- Matthew Odam American-Statesman Staff
Five-times James Beard award finalist Bryce Gilmore wanted to find a way to deliver his brand of thoughtful, quality food to a wider audience and at lower price points. So, the Odd Duck and Barley Swine chef-owner and his partners came up with the idea for Sour Duck Market.
The all-day, fast-casual cafe and bar located at 1814 East Martin Luther King Blvd. at Chicon Street will follow the same guiding ethos as Gilmore’s other two restaurants, serving food inspired by Texas, using Central Texas ingredients. Sour Duck will continue the sourcing methods of its sibling restaurants, working with Central Texas purveyors to purchase produce and an assortment of animal proteins such as goat, quail, pork, beef, lamb and more.
“We’ll stay true to what you see here,” Gilmore said recently from Odd Duck on South Lamar Boulevard. “We want people to have the ability to eat better.”
Sour Duck Market, which will be about 1 1/2 times the size of Odd Duck, will offer about 20 counter seats, another 30 at its separate bar and ample seating in the beer and cocktail garden, utilizing a mix of counter and table service that allows people to come and go quickly or linger over food and drinks. Gilmore says customers should think of the dishes — which will include items like sandwiches, kolaches, soft-serve ice cream, sausages, assorted baked goods and more — as more akin to trailer food than composed restaurant entrees, and Odd Duck’s namesake food trailer is being converted into a smoker to cook many of the proteins. Gilmore and partners Mark Buley, Dylan Gilmore and Jason James haven’t even decided if they’re going to use traditional dishware at the restaurants that will also serve grab-and-go options and offer takeout.
“What excites us is the challenge of how we’re going to run this thing,” Gilmore said of the restaurant that has plans for mobile ordering. “Without sacrificing quality, how do we provide the fastest service possible?”
Sour Duck Market will be a mini-compound of sorts, with a hot kitchen, a bakery serving Sour Duck Market retail customers and Gilmore’s various restaurants, a bar and a beer and cocktail garden. The bar program will serve four cocktails on draft (likely whiskey, vodka, tequila and gin options) and eight draft beers, and feature a frozen drink machine.
“We want to do the restaurant we wish existed in the world,” Buley said.
Gilmore and company expect to open Sour Duck Market in the winter, and given the restaurant operators’ history, a December or January opening seems almost inevitable.
Hot Luck fires on all cylinders
Hot Luck founders Aaron Franklin, James Moody and Mike Thelin had described their vision for their first festival as something akin to a laid-back tailgate with world-class food. They wanted it to be a cool hang with friends, where having fun was the only thing taken seriously.
If the mood of the crowds, chefs and founders is any indication, the trio must consider their first festival a huge success. Hot Luck bookended its two main events on Friday night at Fair Market and Saturday night at the pastoral Onion Creek Ranch with a few VIP food-and-drink events and scattered musical programming throughout. The festival benefited from the synergy of the three partners, with Thelin’s production experience, Moody’s branding and vibe-curation expertise, and Franklin’s easygoing personality and strong relationships in the culinary world combining for a unique event unlike any I’ve experienced in Austin.
From cold Lone Stars sitting in wheelbarrows full of ice, to classic country records being spun for the Onion Creek crowd, and a plethora of Stetson Open Roads serving as prevailing fashion statements, the events definitely buzzed on an Old Austin frequency, with a little bit of rock ‘n roll thrown in to even the mix. Chefs were spotted drinking at music events around town, and musicians hung out with festival goers and one another at each of the several food events.
“I’ve been in the festival business for over a decade, and one thing that I know is that first year events rarely happen this way,” Moody said. “It feels like we have something special on our hands.”
Head to Austin360.com/thefeed for my Top 10 bites, drinks, people, sounds and ideas from Hot Luck.
If Texas is the barbecue capital of the world, then Austin may just be the best city for barbecue in the world. Seven restaurants from Austin landed on Texas Monthly’s list of the 50 Best Barbecue Joints in the state. That’s the most from any one city in the state, though the massive “Houston area” can also claim seven.
Franklin Barbecue holds the highest position for any Austin restaurant, at No. 2, while Micklethwait Craft Meats took the No. 8 spot in the June issue of the magazine. Only the Top 10 are ranked, led by Snow’s in Lexington, which took home number one in 2008, so the other five Austin spots are listed alphabetically. They are Freedmen’s, La Barbecue, Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, Terry Black’s Barbecue and Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ. For the complete list, visit tmbbq.com.
Comfort food destination and neighborhood bar Little Barrel and Brown (1716 S. Congress Ave.) closed temporarily last week, following the sale of the business earlier this month. Owners Matt and Andrew Botticelli and Tim Brown, who opened the restaurant in December 2013, sold Little Barrel and Brown to Sebastien Charbonneaux, who recently moved to Austin from France.
The new owner intends to reopen May 26, with a kitchen helmed by executive chef Cedric Francoi, formerly of Cafe Malta. While the name and many of the most popular menu items will remain, Francoi says he will bring a French flair to the menu.
One of Austin’s most consistent wine bars and purveyors of an eclectic mix of global cuisine and comfort food is closing. Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar will end its eight-year run Sunday. Ownership said in a Facebook post that they’d be passing the space onto new owners who have a new concept in store for the spot at 4800 Burnet Road in Rosedale.