In 2009, Bryce Gilmore opened a food truck, the Odd Duck Farm to Trailer, with his brother in South Austin. The trailer featured dishes utilizing fresh and locally-sourced ingredients, which was still something of a novel idea at the time, and it became the cornerstone philosophy behind all of their endeavors moving forward, including the eventual brick and mortar version of Odd Duck and the more casual Sour Duck Market.
Mark Buley, originally from a small town in Wisconsin, journeyed to Austin in 2012 to partner with Gilmore in anticipation of Odd Duck opening as a brick-and-mortar restaurant. The pair have been working together ever since, and in the last decade, the Odd Duck collective has become a staple of the Austin food scene — fun and interesting, not too serious, and done well. Perhaps more than any of the restaurants recently featured on The Shift List, Sour Duck Market is intentionally communal. It’s a bakery, cafe, coffee shop, outdoor patio, and multi-service kind of place that’s designed for customers to stay a while.
Sour Duck and Odd Duck are both open for curbside pickup as things in Austin still move to fully open up during the coronavirus pandemic; listening to this conversation is a reminder of how much we’ve temporarily lost and have been taking for granted, but it also serves as a hopeful promise of what we’ll get back when the time is right.
In the meantime, if you want to bring the Sour Duck ethos into your own home, order a copy of The Odd Duck Almanac, a recently-released, annual cookbook/magazine-style publication that’s as true of a representation of the restaurants as you can get while we wait for everything to reopen.