Mason City, Iowa is home to one of the most famous restaurants in the state!
Did you know that Iowa is home to a 102-year-old restaurant? It’s called Northwestern Steakhouse, and it’s been named Iowa’s most iconic/famous restaurant by several different publications! Let’s dive into its history!
Back in 1920, two immigrants from Greece, Pete Maduras and Tony Papouchis, opened a restaurant called Pete’s Place. The original location was in the Northwestern Row neighborhood of River City, which is now known as Mason City. Pete ran the restaurant while Tony operated the kitchen, and the two served up meals to the workers of the two neighboring cement plants. According to the website, “This was a time where T-bone steaks were $.25 and liquor was bootlegged out of the basement.” In 1954, the restaurant moved to its current location at 304 16th St NW.
Just nine years later, Tony bought and took over the restaurant and changed the name to Northwestern Steakhouse. When he died in 1991, his son Bill and his wife Ann took over the restaurant, and they continue to run it over 30 years later. Even though he has passed, Tony is still a part of the restaurant. Most of his original recipes are still used, and there’s a portrait of him hanging over the register. His legacy lives on!
The menu at Northwestern Steakhouse is pretty straightforward. Options include a variety of steaks, prime rib, lambchops, roast chicken, broiled shrimp, and Canadian walleye, all served with bread & butter, a salad, and a choice of fries, a baked potato, or rice. The only other addition to the menu is the Greek-style spaghetti, which is topped with parmesan cheese and their “special sauce.”
If you want to check out Northwestern Steakhouse, you’re gonna have to get in line… literally! The website says, “customers continue to wrap around the building, waiting for hours for the food that never disappoints.” The restaurant it open Monday through Saturday from 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm Groups of six or more can make reservations in advance, otherwise reservations can only be made after 4:30 pm on the night of your visit. Call 641-423-5075 for more information.
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