Gourdough's offers the sort of food that makes the most sense late at night after a few drinks. Giant, decadent donuts combined with occasionally nonsensical toppings - fried chicken? bacon with maple syrup icing? - that seem best-suited for a food trailer that stays open until 3am on weekends. Accordingly, it is all the more interesting that Gourdough's also has a brick-and-mortar Public House location on South Lamar that offers a full menu expanding on the trailer's concept.
Where the trailer location offers mostly dessert options with a few bizarre savory donuts thrown into the mix, Gourdough's Public House has salads, sandwiches, burgers and entrees, all of which involve donuts to surprising results. Gourdough's is definitely not a place to go when trying to stick with a diet or maintain a vegan lifestyle. Bacon and honey butter are common themes throughout the menu, and even the salads come with a "hot garlic donut" as a side.
Although a donut burger might sound like an off-putting combination, donuts work surprisingly well in place of a traditional burger bun. The donuts Gourdough's uses in savory dishes aren't glazed, although some dishes like the Mother Clucker (fried chicken on a donut) do include honey butter as a topping. I ordered the Double D's burger, which includes "angus beef cooked to order, bacon, fried egg, blue cheese crumbles, buffalo sauce, red onion and chipotle mayonnaise".
Even without all the toppings, the beef was some of the best I've ever had in a burger, and I'd argue that although the burger might have been good with a normal bun, the donut put it over the top into wonderful decadence. I was also thoroughly impressed with the potato chips that came as a side. They were perfectly crunchy, not too salty, and appeared to be made in-house.
No trip to Gourdough's would be complete without dessert, however, and despite the fact that everyone in my group was completely stuffed after finishing our burgers, we decided to split a few dessert donuts. First came a birthday donut covered with a half-inch of cream cheese icing and sprinkles on a bed of honey butter.
That nearly did us all in before the Black Betty arrived with its blackberry filling and cream cheese icing. We also ordered Salty Balls, which include caramel sauce and dry roasted peanuts, but most of us were too full to eat at that point. I took them home, however, and am pleased to report that Gourdough's makes for great leftovers.
I loved my trip to Gourdough's Public House, but I'm not sure my waistline could handle regular visits. One of my friends put it best: eating at Gourdough's Public House is like "getting drunk and eating hangover food at the same time."
Originally published at Austin.com