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Contigo Austin: First Impressions

24 April 2011 4,388 views 23 Comments

Last night, Adam and I visited Contigo Austin, that he learned was open through a little social media detective work. They are currently in their soft opening period, with the grand opening announced for May 7. We are super excited about Contigo because:

  • It is an 8 minute drive, 45 minute walk, and 2.5 miles away from our house
  • We can hang out with all of our friends who live nearby — including those with kids!
  • It’s dog friendly
  • They have a great menu that includes interesting drinks, small plates, and entrees

Here’s the sign with the Mueller walking path in the background:

contigo sign

We started out with the Contigo Ranch Swizzle ($8) made with tequila, mescal, tangerine, lime, soda; and an El Pepino made with tequila, cucumber water, mint, and lime. They were refreshing and I especially enjoyed the El Pepino ($7), deemed “a spa in a glass,” by Adam. My next drink was a Moscow Mule ($6) with vodka, ginger brew, and lime, and we also tried a Left Hand Ju Ju Ginger — a beer on tap made with ginger — that was very nice.

Contigo Ranch Swizzle and El Pepino

Contigo Ranch Swizzle and El Pepino

I love a restaurant built around trees and especially those that are dog friendly. Behind this wall, there was a huge party going on in the neighborhood with amplified music and an MC speaking in Spanish on the microphone. I heard they had a bouncy house over there too.

Outdoor bar at Contigo

Outdoor bar at Contigo

This gorgeous bouquet was in the bathroom. I appreciated quality touches like the flowers, high quality hand towels, and cloth napkins at the table.

bathroom flowers

Indoor bar

Indoor bar

And now, for the food.

SMALL PLATES

Adam and I ordered the pickled beets ($6), crispy green beans ($6), and an ox tongue slider ($3). The rest of these dishes were ordered by the folks who sat with us at our communal table. Very cool and neighborhoody.

My favorites were the beets and watercress and the fried potatoes & pig ears.

Pickled Beets with Sauce Grabiche and Watercress

Pickled Beets with Sauce Grabiche and Watercress

A table full of new friends:

New friends at our Contigo communal table

At our Contigo communal table

Johnny with his fried potatoes + pig ears dipped in lemon aioli. He generously shared them with everyone, exclaiming that they were, “a delight.” Johnny works at FoodHeads, Salt & Time, runs a supper club called Family Dinner.

Johnny with Fried Potatoes and Pig Ears

Johnny with Fried Potatoes and Pig Ears

Pigs in a Blanket

Pigs in a Blanket ($6)

White Bean Dip with Duck Fat and Parsley

White Bean Dip with Duck Fat and Parsley ($6)

Crispy Green Beans with Sambol Aioli

Crispy Green Beans with Sambol Aioli ($6)

Ox Tongue Slider with Arugula, Pickled Green Tomato, Dijon

Ox Tongue Slider with Arugula, Pickled Green Tomato, Dijon

CHARCUTERIE

They offer four different charcuterie plates at $7, with all the charcuterie made in-house.

Ciccioli Charcuterie Plate with Slow Cooked Pork, Toast, Dijon, Pickles

Ciccioli Charcuterie Plate with Slow Cooked Pork, Toast, Dijon, Pickled Green Beans

PLATES

There are six main dishes, and Adam and I tried the rabbit & dumplings ($13) and the chicken & apple sausage ($8). The rabbit & dumplings would be wonderful on a cold winter day and the fries are perfectly crisp and delicious.

Rabbit and Dumplings with Carrots, Cippolini Onions, Sage

Rabbit and Dumplings with Carrots, Cippolini Onions, Sage

Cheddar Grilled Cheese on Brioche with French Fries

Cheddar Grilled Cheese on Brioche with French Fries ($7)

Chicken and Apple Sausage on a Baguette with Sauerkraut

Chicken and Apple Sausage on a Baguette with Sauerkraut

On this visit, we didn’t get to try the bar snacks (nuts, pickles, and olives – each $3-$4) or the desserts (strawberry shortcake, ice cream, or cookies & milk – each $3-$5), but look forward to tasting these next time!

We’re thrilled Contigo opened in our East Austin hood, and can’t wait to hang out there with friends old and new.

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  • http://twitter.com/iamweldon Jonathan Weldon

    This is so awesome! It's a little further from where I live in the 23 but I am definitely checking this place out. Thanks so much for the tip!

  • http://twitter.com/iamweldon Jonathan Weldon

    This is so awesome! It's a little further from where I live in the 23 but I am definitely checking this place out. Thanks so much for the tip!

  • jodibart

    Super exciting when something cool opens up near our houses, right?! Today we're going to Nomad for lunch. Report to come :-)

  • http://shefskitchen.wordpress.com/ shef

    cool! can't wait to check out w/ my kids. love finding more kid-friendly places. though one of my kids is vegetarian and she'll be dismayed if we order the ox tongue :)

  • http://shefskitchen.wordpress.com/ shef

    cool! can't wait to check out w/ my kids. love finding more kid-friendly places. though one of my kids is vegetarian and she'll be dismayed if we order the ox tongue :)

  • FoodieIsTheNewForty

    Dog-friendly place with interesting food? I am so there. You don't say much about how you liked the food. Did you?

  • FoodieIsTheNewForty

    Dog-friendly place with interesting food? I am so there. You don't say much about how you liked the food. Did you?

  • http://profiles.google.com/franishnonspeaker Shelley Lucas

    We stopped in Contigo that same night, only later. Sorry we missed you. We were really pleased with our first trip as well and will be back often. I love that there are so many dining destinations on the East side now. You hardly need to leave the 'hood anymore!

  • jodibart

    OK the Nomad brunch isn't worth the $15 charge. Reminded me of a hotel buffet complete with Mr. Omlette and Mr. Waffle. Also, they didn't have maple syrup.

  • jodibart

    Yep, not many vegetarian options here but it is kid friendly otherwise!

  • jodibart

    I thought almost everything was really well done. My only complaint would be that our chicken and apple sausage wasn't done very well — I think it needed more cooking time. However, our bad for not letting our waitress know. A few days later, I'm still thinking about the cocktails, the fries, and the pig ears and fried potatoes.The pickled beet salad was lovely as well. On the whole, the menu is a bit too meaty for me so I don't know that the food will be the #1 draw for me, but for others, I think it will be a big selling point. I'm hoping they add some more light options to the menu but that said, looking forward to going back and trying some other things including the bar snacks, chicken dish, and desserts!

  • jodibart

    I'm sorry we didn't see you there, Shelley! It did start to get busy as the sun went down for sure!

  • http://profiles.google.com/franishnonspeaker Shelley Lucas

    We stopped in Contigo that same night, only later. Sorry we missed you. We were really pleased with our first trip as well and will be back often. I love that there are so many dining destinations on the East side now. You hardly need to leave the 'hood anymore!

  • http://profiles.google.com/franishnonspeaker Shelley Lucas

    This may be a repeat comment… work pc is glitchy. But anyways…

    We stopped in that same night but a little later so we missed you. We loved our first visit and can’t wait to go back. Yay for East side eats!

  • jodibart

    OK the Nomad brunch isn't worth the $15 charge. Reminded me of a hotel buffet complete with Mr. Omlette and Mr. Waffle. Also, they didn't have maple syrup.

  • jodibart

    Yep, not many vegetarian options here but it is kid friendly otherwise!

  • jodibart

    I thought almost everything was really well done. My only complaint would be that our chicken and apple sausage wasn't done very well — I think it needed more cooking time. However, our bad for not letting our waitress know. A few days later, I'm still thinking about the cocktails, the fries, and the pig ears and fried potatoes.The pickled beet salad was lovely as well. On the whole, the menu is a bit too meaty for me so I don't know that the food will be the #1 draw for me, but for others, I think it will be a big selling point. I'm hoping they add some more light options to the menu but that said, looking forward to going back and trying some other things including the bar snacks, chicken dish, and desserts!

  • jodibart

    I'm sorry we didn't see you there, Shelley! It did start to get busy as the sun went down for sure!

  • jodibart

    Since I wrote this post, I've been back twice and really enjoyed myself! I highly recommend the chicken entree and the margaritas are wonderful.

  • jodibart

    Since I wrote this post, I've been back twice and really enjoyed myself! I highly recommend the chicken entree and the margaritas are wonderful.

  • jodibart

    Since I wrote this post, I've been back twice and really enjoyed myself! I highly recommend the chicken entree and the margaritas are wonderful.

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