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Trailer Treasure: Gourdough's

Mike Sutter

1219 S. Lamar Blvd. www.gourdoughs.com. Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

One sure way to get people's attention is to say `bacon doughnut.'

It's likely that Ryan Palmer and Paula Samford knew that very thing in October when they opened Gourdough's, a gourmet doughnut shop in a silver Airstream trailer. For two people who between them have backgrounds in law, graphic design, construction and the Samford Group real estate company, the next logical step would be to open a doughnut trailer in South Austin. This is just common sense, right?

The land at 1219 S. Lamar Blvd. was the now-demolished home of Holland Photo, which has moved down the road. A condo development planned for the site didn't materialize, and now the plot is home not only to Gourdough's, but a coffee-and-smoothie stand called Austin Brevità and Odd Duck Farm to Trailer, which popped up just two weeks ago.

The doughnuts are fried to order, so expect to wait a few minutes under the umbrellas at the tables on the white gravel lot. When it's dry, gravel dust will powder your shoes and creep up your pant legs like a chalky version of the black goo from `Spider-Man 3.' It's the price you pay for doughnuts al fresco.

The doughnut itself takes some getting used to. It's dense and absorbent, almost like a shortcake or a crumbly biscuit, about the size of a CD. No angel-wing glazers here. They'd collapse under the weight of the over-the-top concept, not to mention the crumbled Oreos, vanilla wafers or Canadian bacon.

The 25 or so varieties come filled with cream, dusted with cinnamon, dressed with habanero jelly and rolled in coconut. Doughnuts are $3.25, plus a dollar if they have meat. One is plenty; two might require a shot of insulin (not on the menu just yet).

One sports chunks of batter-fried chicken and a kiss of honey butter. Granny's Pie is an indulgent tumble of sweet nostalgia, with caramel, pecans, bananas and crumbled graham crackers, inspired by Samford's grandmother. Miss Shortcake plays it simpler, with sliced fresh strawberries, cream-cheese icing and a hit of whipped cream.

Here's the part where I say `bacon doughnut.' The Flying Pig carries three strips of curly bacon arranged like a crunchy crown on sticky maple syrup icing. After midnight on a two-beer buzz, you'd probably think it's the best thing you've ever eaten. Because Gourdough's is open until 2 a.m. every single day, you have plenty of time to find out.

- Mike Sutter