I know that this is my second post in a row that is about a restaurant outside of the Rivercity, however, my job has recently asked me to travel to our Austin office so I thought I would stop by one of my favorites, North by Northwest.
Playing on the name of the popular festival, SXSW, North by Northwest (NXNW) is located on the North side of Austin and is a microbrewery along with serving some of the funky Austin fare relatively cheap. A friend of mine who lives in Austin introduced me to this restaurant several years back and I really enjoyed it.
Unfortunately, I can’t really say anything about the beer because it has been a while since I got to drink at the restaurant (read: been at the restaurant afterhours and not on a lunch), but from what I remember it was pretty good for a microbrew.
I ordered what I think has to be one of the best things off of the menu, the cedar plank salmon. It is served on top of cooked spinach along with blue cheese scalloped potatoes. The spinach is incredibly tasty and a little salty which I think compliments the salmon nicely. I used to not even like blue cheese, but these potatoes changed all that several years ago; they come out piping hot and are incredibly creamy. Not to be outdone is the salmon which just flakes off and I think is glazed with a soy/ginger type of sauce.
I really like the atmosphere of the restaurant; the patio is on the front so you can people watch as patrons arrive, the seating in the bar area encourages you to meet new people, the main restaurant is in an open room with a big fireplace that kind of feels like a lodge; you can also see all the brewing equipment through the glass wall. There is a nice sound to the restaurant because you get a good noise from the crowd as people start filling in; you don’t have to shout to talk over it, but it has a good vibe.
When you are in Austin, be sure to stop by, but make sure you go when you can actually partake in the beer that they brew there!
Value: 8/10 (if you go at lunch you get a better bang for the buck and they are the same size as the dinner portions; at lunch the salmon is like $12, dinner it’s $19)
Atmosphere: 9.5/10 (cool feel on the inside and the patio is nice on a sunny day)
Service: 9/10 (nice and friendly staff)
Taste: 9.5/10 (good food with some of the funky Austin charm)
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