Bryce Gilmore might as well be the mascot of Austin's DIY food scene. The native Texan, who grew up working in his father's restaurant, gained an early education in Southwestern cooking. His skills took him from Europe to San Francisco to Aspen and back to Austin, drawn home by the local food movement and the purchase of a 1980 Fleetwood Mallard trailer on eBay. After months spent tricking out the trailer for commercial use, he opened Odd Duck Farm to Trailer, a food truck that, like the name sounds, sources ingredients from the day's farmer's market findings. Odd Duck quickly became known as one of the best in a city celebrated for its food trailers.
His first brick and mortar space, Barley Swine, which also highlights ingredients sourced from local farms, earned a place last year in GQ's Top Ten Restaurants. Bryce, who has already been named a James Beard Nominee and Food & Wine Best New Chef, is spreading the gospel of organic, ethical—and delicious—food. The young chef was kind enough to share five delicious burgers that he deems worthy of his city's standards.
1. When I go out to eat, I want to know where my food is coming from. Contigo Austin uses responsibly-raised Texas beef and makes their buns in-house. Their burger and fries is everything I want in a classic burger.
2027 Anchor Lane, Austin TX 78723 (map); 512-614-2260; contigotexas.com/austin
2. The Green Chili burger at Jack Allen's Kitchen has got the perfect kick, thanks to green chilies, dill pickles, and jalapeno mayo. Plus this is my dad's place, so I know it's quality.
7720 Texas 71, Austin, TX 78735 (map); 512-852-8558; jackallenskitchen.com
3. Hopdoddy Burger Bar grinds their meat in-house so it's extra fresh, and they use Never Never cows, which have never been given steroids or hormones. The Magic Shroom Burger is topped with creamy Texas goat cheese, a classic with a Texas twist.
Various locations; hopdoddy.com
4. Olivia's got one of the best brunches in town, and Chef Holmes' burger with blue cheese, bacon, a fried egg, and aioli is always hard to pass up. He's got the same local and sustainable mentality that I do, so I know every ingredient on the plate is fresh and from nearby farms.
2043 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704 (map); 512-804-2700; olivia-austin.com
5. There's a trend forming...like all these other burger spots, Wholly Cow is conscious of where their meat comes from. Not only is it important to support local farmers and purveyors, but it just tastes better when the meat is from a local, grass-fed cow.
3010 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704 (map); 512-394-8156; whollycowburgers.com