Thursday, March 18, 2010
Odd Duck Farm to Trailer
I was a happy, happy girl as we headed down the road to odd duck. First, because I will happily eat almost anything that comes out of a food truck. Second, because this place sounded right up my alley (they spend the day traveling to area farms to get what's fresh, and then open the trailer at five to serve a menu of local small plates). And third, because I was excited to proudly proclaim that we'd take one of everything. How often do you get to say that? And only spend $40 in so doing?
When we rolled up to the window, the bloom came off the rose a bit for me. Dylan, one of the chefs, I guess, asked me what I wanted. I proudly stated "we'll take one of everything!" and he said "can you wait a minute?". I guess he hadn't asked me what I wanted after all. But I felt slightly pouty about that. Anyway, moving on. Dylan said it'd be ten minutes, so we found a small table (it was pretty crowded here at about seven o'clock) and spent some time ridiculing all the LA hipsters who are in town for SXSW. I kid! Welcome to our fair city!
So, about ten minutes later (Dylan was true to his word) our plates started coming out. Oh! Here's a photo of the menu so you can see what we had:
First out: Texas Cheese Plate ($8):
This was fun! I forgot what all the cheeses were (see previous post re: attending a food blogging workshop). But they tasted nice. The bleu cheese was especially lovely (top right). Those red things are honey carrots and man! they were really delicious.
Next up: Carrot Soup ($4), Goat Cheese Toast with Duck Egg ($5), and Pork Belly Slider ($6):
All three were terrific. The pork belly slider was Andy's favorite bite of the evening. It is a very manly little sandwich- sweet and smoky from the wood-burning grill and topped with local sauerkraut. The fatty part of the pork belly was melting-ly tender, and really delicious if you have no qualms about eating a mouthful of pork fat. We all adored the carrot soup. Sweet, creamy, smoky from cumin- it was fresh and lively. The goat cheese and duck egg was probably my second favorite dish. Just beautiful- dipping that cheesy bread into the just-pierced duck egg yolk was a true delight. This is the dish that convinced me these people know what they're doing. You could really get a "symphony of flavors" experience here: first, the tang of the goat cheese, the woodsy-ness of the mushrooms, the buttery richness of the egg yolk, and then a final swell of toasted pine nut that lingered on your tongue. So, so nice.
Our last three dishes: Grilled Broccoli with Poached Chicken ($5), Grilled Quail ($5), and Lamb Stew with Grits ($6):
The grilled broccoli in the first dish was beautiful- that wood burning grill is a marvel! But we all agreed that this was the least successful dish. I think this was largely because it was served cold- cold poached chicken, cheese, and broccoli. That was kind of odd. The quail though- sweet lord! This was hands down my favorite. Perfectly seasoned, beautifully crispy skin, tender meat. Quail-y but not at all game-y. Last up, the lamb stew. I thought this was fantastic. The grits were great too- they had a nutty, pecorino-y taste that was hard for me to identify, but really delicious.
All in all, very well played, odd duck! We'll be back soon.
Ok, while I'm here, I'll talk a bit about Gourdoughs too. After my bout of poutiness above, and what I have to say about Gourdoughs here, you might think I'm a, how do you say... cranky bitch? I'm generally not though, so keep that in mind. We went to Gourdoughs, a donut truck right next to odd duck, a few weeks ago when my mom was in town. Gourdoughs has a really appealing menu- bacon donuts, donuts served with a chicken strip and honey butter icing- you get the gist. Who wouldn't want to 'go to there', as they say? Well, when we went there were like 5 guys in the trailer all totally wasted on Lone Star. At first we thought- how cute! How fun and youthful! And then we waited 45 minutes for our three donuts, and we thought, this is not fun. It's annoying. And where's my donut?! Also it was cold outside... The donuts themselves really are pretty good. They're enormous (see below), and you're really better off splitting one with a friend or two unless you're really hungry or a champion donut eater. Today, we just ordered one donut- a peachy little number, and it came out pretty quickly:
It was really good. For my money, I still think the donuts with savory elements (bacon, chicken strip) are a bit better- this one was really sweet- but they're all pretty damn good. Maybe the moral is to hit this place up earlier in the evening, before the donut-makers have their way with a case-and-a-half of lone star.