Nibbles & Bits


Photo by Jason Walls

Here’s a collection of all the things that aren’t big enough for a full-on blog post but I have come to love over the past few weeks. And, just in time for weekend two, my must-eats at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

(1) ACL Music Festival

  • My number one place I kept going back to was The Seedling Truck. Their Roasted Goat Tostada was PERFECT. Yummy, tender roasted goat, refried beans, crema and lettuce on a crispy tostada. But, what everyone was waiting in line for by Sunday night was the Short Rib Grilled Cheese. Seriously, you paid in one line and waited in the other since they can only make nine at time. Totally worth the wait in my book and we had two! Also, not to be missed, was their salad with pickled carrots. There’s a ton of not-so-good for your foods at ACL, which of course is understandable, so I was thankful this healthy salad was an option and I got one every day we were there.
  • Ch’ilantro BBQ Truck was also a huge favorite. It seemed like every other person was walking around with their famous Kimchi fries, and for very good reason. Crispy fries, queso, ground beef, kimchi and sriracha with fresh onions piled so high you don’t think you will get through it until you black out and all that’s left is an empty container and sriracha/cheese mixture smothered all over your face.
  • 2nd Bar & Kitchen is a favorite of mine for brunch and they did not dissapoint at ACL either. Their Truffled Pomme Frites are the most decadent thing I think you can get at ACL (well, unless it’s a hug from the little lamb that is Thom Yorke but, since that’s not going to happen, this is a close second). David also got the Jalapeno Chicken Bahn Mi which we loved.
  • The Thai Beef Salad from The Peached Tortilla was also a light and refreshing option amongst the heavier fare. I wish I could have eaten more here but there is only so much time to eat and I just had to inhale the one, the only…
  • The Mighty Cone of course. The beloved food child of ACL and something that you have to get when you go. Just get it, it’s awesome. Always is, always will be.

(2) I’m still dorking out over these black bean tacos two years later from Bon Appetit. Now that’s the sign of a great recipe!

(3) Ramian’s “Crisis Management” is possibly my new favorite wine. I randomly had a glass one night at one of my favorite Italian places here in Austin, North, and could not get it out of my head. I was in a crisis y’all since I could NOT find it. Then, randomly, I was at an HEB I never go to and there in the wine aisle was “Crisis Management.” I squee’d with delight and started clapping my hands with glee.  The lady who procures all wines for the store started clapping her hands too and saying, “don’t you just LOVE this wine?” I think she might be my new best friend. It’s a bit pricey ($29) but seriously worth it for a special occasion, or a first bottle option for a nice weekend dinner with friends.

(4) THIS is my new go-to short rib recipe, thank you Bon Appetit.

(5) In case my post about Gwyenth Paltrow’s book didn’t inspire to go out and get it, I have two new reasons: The Turkey Meatballs were a hit with the hubs and little one, and the Brown Rice Pasta with Tuna, Olives and Capers is a perfectly satisfying and healthy lunch.

(6) The whole family (including our ten-month old Lila – she is such a LAMBY MCLAMB) enjoyed these Sweet Potato and Chickpea Cakes with Avocado Salsa (see top photo – beauties eh?). Lila pretty much likes anything, but she is a super nerd for avocados and sweet potatoes – hooray right?

My New Amigo Contigo

There are moments, and they are rare, that you leave a restaurant just knowing it’s going to become a part of your regular rotation. Contigo is now one of them…I’ve been there twice in three weeks!

Located off of Airport and 38th/Anchor Lane on the East side this place has that rare mix of delicious food, great drinks, tentative and kind staff and terrific ambience. Let’s walk through and unpeel each layer shall we?

The Food

It was all delicious. Their burger actually has received recognition a few times over as one of the top in the Austin, so we of course just HAD to get it. It did not dissapoint. The patty was moist and juicy, with crisp bacon, lettuce, juicy tomato and perfect, and I mean perfect, Challah bun. The only complaint was it was a skosh on the salty side, but overall, it was very impressive.

We also had the popcorn (cinnamon, peanuts and cayenne); Pigs in a Blanket with Dijon mustard; Shisito Peppers with Sesame dipping sauce and the House Pickles with watermelon rind, sweet potato and jicama; fried chicken (their Thursday special!); Crispy Green Beans, and Summer Squash and Eggplant.  All of it was great, the only miss for me were the pickles. I know it’s hard to find that just right balance and to me it was way too vinegary (sure that’s a word).

The Drinks

I’m highlighting drinks here for one main reason. When I was pregnant with Lila, I got on a huge kick to find the best mocktails in the city and I’m still working on it even when I’m not expecting. I plan on doing a bigger round up for all of you mommas out there, but Contigo hands down made one of the best ones I’ve ever had. The bartender (who as so nice!) made a blueberry concontion with basil syrup and soda water. It was absolutely delicious!

I could tell Contigo was much more of a cocktail place when I scanned the menu and saw they only had two white, two rose and two red options. While I appreciate a simple wine menu, this seemed to be a little skimpy for my liking. I had a glass of The Curator from South Africa (a shiraz/mouvedre blend) since I’m more of a big and bold wine girl. It was a great glass of wine, but once again, I wish I had just a few more options to choose from.

The Staff

It’s also unusual for me to make a big deal about the staff, but, they were so nice and attentive I just had to highlight. From the moment we walked in from the pouring rain and were greeted by the awesome hostesses to the fun and laid back bartender; everyone was just delightful and accommodating. As we were leaving the hostess said, “I really hope we get to see you again,” I turned around and sad, “Oh you will!” and then she goes, quite sincerely, “that makes me so happy!” What a LAMB!

And just a I was putting the finishing touches on this post, check out what poodles they really are!

The Ambience

So we arrived during a torrential downpour here in Austin. This city hasn’t seen rain in a while, so needless to say it was a little chaotic, but the staff handled it with grace. Contigo is all open-air seating with a huge outside patio. From the pictures provided on their website it looks so gentle huh? Everything about it is relaxing and easygoing and makes you feel like you are at home. Jeez, I wish I had a patio that looked like that. Right? I loved all the twinkling lights and openness of the space. You could tell they tried hard to make it inviting but didn’t overdo it if you know what I mean.

If you haven’t been to Contigo I would highly recommend as a place to go with your kids and sip a glass of wine, or a fun girls/guys night out or just a laid back dinner for two. It’s kind of perfect in every way.