North by Northwest Restaurant & Brewery
Active Beers: 36
Beer Ratings: 326
Beer Avg: 3.79
Taps: 6 / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
1.8/5 rDev -54.3%
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
3.2/5 rDev -18.8%
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
3.46/5 rDev -12.2%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | $$
I happened to book a cheap motel right next to this brewery, so close we were able to walk to it after checking in.
Bland/new/shiny/cookie-cuter/chain-y looking, but good alright. Lively on Valentine's Day night, albeit not super busy- the dining room was rather full, but the bar had some seats and we sat at a little lounge area to the left of the bar.
They had nine house taps: Amber, Jingo Pale, Light, Okanogan Black, Dunkelweizen, Helen Bock, Excalibur ESB and Blackjack Ale (bourbon-barrel aged).
We tried the Jingo (4/5), Okanogan (3/5), Black Jack (2.5/5) and Dunkelweizen (3.5/5). The barrel-aged Black Jack was incredibly lacking, with no bourbon aroma or flavor. The Jingo Pale was a remarkable APA and my favorite of the bunch.
Service was OK but not great and prices are fine ($4.75 per pint on average).
The food menu is big and has some interesting items, including Texas quail and duck breast, but by the time I decided to order the kitchen had closed.
Not the best beer joint ever, but a serviceable one nonetheless.
03-11-2013 04:07:25 | More by DoubleSimcoe
3.55/5 rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$$
This upscale, Eddie Baueresque hunting lodge themed brewpub was packed on the Friday night we were there. The atmosphere and the menu were defintiely not your standard brewpub fare. The food was quite impressive, but I was disappointed by the lack of knowlege about their beers by the bartender. I asked about the style of the Okanogan Black. Was it a black lager? A porter? His response was yeah it was a lager just like a porter. It turns out it's a dark ale and nothing like a black lager. I just think if you're going to serve it you should know something about it. The beer was tasty and I had a pretty good experience overall, but a weekday night would probably be a better option for visiting due to wait times and crowds. Worth a stop if you're in the area, but I would not go out of my way to get over there.
11-05-2007 15:23:15 | More by veech
3.6/5 rDev -8.6%
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
3.6/5 rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 5
A new and modern brewpub and restaurant on the north side of town which, according to its menu, tries to bring a bit of the Pacific Northwest to Texas. Nothing earth-shattering about it but, overall, not a bad place.
The restaurant is really more the star here than the beers with the menu selections sometimes experimental but always great (oh! those garlic fries). Atmosphere is brewpub modern, lots of wood and exposed steel with the brew tanks visible behind the bar. Full bar service, also, and what appears to be a quite extensive wine selection.
Beers are typical styles -- not experimental like Bitter End -- and are good but not terribly memorable. Five taps and a rotating offering, their Octoberfest was pretty good. Growlers available, no outside brands, which I respect in a brewpub. Worthy of repeat visits.
11-01-2004 04:57:56 | More by assurbanipaul
3.65/5 rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$
I stopped in the NXNW Restaurant & Brewery on a Sunday evening for dinner and beers. I sat in the dining area, which was primarily one large room with a high ceiling and a mountain lodge type feel. I started with a sampler that included NXNW's:
Irish Stout - Not bad. I thought it was a little thin, but very drinkable.
Northern Light - Crystal clear, pale straw colored, easy drinking lager.
Jingo Pale Ale - Described as a Pacific NW style pale ale w/Cascade hops and combo of malts. This would probably be my choice if I were to order a pint.
Duckabish Amber - Tasted like a red with a dry spicy finish.
Okanogan Black Ale - Described as a NW German style (Weltenberg), rich, malty dark ale. This beer just didn't make a strong impression on me.
Bavarian Hefeweizen - Great banana and clove nose with a very dry finish.
The beers were all solid but not anything exceptional. For dinner I had ordered the stuffed trout with a small spinach salad. The salad was fresh, light and delicious, while the stuffed trout was probably one of the better trout dishes that I've had. The sides (mashed potatoes and mixed veggies) were also decent.
Sampler of 6 three ounce pours - $4.95
Stuffed trout -$16.95
When in Austin, NXNW is certainly a worthwhile stop for good food and decent beer.
03-26-2008 21:00:31 | More by 86sportster883
3.68/5 rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped in for a late lunch as the first stop during my last business trip. There are places to sit outside and in. I went inside and found the place well lit by plenty of large windows around the perimeter of the dining room.
A fair selection of menu items. I kept it simple and stuck with the recommended BBQ on flatbread pita with garlic fries (think Friday's fries). The beers are varied and tasty, sticking to a standard lineup of beers found at a brewpub. Seven taps, five regulars and two specialty, plus a few more offerings in bombers.
The server was friendly and made sure I lacked for nothing.
A relatively friendly pick, nothing super duper but I'd have all the beers again.
07-03-2008 17:19:45 | More by brewdlyhooked13
North by Northwest Restaurant & Brewery in Austin, TX
89 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.