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“OH MY!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of South Congress Cafe

South Congress Cafe
1600 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704-3522 (South Austin)
512-447-3905
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Ranked #25 of 3,123 restaurants in Austin
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: American, Southwestern, Café
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Neighborhood: South Austin
Dallas Tx
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“OH MY!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

We were looking for a place for supper and saw this place a previous night and decided to give it a try. We called ahead because the previous evening we had problems getting seating for five people. They said they would put us on the waiting list and let to let them know when we got their. When all of our party arrived, it took them about five minuets to seat us. Our server was helpful in letting us know how things were cooked and what the specials were.

I had scallops, brussel sprouts and parsnips. OH MY GOODNESS! It was the best meal I had all week. All of the servers were helpful in keeping our drinks filled and working together. I had to try the dessert, so I got the cranberry bread pudding with Amy's vanilla ice cream. (look up Amy's if you have not been there) It was so good and the portion was big enough for all of us to share a few bites.

Everyone at our table talked about the food the next day. It was a hit! We will be going back when we go to Austin next time!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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330 reviews from our community

88% Recommend
    203
    90
    25
    5
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Helsinki, Southern Finland, Finland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Genuinely American”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Excellent traditional American non-pretentious restaurant with good food and friendly service. Mostly southwestern cuisine, though clam chowder was also very good.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“Really good food for the money”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

SoCo is located in one the the coolest areas of Austin. Lot's of great restaurants and food trucks. Not a pretentious restaurant by any means. The serve solid food without the fine dining prices. We were able to get a 6:30 reservation on a Friday night. Anything later and they didn't take resos. So i recommend going early. They have a really good wine and drink list. I started off with the cucumber pear lemonade. It was one of the tastiest drinks I've ever had. I could have drank a pitcher of it. We did order a nice bottle of wine as the prices are very reasonable.

App:
Calamari-Semolina breading, stripped sliced calamari steaks, orange ginger red chili sauce. Yeah this was unquestionably the best calamari I have ever eaten. And I wasn't alone either, we all agreed it was the best anyone had eaten. I had never eaten calamari prepared this way. 99% of the time you get rings and tentacles. These were chunks or what they call "steaks". The breading was very light and crispy and the calamari was juicy, moist, and tender. Very fresh too. I detected zero fishiness.

South Congress Caesar consisted of romaine hearts, gorgonzola grit croutons, shaved grana padano, and creamy caesar dressing. Typical caeser, but good.

Entrees:


I had the Pan Roasted Duck Breast which was grilled sweet potato, sage quinoa, with a pomegranate reduction. The duck was of good quality with a touch of gaminess. I'm not sure if I would have liked this dish by itself. I was drinking a really nice Pinot Noir, and it paired beautifuly with it. It look away all the gaminess and made it take reallly good. The pomegranate reduction was good with the wine too. I suggest drinking wine if you order this dish.
My friends ordered the Pan Seared Scallops which came with parsnip puree, crispy brussels sprouts, bacon, in a lemon basil brown butter. As well as the Mesquite Grilled Pork Chop, which came with gruyere mac and cheese, grilled asparagus, in vermouth pear demi-glace.

I was told that the scallops were great. I did try some of the brussels sprouts and they were tasty. I was also told that the pork chop was just alright. Seemed to be pretty bland. Not overcooked. Maybe lacked enough seasoning? The rest of the dish was good though.

I know we had a dessert but I can't remember what it was. If it was bad I'm sure I would have remembered that.

Overall it was a great experience, with excellent service. I would go back. Especially for those yummy drinks and calamari.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Get the Carrot Cake French Toast!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013 via mobile

This place was GREAT for breakfast! I had a Bloody Mary (it was basic) and a mimosa (it was delicious!). I ordered a crab cake with egg. The batter of the crab cake was perfect! And then everyone shared a carrot cake French toast. Just a slice. It was really rich but really good!

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“GREAT breakfast!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

Wonderful sunny spot, a fabulous waitress and great menu made this a home run for our family of 5. Get there early to avoid a wait (the service is not speedy). The carrot cake french toast and the migas were fantastic.

Visited February 2013
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