"Austin's Mobile Gastronomy" by Chef Katie Nicholas


To check out the recent hype in the city of Austin, Texas, Chef Charlie Baggs and Chef Newman Miller took a slight detour from their oil conference to do a little market research last week. One of the more fascinating and fastest growing trends in the culinary industry is food trucks or “food on wheels.” Food trucks and retro trailers outfitted with deep fryers, grills, ovens and more, started out as a trend and are now becoming more permanent establishments in cities like Portland, New York and of course, Austin. Well-known chefs are leaving restaurants to do something different and reinvent the notion of curbside foodservice.
One stop on Lamar Boulevard led the Chefs here…Jan. 2010 496


Gourdoughs is a home for plentiful amounts of deep-frying oil, gourmet ingredients and cleverly named doughnuts. “Big. Fat. Doughnuts,” says it all. Gourdoughs is open late (10am to 2am) and appeals to the masses of early risers and late night drinkers stumbling home from 6th street bars. Grannie's PieThis particular doughnut (pictured left) called Grannie’s Pie, consists of a hot, made-to-order doughnut topped with pecans, graham crackers, bananas and caramel. Other provocative sounding doughnuts that Chef Charlie and Chef Newman tasted live up to their names; the Mother Clucker (a fried chicken strip with honey butter icing), PB & J (grape jelly filling with peanut butter icing and peanut butter morsels), The Puddin’ (cream filled, cream cheese icing, bananas and vanilla wafers) and the ODB (cream filled doughnut holes with icing rolled in coconut). Sorry Dunkin Donuts, the Texas-sized Gourdoughs’ doughnuts have out “driven” you this time.
After breakfast, lunch or just an extra meal for those up late…turn around and you’ll find….Jan. 2010 497

Odd Duck: farm to trailer                                                    Jan. 2010 499
Odd Duck is another food truck located in the same area as Gourdoughs and focuses on sourcing products from local farmers, a seasonal menu and emphasizes the use of the whole animal. The owner of Odd Duck, Bryce Gilmore, has previously worked in renowned restaurants such as Boulevard in San Francisco, CA and the Little Nell in Aspen, CO. His concept is centered around local, sustainable ingredients using trendy cooking techniques like sous vide and a wood-burning grill located behind his trailer. This unassuming orange trailer serves delectable, contemporary and fine-dining style cuisine from cardboard containers.  Shown below is a vegetarian salad that consists of grilled romaine lettuce, paprika-spiced breadcrumbs, goat cheese and wood fire roasted broccoli. Another entrée that Chef Newman and Chef Charlie sampled was the Pulled Pork sandwich served on a grilled brioche bun, a pickled slaw of watermelon radish, red onions and carrots, arugula, mayonnaise and a side of one house-made pickle. Although you won’t find this meal if you come back the next day, as the menu is constantly changing, it is well worth the trip to Austin to feast these unique “meals on wheels.”

Pork SandwichSalad

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