Austin >North By Northwest Restaurant & Brewery
Have never been disappointed with any choices from their menu. Service has always been prompt, courteous.
Love the fireplace, warm, inviting.
Extremely Unpleasant Experience.
I had a dinner at North by Northwest today with a group of people (about 25 people) and the service was absolutely horrible.
I ordered iced tea. I asked our only wait person twice for sugar. Never got one. A manager passed behind our table and I stopped him for sugar and I finally got it. More than 30 minutes have passed since we sat down.
Then I ordered a large Lodge Soup . Our wait person brought me the soup of the day instead. Another 15~20 minutes have passed before he brought me the right soup. Lukewarm like it has been sitting in the kitchen for a while and no crackers. No apology from our waiter.
Each of us received a bill. Mine showed $8.84 including the automatic 18% gratuity. I gave our wait person $9.00 cash expecting a change. He never gave it to me. I finally asked him and he said ok. He continued what he was doing instead of trying to give me a change. At this point, I had enough. I stood up and asked for a manager.
The first thing that the manager said was something like "We normally don't take such a large group unless a private room is reserved."
If that's the case, they should have sticked to their policy in the first place. I think it is crazy that "one" wait person takes care of 25 people. I have never been to a restaurant where "one" wait person handles 25 people. It is impossible to provide a good service.
After all the bad service, our wait person never said "sorry" or anything. I really don't think he was worth 18% gratuity as all I got from him was a headache not a service. I just don't undertand why he assumed that I would give him more for all this.
After I talked to the manager, I was hoping that he would talk to our wait person and come to say "sorry". I don't think that happened, either. As I was leaving, he was at the front area and never saw me or said anything to me.
I am very disappointed. I won't go back again. This was a nightmare.
Not too exciting. The food was mediocre at best, overpriced as well. The meal was overcooked. Service was decent. As for the brewery, I wasn't really impressed with the beer. Their light pilsner tasted like Keystone and water. I wouldn't recommend it.
Great place to bring your friends/family. I recently dined at North by Northwest and had a fantastic dining experience. Upon arrival, the atmosphere in the bar was energetic and immediately a place you felt like you wanted to bring your friends. Dinner was delicious. The Bacon-wrapped Scallops were prepared perfectly, the field green salad was as tasty as it always is, and the beef tenderloin was one of the best steaks I have ever had. The food however is not the only plus for North by Northwest. Their beer is also something to look forward to! They have several different kinds to choose from and a couple even change every month so you could never get tired of drinking there. Overall, my fiance and I are very impressed and would recommend visiting this place whenever you get a chance!!
I'm from the NW and am not really impressed....
I'm from Ca but before Austin I did 7 years in Portland, OR. Was very much looking forward to a "taste of home" last summer when we were homesick and new transplants to Tx.
Food, sub-standard. Just not great quality. They had some funny names so at least the menu was NW like but the decor and actualy taste. Meh, not so great.
I mean they did nail down the mediocre to poor service that Portland has...well they weren't that bad but the food was just not that good. Went a second round to make sure, 2 strikes and you are out.
Wish is was better. I think what they need is Totchos. Oh yeah tater tots (prevalent in NW) and nachos - a place in Portland's Sellword sdistrict makes them - think tots with all the fixings of nachoes (real cheese not the velveta). Now that would make this place awesome right there.
Excellent food, great great beer, wonderful deserts and an atmosphere you can't beat!.
My wife and I have been going to NXNW since they opened during the DotCom hype. We have always loved the place and even with the constantly expanding and changing menu this local brew pub has preserved what it is all about and what Austin is all about. North by Northwest is a new take on Northwestern cuisine and the combination of food beer and a fairly extensive wine list (for a micro brewery) make this place special.
As we have been there so often I would run out of space to describe all the delicious food my wife and I had at this place, or colleges and customers I have taken for Lunch and/or Dinner. I think the biggest secret about this place is chef George....the guys is PHENOMENAL! As I said for the last 5+ years the food is very consistent and always excellent.
For Lunch I would recommend the rib special on Monday (divine) the best you can get. I have only had the same quality and taste once in a very upscale restaurant in Chicago that was almost as good.
Any time of the day: The Burger! It is (at least for me) the BEST BURGER IN TOWN (yes, I have been to Casino El Camino, Dirty's and even the West Lynn Nau's Pharmacy)... this one for me beets them all!
For Dinner: The Filet is excellent, try to change the order to have it with the blue cheese scallop potatoes...wonderful. The Duck is great and very inexpensive.
Appetizers: The Calamari (great to share), the Cornbread (if you are not allergic against goat cheese) can also be a lighter meal, the Artichokes are very nice and the Crab Cakes......(I think are George's speciality)
Aaahhh for get the recommendations, try anything you want and I promise you it will be good!
Now combine this with some of the best beer in town (I'm from Germany and lived in the UK so beer is a big deal for me), try the DuckabishAmber, the Black-beer, I especially love the sour beers the brew master puts together (not something for everyone, but if you like it you... oh you will have to ask for it as well).
Great date restaurant. I love NXNW! It has fabulous food and a unique menu. They have a cozy, but chic decor and a fabulous patio. The patio is covered in lush grenery and white christmas lights. You can even catch music out on the patio from time to time. I hear the beer menu is great, but I'm not much of a beer drinker, so I couldn't tell you for sure. If you want to go somewhere for a memorable date or just to gather with friends on the patio. This is a great pick.
Bad experience. The salads were very good but that was where it ended. I ordered the smoked salmon and my husband ordered the special which was beef and shrimp kabobs. The salmon was over cooked and otherwise about average. The real failure came with my husbands order. Half way through the beef kabob he exclaimed that the dish was extremely spicy to the point where it was over whelming the dish. After a few more minutes he was visibly sweating. He moved on to the shrimp hoping it had not been covered in the same spice. The shrimp still had not been devained, still had part of the shell on them so that they were crunchy, and some even still had legs on them! At this point he decided to stick to the vegetables and rice. As he was investigating the vegetables he realized that the green peppers he had been eating were actually jalapenos. At this point he was completely out of water and our waiter had not been by in over 15 minutes. My husband had to crunch on ice to calm the burning. When we waiter finally came back we asked for the check!
Great food, great beer....consistant, consistant, consistant.....
We've been eating and drinking at NXNW almost since they opened. We take visitors from out of town there--friends and family. We eat dinner several times a year and go for appetizers and beer at least once a month. A few years ago we had a marginal meal during the holiday season, and the same thing the next year, a week or so before Christmas, but other than those two times it?s been right every time. I had lunch at the bar once, in the midst of a lunch rush, when the health inspector showed up and was dragging the staff around by their ears, and they still did a great job.
The day-in, day-out beers are very good as are the montly special brews. You can buy a growler (large glass ?to go? container) and have it filled with your favorite brew and take it back for refills over and over.
The appetizers are creative and well done, and it?s one of the few places in Austin that has good cuts of beef and doesn't charge belligerent prices for it. I grew up in the Midwest, land of corn-fed beef, and I know what I?m talking about. They add sauces and flavorings carefully and don?t overcook them so you can savor the quality. Their skillet-fried cornbread is obscenely good and the calamari is the best I've ever had and the mussels are great too!
Last night we had a party of 6 (visitors from Europe) and everyone loved their appetizers and entrees. The specials were salmon with asparagus and basil risotto and pepper encrusted beef tenderloin. Both were excellent, as were the regular menu items: lemon shrimp linguini (always a favorite), orange chicken, beef tenderloin with mushroom risotto, and the appetizers and salads.
The staff is generally friendly and attentive and provide good service.
My only gripe is the parking lot gets full during the evenings and you often have to valet. That?s a tough one for me since I have a classic car and don?t let anyone drive it but my spouse. I?ve only had to valet it twice; the first time they let me park it myself ;-)
Food unimpressive, service can be bad..
I've eaten at NXNW three times; twice for dinner and once for lunch. I think its barely ok, sometimes less than. The food generally tastes like something you could easily get at any American chain. The grilled chicken penne pasta is overly sauced and the sauce is quite bland. Twice I've had the Asian Chicken Salad, and once it arrived without most of the ingredients mentioned on the menu. Boo.
The service can be really poor, as in, your waiter will forget about you for 20 minutes at a stretch. The servers don't check back soon after the food has arrived, so if your dish isn't to your liking (as in that salad that didn't contain all the ingredients), well, tough.
Overall, its a cool space in a nice location, and my husband likes their beers. But beyond that, I can't really recommend.
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