North by Northwest Restaurant & Brewery
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Active Beers: 36
Beer Ratings: 296
Beer Avg: 3.77
Taps: 6 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 30 | Show All Ratings:
3.46/5 rDev -12.6%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | $$
I happened to book a cheap motel right next to this brewery, so close we were able to walk to it after checking in.
Bland/new/shiny/cookie-cuter/chain-y looking, but good alright. Lively on Valentine's Day night, albeit not super busy- the dining room was rather full, but the bar had some seats and we sat at a little lounge area to the left of the bar.
They had nine house taps: Amber, Jingo Pale, Light, Okanogan Black, Dunkelweizen, Helen Bock, Excalibur ESB and Blackjack Ale (bourbon-barrel aged).
We tried the Jingo (4/5), Okanogan (3/5), Black Jack (2.5/5) and Dunkelweizen (3.5/5). The barrel-aged Black Jack was incredibly lacking, with no bourbon aroma or flavor. The Jingo Pale was a remarkable APA and my favorite of the bunch.
Service was OK but not great and prices are fine ($4.75 per pint on average).
The food menu is big and has some interesting items, including Texas quail and duck breast, but by the time I decided to order the kitchen had closed.
Not the best beer joint ever, but a serviceable one nonetheless.
03-11-2013 04:07:25 | More by DoubleSimcoe
1.8/5 rDev -54.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | $$$
General Manager Ben is inexperienced and unqualified to be a manager!!!
This was our first visit. My husband & I attended a birthday celebration on Wednesday evening, Dec. 12. We arrived with the guest of honor and her family at about 7:30pm. Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by all of her friends who were enjoying drinks at the bar. Within minutes we were seated in the dining room. This is where the chaos began...
10 seats instead of 20 were reserved at this very busy restaurant. Our party began with 13 & increased to 20 within about 30min. After 5min & no service, my husband waved at a server ( who didn't respond) & asked our bus boy if we could order a drink. Another 5min passed, still no server. General Mgr Ben came to our table to organize more seats and my husband told him that we were not getting any service. Ben responded, "Take it easy." (Great response, Ben!!)
Without arguing, we went to the bar and got our drinks. Twenty minutes later, we were ready for our 2nd drink. We gave our server the signal that we wanted to order. He acknowledged us and then we watched him take orders from 3 guests at our table & walk away. (He was taking orders from our table, 2-3 guests at a time!) Shortly after 8pm, the server FINALLY took our drink order only to return empty handed. He said he was told NOT TO SERVE US!! I WAS FLABBERGASTED!!! He didn't explain why but i didn't bother arguing. Instead, i went back to the bar.
Guess what? The bartender told me to go back to my table and order from the server!! Finally, General Mgr Ben met me at the bar & explained that they refuse to serve my husband because he was being aggressive with the server. (Since when is waving a server for service considered aggressive?!) I told him that my husband was not aggressive...he was just trying to get service. I further explained that the server was not doing a good job...taking only 3 orders at a time when he should be taking everyone's orders (yes, all 20 guests!) Ben responded with "don't tell me how to run my staff" & then he threw his hands up & said, "It's not my fault your party reserved 10 instead of 20!" (WHAT??) "I'm a guest here, not the organizer," I said, "& it doesn't matter how many people arrived, WE NEED SERVICE!"
Here's the KICKER...
Ben continued with "Go back to your table, take a seat, order some food and then we'll serve you a drink." (WOW!!! The GM is telling me that I HAVE TO ORDER FOOD BEFORE BEING SERVED A 2ND DRINK??) I WAS APPALLED!! I said to Ben "you're a GM & this is how you speak to your guests? I'm from the hospitality biz & our GMs would NEVER speak to a guest this way!" Ben concluded with "if you don't like it you can leave!"
Obviously, I left. I fetched my husband and apologized to our friend, the birthday girl, who agreed that service was horrible.
* Note that I have over 10 years experience as a Catering Mgr in fine dining. I have organized thousands of events with average guest count of 50. Situations where more guests arrive than planned are extremely common! As a GM, Ben should have assigned more than 1 server to our table to assist with initial drink orders. If no server was available, then Ben should have taken drink orders himself. Team work!! Instead, Ben left us dry with one inexperienced server who took 30 min to take drink orders. His actions are a perfect example of someone who is incapable of managing a restaurant of this magnitude!!
12-14-2012 16:48:41 | More by ella
3.88/5 rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I actually liked this place. It was a little bit yuppie feeling for the clientele but I felt comfortable. They have their own beers and were pretty decent. The amount of bar area seating could be a little bit bigger and they do have outside seating, which helps a little. They focus a good amount on food that appears to be a little on the fancier side. The burger and quail was very good. The place is clean and well maintained. The staff is very friendly and greet you right away when entering. Its a nice place for dinner and a beer.
01-19-2012 09:35:43 | More by mixnslam
3.88/5 rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
The restaurant was very clean and quite impressive on the inside. I was a bit nervous how their beer would taste, because it felt a little commercial for me.
Upon drinking my first beer, Jingo Pale Ale, my fears were put to rest. After finishing my first beer I decided to go big or go home with the Green Menace DIPA. This brew exceeded my expectations, tasting even better than the Jingo.
Wish I would have brought my review notebook, two worthy beers of reviewing. Oh well, will just have to go again.
Service was good, and the food was very tasty. Almost making up for the steep prices. Next visit to NXNW I will probably sit in the bar area sticking to appetizers beer.
Next time you are in northwest Austin and are craving some good food and beer I suggest you give this place a shot.
09-17-2011 21:58:00 | More by tjkinate
3.2/5 rDev -19.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
Debating whether or not to go here or the Ginger Man, I decided that even though this was much further away, a jaunt across town at 5 would be a good taste of Austin. After circling the block like a vulture (not really a block, more like a shopping center) I finally located its precise location, and swooped in. There was a valet there in the parking lot. Confused, I thought about letting him try to park my truck loaded with all my belongings and then tipping him a high-five, but instead I parked myself and went inside, baffled.
Inside it was nice, high-ceilinged and kind've stale. It had that classy style brewery attempt vibe thing (which is always weird, and hence the valet parking). Not really my kind of place although the space itself is impressive. They had 6 beers on, a BA something or other and a hoppy brown as specialties. The bartender was friendly, let me try a few. Had a little artichoke pizza off the happy hour menu at a reasonablish cost and taste.
The beer was pretty good. I'm not sure what the NW theme was..pretty good beer? No IPA? Or was it the pictures? I don't know..a bit of a let down on that front.
I would replace the valet parking with a team of designated drivers to take people home within a certain area so that everyone can get smashed-like, have fun, and get home safe. It's not that much of a jump from valet to this..
03-11-2011 21:57:28 | More by dragonWhale
4.22/5 rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Atmosphere: The place has a nice North-Western theme. Everything is in brick and stone with pictures of black and white scenes from the Oregan and Washington. It is quite cozy.
Quality: The beers are well presented and a nice variety is offered. However, I find them all a bit light and german lagerish in style. They are quite drinkable but unremarkable.
Service: Fast and friendly. I had no troubles getting what I want when I wanted it. Samples were offered as well.
Selection: Seven craft beers on tap. I think that is pretty good.
Food: Had a nice meal of penne pasta. The presentation with great and the taste was great. The menu looks nice. Lots of choices from steaks to pizza to sandwiches. You can dine for $10 to $30.
Value: Beers are $3.25. That's very reasonable. The food menu will let you get what you want and pay as much as you want. You can have a big night out or just a few brews and a snack.
02-09-2011 23:56:23 | More by wampahoofus
3.6/5 rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
In Round Rock for the week, looking for some good places to get some grub. Came across NXNW, menu looked decent and the fact that they brew their own beer was a plus.
Parking lot was pretty full when we showed up but our party of 5 was seated right away. I was the only one to order an app. The chicken wings in the honey glaze sauce sounded appealing. The wings were a little bit overcooked, almost tough. The sauce was good but it couldn't hide the fact that the wings were over done. For meal I went with the Grilled chicken sandwich w Garlic Fries. The avocado was a nice addition to the sandwich. The people I was dining with all seemed to enjoy their meals. If I remember correctly we had Rib eye, Tilapia, Angus burger and grilled salmon.
As for the beer, it was representative. Two of us started with the sampler which gives you all 6 beers that they brew for ~ $5. If your not sure what you'll like, this is def the way to go. None of their beers are pushing the craft brew envelope, but it seems as though brew pubs are far and few between in TX so maybe they are being slightly conservative. The pale ale and the Hefe were their two best. They had a Holiday ale as the seasonal but the waitstaff really couldn't tell me much about it after I inquired. After the sampler I had a pint of pale ale and a pint of hefe.
The atmosphere inside the restaurant was really nice and I would probably go back and give them another chance if I had the opportunity. The brewery part of the restaurant is really what drew us here. It get's a big meh!
12-14-2010 04:18:41 | More by tdawgydog
3.88/5 rDev -2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Stopped in for drinks after work, and ended up staying for a while to watch the football game. Bar is by the entrance, with a couple patios and a large restaurant area. Design is modern lodge, the brewing equipment was behind glass towards the front. The whole place seemed upscale, but also felt a bit sterile. The beers were all good, especially the APA special they had on tap. Didn't try any food, but did check out the menu .. looked interesting but a bit pricey.
Good quality beer, but the atmosphere didn't appeal to me - a bit too sterile, with a bit of a corporate feel. That said if you are in the area its a nice place to stop for a beer or three, and it worked well with a work crowd.
10-28-2010 23:52:55 | More by rowew
3.98/5 rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
NXNW is located on the north side of Austin. Being accustomed to long drives in Houston, it doesn't seem too far out of the way to me, though. The building itself is big and has an interesting industrial lodge feel...going for the Pacific NW theme. Clean and nice. Small bar area just beyond the entryway. To the right is the large dining area completely separate from the bar. Once in there it feels much more like a restaurant; you'd never know they brew their own beer. Vaulted ceiling, fireplace towards the end of the room, lots of wood in the construction. Fairly quiet for a busy place. I like the overall vibe, but sitting at the bar is probably more enjoyable for the typical beer geek. Good service.
All NXNW beers are high quality. 6 house beers. The Batch 1000 Tripel was particularly good on my first visit. The Py Jingo Pale Ale surprised me and stands as one of the better Pale Ales I've had. Fresh as can be.
Extensive lunch and dinner menus consist of salads, sandwiches, steak, fish, pizza, pasta, etc. Nothing really crazy, but they've got plenty of good, tasty options that are a couple steps above typical brewpub fare. Weekend brunch available as well.
Overall, I can recommend NXNW as a solid beer spot in Austin. If I lived in the area, I could see myself dropping in frequently for a pint and growler fill.
08-03-2010 19:12:36 | More by wolffman17
4.5/5 rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped in for dinner and to try the brews. A very nice, classy, bright place, with restaurant and bar seating.
Tried a sample flight of all of their beers (they have five regulars and one seasonal - currently a pilsener). All were done well. The Py Jango IPA was phenomenal.
I had the cedar plank salmon for dinner, and it was very good - don't think "pub food," think "good restaurant."
The atmosphere was very friendly. I struck up conversations with several people which gave me a feel for what Austin's like - a bit different from the rest of Texas.
I come to Austin once or twice a year on business. I know I'm definitely coming back here.
04-16-2010 11:12:27 | More by vlodko62
North by Northwest Restaurant & Brewery in Austin, TX
89 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.