In a seemingly forgotten corner on the outskirts of downtown Austin, an idle Airstream travel trailer squats on a gravel lot. But this vintage RV is not inhabited by vagabond, off-the-grid Austinites. Well, not exactly…
Owners Ryan Palmer and Paula Samford made the aluminum vehicle their workday dwelling by renovating its 1970s interior into a stainless, commercial kitchen. The classic camper is now the humble home of Gourdough’s Doughnuts, purveyor of the famed, fried confections that have wooed their way into the Austin foodscape.
Any one of their masterpieces will easily stuff two bellies. I ordered three — sampling just one Gourdough flavor was not about to satisfy. The Blackout doughnut was slathered in gooey, bittersweet, molten, chocolatey goodness, and the crisp, acidic strawberries and sultry-sweet cream cheese frosting atop the Miss Shortcake were the yin and yang of a nuclear flavor explosion. But the Porkey’s won a special place in my heart (and arteries), a masterpiece combining an ocean of cream cheese, a generous confetti of thick-cut Canadian bacon, and a quilt of spicy-sweet jalapeño jelly, all atop a puffy, fluffy masse of fried dough worthy of its own zip code.
Wacky, weird, hipster-lovin’ Austin is an anomaly in the Texas consortium of massive, conservative cities. But Gordough’s blood runs Texas red, serving up colossal doughnuts worthy of its gargantuan state’s girth.
UPDATE: Gourdough’s is now purveying its fried wares in a new brick-and-mortar location on South 1st Street. The BlinkPacking community celebrates with Gourdough’s success, but we will miss the days of ordering fried masterpieces from the ubiquitous Airstream perched on Lamar. Fry on, chef!