Trailer Treasure: Odd Duck Farm to Trailer
1219 S. Lamar Blvd. 695-6922, www.oddduckfarmtotrailer.com. Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. 5 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.
The wood-sided meals-on-wheels assemblage that houses Odd Duck Farm to Trailer includes a grill room where the trailer's white wood frame and screened window create a sort of tintype movie theater for Bryce Gilmore as he stokes the fire.
Hardly a throwback cowboy cook, though, Gilmore uses the smoky, log-chewing hotbox to flash-grill his vegetables and breads and to finish the duck and pork that started their road to the plate in a sous vide water bath housed at his father's restaurant, where Gilmore does Odd Duck's kitchen prep.
Bryce Gilmore is the son of Jack Gilmore, the former Z'Tejas chef behind the new Jack Allen's Kitchen in Oak Hill.
So how did he keep from being dragooned into service at Dad's place? 'I came up with this trailer idea first. If I didn't have this ambition, I'm sure I would have helped there,' Bryce Gilmore said. 'He's an amazing chef. I just wanted to do my own thing.'
The fact is, Gilmore worked with his father at Z'Tejas before and after graduating from Westlake High School, setting the pace for a career that propelled him to the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and time behind the stoves at Moonshine, Wink and the late Cafe 909 in Marble Falls.
But for now, the trailer is his changing-daily showcase for turning out dishes that might include duck on grilled focaccia with crimini and oyster mushrooms, diced turnips, and a shower of crisp greens for $5. Grilled romaine lettuce with creamy goat-cheese ricotta and a soft-poached egg on toast is $5, and $4 might buy a grilled broccoli salad with feta cheese or a hot cup of creamy cauliflower soup. It's rich food, tossed in and finished with a drizzle of oil from the Texas Olive Ranch.
Sometimes it's nice to walk up to a place with $25 in your pocket and order everything on the menu. But this isn't big-appetite food. You might still be hungry after two dishes, and 'five-dollar quarter-foot-long' doesn't have the same Subway jingle ring to it. Even so, Odd Duck's little sandwich with pork braised in coffee porter from Real Ale carries a level of flavor beyond its diminutive size.
Gilmore, like his father, emphasizes buying local. 'It's important to know where your food comes from,' he said. Odd Duck's food comes from Richardson Farms (pork), Countryside Farm (duck and eggs), Moonlight Bakery (bread), Bella Verdi Farms (greens) and others.
With just 150 square feet to work with, Gilmore has decided to drop lunch service and open only for dinner at the lot he shares month-to-month with Gourdough's doughnut trailer and the Austin Brevità coffee stand. 'This past week I was running out of food at 8,' he said by e-mail.