Overpriced micromeals served by d-bags.
My husband and I came here because of friends with an open mind. We winced when we saw the prices but assumed the food was organic and freshly prepared, so it would be worth it. The waiter took almost ten minutes to even wait on our table, but didn't ID an underage party member, so we overlooked the poor service.
When asking the server about the portion sizes of some of the menu items he explained to us that "our chef just really likes making appetizers, so everything on the menu is appetizer size, and you can just order multiple things." Hello!? Did I just land on planet crazy?! Even so, we ordered after deciding that we really only needed appetizer portions anyway, that way there wouldn't be any leftovers.
I ordered what appeared on the menu to be vegan chili with roasted corn and beans. My husband ordered a grilled cheese and tomato soup. The waiter warned us that the grilled cheese came with real cheese unless substituted (wtf? how can you promote this place as 'all vegan'?) When the food arrived I took one look at my plate and decided I was done being polite and understanding. My so called chili was an actual chili pepper stuffed with corn and beans. Do you know how small a chili pepper is? It's not big. My husbands soup was served to him in a dish not much larger than a soy sauce dish at a sushi restaurant. An extra insult was the grilled cheese. It was literally a quarter sandwich. That's right, take a sandwich and cut it in half, throw the first half away and cut the remainder in half again.
One chili pepper and a tablespoon of veggies...... $9
Two spoonfuls soup and a quarter sandwich ...... $9
Two glasses of wine................................................... $14
Seeing a grown man wearing a woman's V neck sweater and a purple headband.................Priceless
ONLY COME HERE IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF MONEY TO WASTE AND YOUR LOOKING FOR A GOOD LAUGH
Strange Experience. Went here for a friends B-day was excited to be somewhere where he could anything on the menu, Found very strange dishes appealling to the mind but when they got to me, not so appealling to the palate. Our service took forever and dishes didn't even arrive together or at proper times in the least, who's running their kitchen!? My soup was cold and shouldn't have been half of the starter courses we ordered never showed up. I want to like this place but they have really got to get their house in order first.
So my friend and I meet up for Wednesday night dinners. And we found our "wednesday place" with Nutshell. It is AMAZING! I am vegetarian, my friend is not, and I have to be honest I have never really found vegan to be my thing...as many times as I tried it. EVERYTHING, every single thing we tried last night was amazing.
If I had to thrown in anything to counteract this effusive outpouring of positivity it would be ambiance. The food and eclectic dishes are so full of warmth and comfort that the stark cavernous space becomes extremely apparent. The intention may have been to have the space take a backseat to the food, but because of the dramatic contrast (especially in rainy November) it stands out as a cold space.
That however will not sway us from keep coming back. I am recommending it to everyone. Even my sister
who is coming for the holidays and doesn't like anything verging on vegetarian/vegan.
Love, love, love it! Thank you for such beautiful food!
The best food we've eaten in a very long time!.
So first off I've never written a review, blog or gone on line to express an opinion before but having eaten at Nutshell last night and read a couple of bad reviews on the place I felt compelled to write (and there's only a couple, most are very positive as they should be)
Without doubt this is the best "food" we've eaten in a long time. Interesting menu, fresh, local produce, fantastically prepared and great service. We're not veggies but would happily become veggies if we could eat like that every day. I some times wonder what the people who write negative reviews are expecting but I can't see why anyone wouldn't love this place (unless you can't appreciate good food or judge a place by how quickly you're given your food....if you want fast service, go stuff your face at Jack in the Box)
If you want to modify any dishes they're very accommodating and will advise on what can and can't be changed. The people who work their absolutely have their own style but this is NE Portland not New York.
The other great thing about Nut Shell is that you order lots of different "small pates" so you get to sample different things, thats the idea of the place. Anyone who says there's too many "flavors" going on then maybe order 3 of the same dish as it appears you're brain struggles to process too many things at once.
In short, the food is fantastic and the service great. If thats not what you want, don't go there and don't write negative reviews about the fact you had to wait more than 10 minutes for food or there was too many flavors!
Go there NOW!.
I've been to Nutshell several times and each time I've found the food to be amazing, creative and affordable. I'm vegan but my boyfriend is not and we both love this place. My favorite is the Risotto cake with carmelized onions but I also love the polenta in remolade.
The food combinations are interesting and tasty and the service is excellent. After only going there twice the waiter remembered us and asked our names. It's a bad economy and Nutshell remains a great and affordable choice.
The ambiance is very nice and classy and if you go, have the Chocolate Maple torte. It's to die for, not overly sweet and 100% vegan!
Food is great. Creative without the use of "fake meat" (which can get very boring and is not good for you on a daily basis anyhow). Food has improved over time. Menu is more interesting these days. A bit pricey and posh for the average vegan type, but still affordable and worth it.
By the way, for those of you that are concerned about the "Foie Gras" related restaurant that they own, I am a vegan and *consume*, *eat* and *support* vegan food. Eating here isn't supporting "Foie Gras". If you eat here, you *are* eating vegan. I bet many of you other fellow vegans are the same types that stop by Taco Bell late at night.... just once in a while... you know... for that bean burrito... but it's ok, Pizza Hut/Taco Bell/KFC owned big chain. And those gardenburgers... some have cheese. I know, you don't eat them, just the vegan types, but the company still uses cheese. And do you strictly shop at Food Fight? If you don't, then who are you getting your food from?
Support vegan food by buying it and eating it.
They serve animals, you just don't know it.... I am a vegan. I have very realistic expectations. Sometime I do my homework. I visited Nutshell right after they opened. They were still dialing the place in, or so I thought, the service was terrible - rude and inexperienced, the food was OK. The next visit, months later, the service was even worse. The food hadn't changed, still rather boring, I too can grill veggies and home. The space has always been huge and cold, totally out of proportion - its funny, sorta like their service and food... Then I found out that this restaurant isn't owned by the sweet chef that lost like 200 pounds, but its owned by the same folks that own another fancy place in the pearl that sells - Foie Gras. This is the pate made from the livers of young geese that are not allowed to move and force fed with tubes down their throat, just to give you that "special" flavor. This was the final straw, I will not be back and I tend to not share my dining space with hypocrite murderers.
Great food but needs work on the ambiance. Last night was my third visit to Nutshell. Arriving around 6pm on a Friday, I was looking for some good food and a nice place to eat. We were seated in the back which was rather dark and dreary. Our little table for two was uncomfortably close to a couple other tables while their were other options available. Being early, their was a family with a couple noisy children whose voices just echoed in the cinder block room. I love kids but I wasn't looking for the noise level of a McDonald's playroom. There isn't a single piece of sound absorbing material in the place (seats and tables are all wood). Enough about that. Our waiter was great and the food was fantastic. We had swiss chard and beet greens with polenta to start followed by the best Sheppard's Pie I'd ever had. The inside was brussel sprouts and other yummy things with a terrific layer of mashed potatoes on top. My partner and I also shared risotto served with yellow squash puree and greens. This is a great place for food but I hope they'd do something to make the place more comfortable for dining.
Amazing food that demonstrates you don't need meat substititutes when you're an amazing chef.
This is by far some of the best food I've had at any restaurant, vegan or not. The dining experience was second-to-none.
We were seated promptly at a nice table. Our waitperson was friendly and knowledgeable of the menu. We asked her to make a selection for our olive oil, salt, and bread, and her choices were quite good.
When we ordered, our food and wine came at a perfect pace. The rice fritters were AMAZING, with just a taste of what seemed to be coconut. I got the shepherd's pie, made of mashed potatoes, greens, green onions, and brussel sprouts. It was a beautifully-crafted experience in texture and a delicious savory/sweet counterpoint.
My friend got the tortilla soup, which tasted amazingly fresh and alive, as well as being exquisitely seasoned. She also got the chard with polenta and cherries. Thanks to the porridge-like polenta, it was like eating breakfast in a beautiful vegetable-filled dreamworld. Mmmm.
The portions were such that neither of us was able to finish our food, and had to take it home, so a hearty eater would definitely leave here satisfied.
The ambiance in Nutshell was nice. It could stand to be a tiiiny bit brighter, as eating my leftovers today I can actually see what's in them. The sound level was acceptable.
My one and only complaint, or place to improve, would be the spacing between items in the menu. The lines are spaced VERY closely together, which in the dim light can make them hard to read. Kudos on recycling the menus into the wine/bread menus, though.
This restaurant really demonstrates, through the artistic creation of vegetable-based food, that you don't need to offer people meat substitutes at a vegan restaurant. You won't find tofu-burgers here, or seitan meatballs, etc. What you will find is a friendly staff, reasonably-priced, delicious food.
really, really good except can anyone confirm this?. so i love this place. i love the food and the atmosphere. i was so excited to have such a fantastic higher end vegan place to eat. i love the decor and the 100 ingredient flatbread made in house. i love the mashed potatoes fluffed into bundles of goodness, with a cardoon on the side. i thought about having my birthday dinner here, but heard just last night that the owners own two other restaurants that serve fois gras. can anyone confirm this? my heart is broken, my palate wanting and i am just hoping its a rumor...
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