Odd Duck is my dad’s favourite restaurant in all of Austin and believe me when I say that my father is a man of impeccable taste – so you know this place is going to be good already!
It all began when the Gilmore brothers fitted out a food truck with a wood-burning grill, named it Odd Duck and began serving dishes made solely with ingredients from local Austin farms. The trailer became much beloved in Austin – chef Bryce became nationally recognised and respected, and Austin’s local food scene was put firmly on the map.
The Gilmores closed the trailer after two years of trading in 2011, and opened a bricks and mortar restaurant, Barley Swine, serving a multi-course chef’s tasting menu for $80 a pop – still contributing to local farms but now on a much larger scale (see my full review of Barley Swine here). The Odd Duck’s former trailer park was sold for development around 2011 – apartments were built, and a restaurant too… That restaurant? It’s the Odd Duck as you see it now, on the exact lot that the trailer once stood. How’s that for a happy ending!?
To this day, the Gilmores support local farmers and make everything from scratch, capturing the true craft of cooking in each bite.
They have designed Odd Duck as a place to share. There’s an à la carte menu with an ever-changing list of small plates inspired by the Texan seasons.
Our evening included this eclectic bunch of dishes, served as and when they’re ready, on a myriad of mismatched plates:
> Sunchoke Tater Tots, with deviled egg, beets and dill oil
> Tostadas with marinated fish and octopus
> Duck Egg Migas, with green chile, escabeche and goat feta
> Naan stuffed with pig face, curry yogurt and cilantro
> Goat Lasagna, with spinach, béchamel and brussels sprouts
There was a fried fish head on the menu (served with fish caramel and chiles?!), but we weren’t so tempted by the sound of that dish…
Plates are priced between $8 and $14, and you can eat more than your fair share for a very reasonable price – dinner for two under $100, including wine and service, is easily achievable.
The interior is effortlessly cool and rustic, and the atmosphere is buzzy and convivial. I’d recommend making a reservation – request a seat up at the bar to watch the action – and I can promise it will be a most memorable meal.
1201 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704