Lady N'awlins Cajun Cafe
2329 W. Main St.
Second Place: Otto Bartsch, Bandito's Burrito Lounge
Third Place: Dave Whitehouse, Curbside Cafe
I'm in an empty bar on a Monday night with the man local readers have tapped as Best Bartender for the second year in a row. A tumbler of Rumple Minze sits in front of me, ominously. This is how you interview Jack Lauterback, who holds his liquor like his jobs — well and often. In addition to bartending, he keeps up with an award-winning, biweekly column on these pages, Punch Drunk, and is a new morning-show co-host on 103.7 The River. I ask for his musings.
On whether awards get you laid: "I've already fallen off the cliff into complete media whoredom, so I'm not really sure that an award is going to help or hurt."
On the Jack Lauterback brand: "I wasn't aware that I had a brand. But I would hope that it would bring more people into the restaurants where I work. I hope that it helps my pocketbook. But I don't think it really helps my brand that much besides looking more like a pretentious asshole who thinks he's better than everyone else. It's a cool thing to win. But it's a little embarrassing. I mean, it makes my mom happy."
On the odds of a three-peat: "I'm retiring. No, it would not be like Jordan retiring after winning a championship. This is a pretty simple job. You work hard, you form relationships with people. But trained monkeys could do it. It's time to let the next generation of monkeys have a shot."