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A Brief History of Odd Duck and Why You Should Go Eat There

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Odd Duck was born in 2009 when Bryce Gilmore and his brother Dylan, transformed an old Fleetwood Mallard Trailer into a dining experience unique to Austin. Their mission was more than just to serve great food. They wanted to expose Austinites to the quality and diversity of great Texas ingredients, especially from the farmers market scene.

Odd Duck Trailer circa 2011 Photo: Austin360, by Mike Sutter of AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Over time and from humble beginnings, their recipe worked. Odd Duck became one of the premier food trailers in Austin. Its success propelled Bryce into local notoriety and he eventually opened up his first brick and mortar restaurant, Barley Swine.

Odd Duck present

About the same time the Odd Duck trailer closed and the area it occupied evolved into an apartment complex. The developer planned to build a restaurant adjacent to the apartment complex as part of the project. When it came time to create the concept for the restaurant space, they turned to Bryce. This gave way to Odd Duck’s long-awaited return. Now a sit-down restaurant, Odd Duck has come back to the city and continues to be a link between local farms and Austin food-centric residents.  You can feel the passion for local in the restaurant. As the saying goes, “Food grown close to home, should be eaten close to home.”

Order this burger at Odd Duck. Photo by Parker Featherston

I am not native to Austin. I cannot speak about “back in the day,” but I feel that I understand Odd Duck’s motivation to keep it laid back.  Never taking yourself too seriously is a likeable quality. Certain restaurants in this city embody that culture, Odd Duck is clearly one of them. It’s in the name!

When you are confident in your ability and who you are, you don’t need to lay it on thick. People figure it out. Odd Duck knows this. There are no chef coats; no tablecloths; no schpeel on why “it” should be done “this way.” The food speaks for itself. It tells you that the cooks care. Their passion is contagious, and that is not a bad thing. Odd Duck is reminding us that farming, especially local farm to table, is important. They are telling a story worth hearing. Now, go check it out for yourself.

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