Gourdough’s

Recommended for:  The Indulgent looking for an intense sugar coma.

Gourdough’s Donuts was started by Paula Samford and Ryan Palmer frying dough right out of their kitchen. The donuts gained popularity amongst their friends so they decided to spread the love (and calories) with the rest of Austin by starting their donut shop out of a 1978 airstream trailer. Gourdough’s was established on three principles: 1) to always serve hot donuts and 2) to be open late and 3) to serve the “craziest donuts out there.”

The menu is composed of a long list of donuts with clever cheeky names: Son of a Peach, Blue Balls, Mother Clucker, etc. I had a really hard time deciding what to try first. For my first visit, I opted for the Funky Monkey and Mother Clucker.  Not satisfied with only trying two dishes, I decided to have another go at it the next morning and ordered three more: The Pudding, Miss Shortcake, and Son of a Peach.

I love that their donuts (as well as their meats) are made and fried to order, but a lot of their toppings (see below) are not home-made.

My biggest advice is to bring your sweet tooth teeth, the portions are ginormous.  To offset the sugar overload, I recommend ordering your sweet donuts with a scoop of ice cream (for a dollar extra)… everything is better a la mode!

The donuts are really indulgent. I’m torn by the experience.  As a snooty foodie, the first couple bites are delicious but it doesn’t take long for your stomach and mouth to become intoxicated by too much sugar. But my alter ego is a gluttonous child and says you can never have enough of a good thing. To be safe, I’d recommend starting out by splitting a single donut with a friend.

If you’re a big fan of the Texas State Fair fried foods and can’t wait for its glorious return in October, then this place is a suitable substitute.

THE DONUT

The base of the dishes was of course the donut itself.  Generous in size, the donut is fried with a crisp outer shell. Encased beyond the crust is an interior deliciousness of soft dough. The donut itself isn’t sweet and served as a good neutral foundation to accompany the toppings.  Normally, if I were to order donuts and coffee, I’d prefer a soft airy sweet donut, without a crunchy exterior (much like Shipley’s- one of my favorites), but having a crispy shell was a smart decision. A soft donut wouldn’t hold up to all the toppings and would turn into a sad soggy mush.

FUNKY MONKEY + ICE CREAM ($4.25 + $1 for icecream)
Grilled Bananas & Cream Cheese Icing with Brown Sugar

A really nice medley of deliciousness and textures.  Easily one of my favorites on the menu. My only complaint here was the frosting (read below).

+ They take the extra care with their bananas by marinating them in brown sugar and lightly grilling them to bring out the natural sweetness of the fruit.
+ The contrast of textures are great. In addition to the donut’s outer shell, the sprinkle of brown sugar provides an extra crunch and is a nice contrast to the soft dough and creamy bananas.
+ The overall flavor is really nice. Personally, it isn’t as overly sweet as some of their other options.
– I love baking and am a huge fan of homemade frosting. It’s quick and easy to make and so much better than your regular store bought icing. To my disappointment, the frosting isn’t homemade. It tastes exactly like frosting sold from Betty Crocker or the Doughboy.
–  The cream cheese frosting does not have the essential flavor – the tang of the cream cheese.
= The ice cream is nothing to write home about. It is just ordinary vanilla. Their brand of icecream changes often.

 
MOTHER CLUCKER ($5.25)
Fried Chicken Strip with Honey Butter

A take on a classic Southern comfort food: fried chicken + biscuits

+ Chicken: Fried and breaded to order! It’s definitely fresh out of the oil basket.
+ They’re pretty generous with the amount of chicken they give you, but then again, it was $1 extra for the donuts with meat so I would expect nothing less.
+ Textures worked really well together. The chicken strip was crunchy and tender while the donut was soft and crunchy
–  I would like to taste more honey and sweetness from the honeybutter just so I can have that honey and biscuit flavor profile.

C for Cuisine tip: If you are in the mood for chicken + waffles, I would order this with maple syrup. (And they’ll have the syrup since it’s a topping on another dish, Flying Pig).

Here’s what I ordered when I came back for the second day:

MISS SHORTCAKE + ICE CREAM ($4.25 + $1 icecream)
Cream Cheese icing with Fresh Cut Strawberries

Another one of my favorites.

+ Good amount of strawberries
+ Strawberries brighten the taste as well as aesthetic
+ Textures work great together with the fresh and ripe strawberries and the gluttonous thick donut.
–  Cream cheese frosting wasn’t tangy enough and it was not home-made
= Just a minor comment: I would have preferred the more traditional shortcake topping: whipped cream. It would have added a soft fluffy texture

 SON OF A PEACH ($4.25)

Peach filling, cinnamon, sugar and cake mix topping

+ I’ve never seen the use of cake mix as a topping so to me, this was original. It’s the same texture as cookie crumbs – dry and sandy. There isn’t too much on top, just enough to keep me curious.
– Erroneously named “Son of Peach.” To my disappointment this didn’t have any PEACHES! The description of “peach filling” was just a thick peach syrup with lots of cinnamon.
– TOO sweet, I couldn’t take more than a couple bites
– Unless they add peaches, I wouldn’t recommend ordering this


THE PUDDIN’
($4.25)
Cream filled, cream cheese icing, bananas and vanilla wafers

Ah, this dish is definitely nostalgic. A throwback of my favorite childhood snack/dessert. I just want to take it home, drink milk from a sippy cup and have Elmo teach me about the letter A.

 

+ Good donut-style interpretation of banana pudding
+ The Nilla Wafers adds so much crunch! In this case, I don’t mind that they used store-bought Nilla Wafers since banana pudding typically uses Nilla Wafers
– The cream cheese frosting doesn’t have the essential cream cheese flavor.
= The description says this donut is cream filled, but it tastes a lot like pudding (I think it really is pudding). 

GOURDOUGH’S

”Gourdough’s

Sun 10am-12am
Mon-Tues 11am-12am
Wed – Thurs 11am-1am
Fri 11am-3am
Sat 10am-3am

Last C for Cuisine visit: January 23, 2011

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