Copycat Northwestern Steakhouse Dinner

Mike and I have always been huge steak fans!  Living in a small community in North Central Iowa, with our closest metropolitan areas being about 2 hours away, you’d think it would be impossible to find a good steakhouse in our vicinity.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  In a quaint building, nestled between youth baseball fields in our hometown of Mason City, IA, is hidden a true gem for steak lovers – The Northwestern Steakhouse.

This family run business was established in 1920 by Pete Maduras and Tony Popouchis and continues to flourish today under Tony’s son and his wife.  Still serving from the same building to which they moved their business in 1954, patrons get to experience a unique atmosphere with old wooden booths, walls adorned with black and white posters of old movies stars, and an overall charm that is unmatched in your franchise owned chain steakhouses you find in most cities today.


The Northwestern Steakhouse is known for their use of the finest cuts of beef in the Midwest, prepared Greek style on any cut of meat you’d like – Porterhouse, New York Strip, Sirloin, Rib Eye, and my favorite, the Fillet.  People drive from miles around to enjoy this legendary steakhouse resulting in up to a two hour wait for people waiting to be served.  There is an upstairs lounge where patrons can enjoy a drink and relax as they wait to be seated.  However, I’ll warn you, be prepared to grow hungrier by the minute as you take in the aroma of their special Greek seasoning that smothers these juicy steaks.

For all you steak lovers out there, this is definitely a place to put on your Steak Bucket List 🙂

Mike and I have enjoyed making a copycat version of this recipe in our own home.  We have done it with all cuts of meat including Fillet (my favorite), Sirloin, Rib Eye, and most recently, New York Strip.  All are great!  We particularly enjoy serving it with our favorite side, inspired by what the restaurant provides – spaghetti – and dousing it with the Greek seasoned juices from the steak and topping it with parmesan cheese.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.


I do have to be perfectly honest.  I have never actually made this meal.  Mike is always in charge, so much like at the restaurant, I sit back, enjoy a beer and smell the aromas that emerge from the oven as he prepares our meal.  However, it always seems fairly easy, and he is able to relax while the steak bakes.  He says its pretty hard to mess up.  The hardest part is watching the steak to make sure it is done how we like it.

So here it is…

Copycat Northwestern Steakhouse Dinner

**This recipe makes enough for 4 small cuts of steak or 2 large cuts.  We’ve always used it for 2 larger cuts and used the extra seasoned juice for our spaghetti on the side, however, I would guess if you used 4 small cuts you would still have plenty of juice to use for your pasta**

4 Large or 2 Small cuts of Steak

1 Stick Butter

1 tsp Greek Seasoning

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Lawry’s Salt

1 tsp Chicken Bouillon Granules


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and sear both sides of each cut of steak over Medium-High heat (about 2 min per side).  Place steak in baking dish.

3. Mix the last four ingredients together in a small saucepan and heat until butter is melted and ingredients are combined.

3. Pour sauce over steaks and bake for 25 minutes or longer, depending on how you like your steak.  For you experienced steak people out there, like Mike, you can probably just tell how done the steak is by firmness, however, I would need to go by temperature.  Here is the internal readings on a meat thermometer to tell how done your steak is (this is when you should remove it from the oven because it will cook a little more as you let it rest on your plate): Medium Rare – 140 degrees, Medium – 155 degrees, Well Done – 165 degrees.

4. We enjoy spaghetti, like they serve at the restuarant for our side.  Just pour the juices from the baking dish the steaks baked in over the pasta and top with parmesan.  Delicious!

Enjoy!  This really is a no fuss recipe and one you’re sure to love!!!!


28 responses to “Copycat Northwestern Steakhouse Dinner

  1. Thanks for sharing your recipe! Looks yummy. We have only eaten at Northwestern once a long time ago but my memories were that it was indeed a popular place with a long wait.

    • Hi Sara! If you read all the way to the bottom of the recipe it tells how to do the spaghetti. All you do is pour the juices the meat was cooked in over the spaghetti and top it with Parmesan cheese. I LOVE their spaghetti, too! My favorite side 🙂

  2. I live in Mason City and have ate at the Northeast Steakhouse a couple of times. Been big time disappointed one time, the other was good. Early bird smoked chicken was good, but the top of the line steaks we ordered in the evening were awfully.grizzly tough. The group had a sirloin, a porterhouse, and a sirloin. A rib eye my wife ordered was decent. Everyone around the area raves about the Greek seasoned beef, but to me Iowa beef doesn’t need much if any seasoning if any at all. And the beef the Greeks were preparing in Greece were probably range fed. I think that the style of marination was invented to season goat, lamb, or sheep originally as its tough to eat I believe. Been meaning to write The NE Steakhouse to see what they say about our experience.
    Think about profiling these other great out of the way places around here that we love.
    Hickory House in Waterloo. Small place on the south side of Waterloo. Known for their ribs, the steaks come out sizzling. Not fancy but darn good eats. Kind of old, seedy part of town but Cops eat there all the time so its safe as can be. You can have a cock tail across the street at an old bar that is OK. the House will call over when your table is ready.

    Frank B.

    • Frank,

      Thank you for you comments! We’ve always enjoyed our experience at the Northwestern Steakhouse. I love the rustic feel and we’ve always been pleased with our steaks. I do agree with you that some of the best steaks just cook in their own juices and need hardly any seasoning to bring out the flavor. My husband, Mike, enjoys grilling, baking, and broiling steaks and letting their juices create the flavor. However, I love Greek seasoning so I’m partial to this recipe because of that.

      Thank you for the suggestion of the Hickory House. I love little “Holes in the wall” that people suggest that we otherwise would know nothing about. They usually have the best food and a fun and unique atmosphere. I’m going to keep that on my list of places to try!


  3. They use olive oil not butter. And instead of baking you need a flame broiler. Top broil is the key to authentic steakhouse flavor.

  4. Hi.. love to see another fan of Northwestern Steak house. Born and raised in Mason City, so I have a fondness for it. Now that I live in the Houston area, nothing competes. When you say “Greek seasoning”, what constitutes that? Would that be a blend you could buy at a grocery store. Thanks for the recipe and I will have to try it out.

  5. You can order Gus seasoning….they is a web site, we order it and enjoy it. I live in Virginia now but was raised in north Iowa and have eaten there many times. We marinade our steaks with Dales and then add the Gus’s seasoning when we grill. Taste Great!!

  6. I miss 3 things from my days living in a Northwood, Iowa; my brother & wife, Birdsalls ice cream and Northwestern Steaks!

  7. My former boss told of eating at Northwestern Steak House since 1944 when he returned from the war. Always ordered the rice as a side. When he asked how it was made, the owner said, “It begins with the chicken.” so apparently is baked with chicken broth. Delicious and worth the trip wherever you are.

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  9. Born and raised in Nebraska and since gastric surgery NOT a huge fan of steak or beef, BUT the way this steak is cooked… I think my stomach can handle it again…
    Thanks for this…
    Gonna try cooking my steak this way now!!!

  10. Growing up in North Iowa, Northwestern Steakhouse was the destination for unbelievable steak. I agree my mouth just waters thinking about it and it has been years since I have last dined there. I live in Des Moines now and nothing else compares! I was wondering if you cover the steaks while baking…might sound like a dumb question but I am a novice in the baking steak dept. Thank you for an answer and for sharing this recipe.

  11. Debbie- thank you so much for posting this. I grew up in Clear Lake and my parents would take me to the Northwestern Steakhouse for special occasions getting there at 415p to stand in line and get in with the first seating. Even after I went away to college and they moved to Des Moines we would still make the 2 hour trip to get the filet there. I’m in the Navy now and we move around a lot. I’ve had steaks at Ruth’s Chris, Flemmings and several other reputable steakhouses around the country and none of them compares to the Northwestern Steakhouse. I’ve tried other copycat recipies and none of them were quite right. I made this recipe tonight and it was amazing, almost as good as the real thing (I think I was just missing the wooden booths and the bread). Now I have this taste of home that I can take anywhere! -Theresa

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