You're still there?
Sorry for the lack of posting; I'm not sure exactly what happened there, except that I've just been a little overwhelmed with life. Nothing serious; just enough to keep me from staying as engaged with this process as I'd like. But I'm back!
And, of course, I have lots to share with you.
Last night, I finally got to venture out to try Contigo Austin. I first read about Contigo on Jodi Bart's wonderful blog, Tasty Touring, and as soon as I read her post, I knew I needed to try this place. I have a huge soft spot for places that are casual enough that I can show up in shorts but that still provide a great dining experience, and it's a huge bonus if they are also dog-friendly. Contigo fit all these criteria.
So, my friend Liz and I (and Mindy) spent the lovely summer evening on the patio at Contigo sampling their fare. And by "sampling," I mean that the two of us ordered a boatload of food and then managed to leave with it all in our bellies.
I started with one of Contigo's cocktails, the El Pepino ($7): tequila, cucumber water, lime, and just a whisper of mint. So delicious and refreshing, and quite dangerously easy to drink.
The first food to arrive was the house pickles ($4) - green tomato, green beans, and cucumber. These were super vinegary and were the only thing we tried that I probably wouldn't order again (although I was sort of glad we had them, as the acidity helped cut through the heaviness of the other stuff we ordered).
Next up were the "crispy green beans," ($6) which don't necessarily sound like they're deep-fried, but I knew from Jodi's post that they would be. These were really tender and delicious, and the batter had just the right amount of salt in it. I liked the sambal aioli that came with them, as well.
I was dead-set on trying one of Contigo's house-made charcuterie offerings, so ordered the crepinette ($7), which our server described as a patty of pork sausage meat mixed with reconstituted earl grey currants and crimini mushrooms, and encased in a netting of fat (!!). Uh, yes, please.
I loved this. The texture of the pork was hearty, and the flavor was rich but still nice and clean, and wasn't muddled with that greasy aftertaste that you sometimes get with low quality sausage. The herb salad made a nice, bright complement to the meat.
Mindy asked Liz several times if she could have some, but fortunately, Liz was not swayed by her hopeful attention.
We also tried the cauliflower gratin ($7). Cauliflower was lightly cooked (it still had a little crunch to it) and topped with parmesan, toasted almonds, and a balsamic reduction. It's not listed on the menu, but I think I detected a bit of cream in the sauce, as well.
It wouldn't be patio dining without a mess of fries, right? So we got some of those, as well ($4). Fries + aioli are such a fine combination, and these were nice and crispy and, like the green beans, perfectly salty.
I really enjoyed my first experience here and hope to be back again soon. I love the restaurant's concept - basically, "We love our South Texas ranch, and since we can't bring everyone down there, we're bringing the ranch to you." I'm so glad they did.
2027 Anchor Lane
Austin, Texas 78723