On my third (and likely final) visit to Odd Duck I’m prepared to write about my experience. It’s not your typical food trailer that hits a niche market (like vegan ice cream, frozen bananas, pizza, or any other single-focus mobile eatery). No, rather it’s effectively a gourmet kitchen placed in a gravel parking lot, propped up on wheels, and enclosed by wood panels and screens. The short version: amazing. The long version: keep reading.
And unfortunately due to Daylight Saving Time, the lighting does not accommodate cell phone camera pictures, so you’ll have to use your imagination (and some pictures from the wide world of the Internet).
Ev and I got to Odd Duck Saturday around 6:15pm (before anything sold out) for a friend’s birthday. The rest of the group was already there and ordered so we hopped right in line and settled on 5 things to share. It didn’t take long to come up with our Fab Five list of items. After ordering and given the dejecting news that it would take about 35 minutes, we went and sat down with the group. Their food came and went, getting us more excited and more hungry by the second. Finally our tray of goodness came out and we took a moment to breathe it in.
First up was the Parmesan cheese grits with duck egg, grilled zucchini and mushrooms. Parmesan doesn’t tell the half of it. These were cheesy like a bad dad joke, but more satisfying. The duck egg made it even richer, though it was a touch over cooked (firm) so it wasn’t as runny as I’d have liked. Delicious nonetheless, and so we go onward! Next up was the Pork belly slider with sauerkraut, and paprika aioli. As with most pork belly, it was a mix of delicious, lean meat and soft, off-putting fat. It’s my understanding that the fat brings a lot of flavor to the party but I can’t get over the texture. In any case, the slider was very tasty when all combined on the soft, toasted bun.
Third on the eat list was beets with grilled carrots, feta, and greens. In the dimly lit parking lot the veggie-ful
dish paper boat showed off a colorfully delicious array of root veggies was earthly flavorful. The beets and carrots were sweet and the feta was creamy and salty. It was a bit small but certainly tasty and a good shot of veggies among the other meaty dishes. Fourth up was my favorite and Ev’s least: venison sausage with grilled broccoli , and egg yolk dressing. I liked the broccoli / sausage combo and loved the spice and meaty goodness of it. And to be clear, it’s not the Ev disliked it by any means–just that it was 5th place out of 5 in a very competitive meal.
Last up was a plastic tupperware of wild boar chili, creme fraiche, scallion, and grilled brioche. The boar was hearty and spicy. If not for the creme fraiche there would have been no relief. The grilled brioche served to break up the spice even more and add some more texture to everything. The high-end restaurant quality food is made more accessible by the “of the people” atmosphere created by sitting on picnic benches in a parking lot. It’s clear from the food that this is much closer to restaurant kitchen transported outdoors than a retrofitted delivery truck with a window for serving burgers.
And as for why it’s likely my last visit? Well the recent news is that the Odd Duck trailer is closing “until the Spring” in a shade under a month from now. Word on the street is that the trailer lot was sold and the tenants need to vacate. Rather than stress about relocating ASAP, they’re planning to take the winter off and bounce back next year. Thanks to The Statesman (specifically Addie Broyles and Mike Sutter) for the info and the image.