Food trailers have become the hybrid between dine-in eating and a fast food drive-thru. Austin is home to hundreds - no exaggeration, hundreds - of these on-the-go food trucks; they spread from the furthest reach of south Austin to the no-man's land of north Round Rock. While tacos and barbeque are often a staple, the menu of each trailer is as independent as its owner. Enter Gourdough's and the big, fat donut.
We felt like a donut is a blank canvas we can dress with anything. Plus, I really like donuts.
Gourdough's is a unique example of this booming business trend. What started as a donut shop in an Airstream trailer has grown into a South Austin landmark. This donut hub has a cult-like following and tops countless "best of" Austin lists, including a tip-of-the-hat from culinary critic Anthony Bourdain (2010). In October of 2012, owners Paula Samford and Ryan Palmer added a brick-and-mortar location - and with this new addition came an expanded menu (and bar) to feed the foodie frenzy. Gourdough's Public House compliments their sweet tooth items with southern samples of American favorites like fried okra, creamed corn, and frito pie.
Which is your favorite menu staple?
My favorite dish is the Dirty South; chicken fried steak sitting on a potato pancake with homemade cranberry-jalapeno jelly - all of that sitting on a donut and smothered in our creamy, house gravy.
Can you say Y-U-M? These craft concoctions are the magic that keeps the public full and happy. Not for the carb conscious, Gourdough's has turned fat food into fine dining.
Ode to the Trailer - what is the story behind that fabulous frito concoction?
Growing up, every time I would go to a fair or festival, I would always buy myself a frito pie. I thought that this Texas favorite would perfectly compliment our concept.
The House's interior is both rustic and urbane, like a hipster barn you would find in the middle of a bustling city. The location was the previous home to South Lamar's Kerby Lane; the shell has been gutted, remodeled, and transformed into what is now a new Austin favorite.
What is your favorite dining spot?
I love what they're doing with Swift's Attic, and I also love the late night option of 24 diner.
When you aren't feeding the Austin foodies, where can you be found?
I recently adopted a three month old lab puppy from Austin Pets Alive! I spend a lot of my time walking him around Town Lake.
We just have one final, unrelated question:
Texas chili: beans or meat?
Every Monday the pioneers of pub trivia, Geeks Who Drink, host quiz night at Gourdough's Public House. The House also hosts parties, events, and the occasional movie night. More than a donut shop, Gourdough's has become a destination for the fearless and adventurous palettes. Come for the donut, stay for the beer, feed your fix - whatever your fix may be.
© Lindsay Watson