The Austin Chronicle

Restaurant Reviews

Reviewed by Mick Vann, January 15, 2010, Food


1219 S. Lamar,
Daily, noon-2am (it's a trailer; take cash)

"Big. Fat. Donuts." That's what is promised on the side of the gleaming Airstream trailer that's home base for Gourdough's. It's nestled into a lot on South Lamar that was once promised to a condo, just north of the Genie Car Wash, and across from Maudie's Too. Owners Ryan Palmer and Paula Samford opened the spot in October, and it's been kryptonite for diabetics ever since.

A couple dozen options are posted on the menu, and you're encouraged to create your own from the garnishing ingredients listed. Each 5- to 6-inch across doughnut will set you back $3.25 (add a dollar more for meat versions, and yes, there are savory varieties with meat). All of the doughnuts are cooked after you order them, so it takes a few minutes, but rest assured, it will be freshly fried, piled high with whatever goodies you selected, and warm when it reaches you. One of these beauties is a meal.

It seems like there is one basic batter that gets slightly modified for several of the variations. It is cakey or shortcakey, fried up with a nicely crispy exterior, and a moist, rich, buttery interior (very moist and rich if you select one of the options with a filling inside). All of the flavoring accoutrements seem to be of a high quality, and these folks do not scrimp in the least. You get a calorie bomb that will satisfy any sweets craving for hours (and hours).

We've tried the Razzle Dazzle, which has a raspberry filling and dense fudge icing. Raspberry and chocolate? How can that be wrong? Porkey's has cream cheese topping with fried Canadian bacon and a slightly assertive jalapeño jelly (or you can sub the spicier habanero jelly). The balance of sweet and savory is a nice twist. Sometimes you just want simplicity, and the Naughty & Nice fits the bill with a dusting of cinnamon sugar.

Like to people-watch? This is a great place to eat your doughnut at one of the tables and watch the giggling stoners try to decide what to order. The trailer is open until 2am, so the late night crowd is always a hoot. And yes, these doughnuts definitely make your ass look fat, but who cares? They're worth every bite.

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