunday dinners while there is demand. He suspects that this is a popular event, although he does not accept reservations; dinners will be walk-in only. In addition to chicken specials, side dishes, and drinks, he also plans to offer comforting food-based desserts for an additional fee, with items like a cast iron skillet brownie on the horizon. He believes that, along with the surprisingly cheap alcohol, it will create the kind of weekend outing that people need.

“I was joking with our staff at our meeting last week that we can finally be the truck stop we always wanted to be now that we’ve embraced the 99-cent pricing model,” laughs Perkins.

We are always hungry for advice and feedback. Email the author at cheryl.baehr@riverfronttimes.com.

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