I had some dreams they were clouds in my pâte de fruits

By Sean Kenniff

By

Sean Kenniff

One time, in a nice hotel kitchen in Austin, a chef pointed out to Callie Speer that her pâte de fruits
were a liiittle bit … cloudy. “Oh, ho-ly shit! I thought to myself, ‘I never want to hear those words out
of anybody’s mouth, ever again,’” says Speer. And she never did.

Speer has been working in restaurants since she was 16 and studied physics in college. She has
led pastry teams for some of Austin’s best chefs, notably Shawn Cirkiel, and is married to Pastry
Chef Philip Speer. She is down with details and precision, but when it came time to open her own
restaurant this July, Speer was thoroughly burned out on fine dining. She wasn’t burned out on the
passion of it, mind you, just “the battle over who has the nicest, most expensive plateware. Who
gives a shit? The ‘love’ had been taken out of it for me,” she says.

Speer now pours that lost love into Holy Roller, a punk rock diner and bar in downtown Austin, where
there’s brunch all day and a confessional booth near the bathrooms. She and her all-lady kitchen
crew serve choco tacos, mini pizzas, and “grilled cheesus” sandwiches. “I like ‘nice,’ but I also like
Wendy’s Frosties,” says Speer. “I wanted to do something fun and exhibit our skillsets with no fuss
or hype over who has the coolest Instagram. Come to Holy Roller, have a good time, eat what you
want, and zero fucks given.” Amen.

Here, Speer shares four dishes from her blasphemous menu at Holy Roller:

 

SOFT SERVE AND FRENCH FRIES
“We use Cacao Barry 64 percent Chocolate and Chameleon cold brew (caramel flavor) for the soft serve. Chameleon is a cold brew company that became crazy popular here. They just started doing their own whole bean roasting, and we’re their only whole bean carrier. We try to give them love. French fries? I would rather focus on bread than give my time over to doing French fries.”

 

PANCAKES WITH FRIED CHICKEN AND SRIRACHA BUTTER
“When I was in college in Fort Worth, there was a bakery around the corner from me that did yellow cake pancakes. They were the greatest, and I always wanted to redo them. The flavor is exactly what you think of when you think of box mix and pancakes. We did A LOT of experimentation to get them just cakey enough. The trickier part is the gluten-free option: rice flour, xanthan gum, eggs, milk. The xanthan holds the pancake together and gives them structure.

 

MIGAS KOLACHE
 “In Austin, migas is a basic thing—eggs, jalapeños, tomatoes, onions. It’s the easiest thing in the world. We took our baking skills and did an over-sized kolache and stuffed it with queso (American and mozzarella cheeses), hash browns, and cilantro. Our kolache is a milk bread, like a Hawaiian roll or an out-of-the-package sweet bread roll you eat with your family at Thanksgiving. It’s that flavor profile.

 

THE LOCAL: STILES SWITCH BRISKET, WARM BISCUIT,EGG, BARBECUE SAUCE, GREEN APPLE, AND CHEDDAR CHEESE
“I really REALLY love our biscuits. They are a thing of beauty from our pastry chef, Britt Castro. We teamed up with Stile Switch (it’s down the block from me, and I’m in there an embarrassing amount) for their chopped brisket. People think chopped brisket is a low brow thing, so we add something ‘nice’ to surprise: soft scrambled eggs in the style of a classic French omelet.”

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