Ah where to go if you’re a hipster and you want a relaxing place to eat that serves GREAT food and a great atmosphere? Contigo is the place to be! Almost every diner seemed to be a hipster to me which suits me just fine!
Opened by two cowboy-like smart guys, Ben Edgerton and Andrew Wiseheart, they have made the perfect combination of flavors, themes, and ambiance for a great restaurant. Ben, who worked as an advertiser for 5 years before coming to Austin to open a restaurant, worked in the food service for quiet a while before meeting up with Andrew, a chef who not only studied cooking but traveled around to learn more about food, and opened the restaurant. The two guys wanted to bring their own “ranch” to the people, a place where people could hangout, relax, drink some beers and enjoy the little things in life, which is exactly what you can do at Contigo. While many restaurants only manage to do either the ambiance or the food good, Contigo does both perfectly.
Originally I had planned on going to Foreign & Domestic in the North Loop area, after reading the owners story and seeing some exotic menu items I was very intrigued! However, my dad wasn’t as excited about trying Beef Heart TarTar as I was, so instead I suggested Contigo since I knew he would love the Tapas style of serving.
On to the food! I love trying different and exotic foods, and while the food I had may not be to crazy and adventurous, i’d never had some of it before so i’ll count it as a new experience. For starters we ordered the Pork Liver Pate, which came with Eggplant Fritters with Honey. I’ve never had any type of Pate, so this was one of those new experience, and damn have I been missing out! Spread the Pate onto a toasted slice of french bread and add a piece of the eggplant fritter and you’ve got yourself a little slice of heaven.
For the entree’s we ordered the house sausage, which that day was Pork and Andouille Sausage which came on a baguette with french fries, dijon, onions, and sauerkraut if you ask for it. The sausage was delicious. I’m not the biggest sausage fan but this….this was some great sausage. Add some onions and sauerkraut and it just makes you smile. And the french fries? Delicious. I’m very picky about french fries but I have to say these were great fries. Crispy, salty, don’t-wanna-stop-eating-them goodness.
We also ordered the Rabbit and Dumplings. I’d never had rabbit before, so another first! I had been hankering for some biscuits and gravy after seeing some shows on them on Food Network and Travel Channel, so of course if I can’t have biscuits and gravy what’s the next best thing? Rabbit and Dumplings, and let me tell you this dish is the best comfort food you could eat. Hot and steamy, creamy and starchy, carby and meaty. This dish has everything. Served in a cast-iron skillet it’s so beautiful you almost don’t want to eat it for fear of destroying such a masterpiece. But once you do, you tear into that bad boy and don’t hold back! This is what you want on a cold winters day… or any day really. This has to be one of the best things I have ever put into my mouth and that’s saying a lot for a passionate indecisive teenage foodie like myself. I’m craving this right now as I type it….
This is the first restaurant that i’ve been to so far where every single thing that we ordered completely blew me away and made me crave it even as we were leaving. 5 stars definitely, I can’t wait to go back!