Mark Mallman is starving, hysterical, naked

Local performer Mark Mallman has just returned from SXSW, barbecue sauce still clinging to his fingers. While the piano prodigy spends much of his time on the road, he still frequents plenty of local haunts to get his grub on.

1. You just finished SXSW. Did you eat your weight in barbecue? What Texas specialties did you indulge in? I've had BBQ from Memphis to Manchester. But Texas dry rub brisket is for sure my fav, except for my dad's ribs. Rooster's on Randolph in St. Paul is my pick for slammin' BBQ in Minnesota. As far as Tex-Mex goes, I'll pass--straight up Mexican is my thing.

2. You're on tour a lot. Do you have any favorite food pit stops that you always make sure to hit? My good friend Graham Elliot, in Chicago, is the master of gourmet fusion--so I always pay him a visit (and Al's Beef, of course, the next day). The margherita at Rosario's on the Lower East Side of Manhattan is my favorite this side of the Pacific. I did a 20-city cheeseburger hunt a few years back and found the Hickory Burger at Apple Pan in L.A. is the best cheeseburger in America. My vote for best cheeseburger under $10 in the Twin Cities is Tony's in Dinkytown. Burgers over $10: Manny's. Mmmmmm.

3. As a Bryn Mawr resident, what's your favorite neighborhood haunt? Fast Freddie's has killer hot sandwiches. Cuppa Java across the street is where I go for a pumpernickel turkey with everything on it. I think I'll run over there right now, actually.

4. You recently had a Twitter post that simply said "starving, hysterical, naked." Did things end well? Ha! I love it. That's actually the first line from Allen Ginsberg's beat manifesto poem "Howl." "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked." I was standing on a balcony overlooking a drunken d-bag slap fight in Austin, Texas, and that line came to mind. I can't say how things ended really, just that things ended.

5. Popeye uses spinach to harness his strength--what foods do you rely on to bring out your strength before a show? It's not good for a rocker to lose the hunger--I perform best when I'm just a little starved, but not so much that my blood sugar is at zero and I pass out. Offstage, I am a howling, snarling, white hot, electric bakery wolf! Get me a damn fresh maple long john and I'll kick a devil-shaped hole in the back side of your daddy's Chevy S-10 on bricks in the backyard--watch out. Oh, best doughnut in America? The Captain Crunch doughnut at VooDoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon.

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