Situated in a residential section of Mason City, in what was most likely a residence at one time, sits the Northwestern Steakhouse. From the exterior, it is very unassuming, and you could easily drive right past this place and not think anything about it. On the inside, the restaurant is small and quite plain to look at. Booths, tables, pictures on the wall, nothing special. The building is bland, but the kitchen is where all of the magic happens.
Like a typical steakhouse, this place has all of your traditional cuts - ribeye, NY strip, etc., but I have never tried any of those. Upon my first visit, my local business associate told me not to even look at the menu - just to order the fillet. After several visits here, I can't even think about ordering anything else.
The fillet arrives amidst a "lake" of olive oil, butter, and steak drippings. The steak is broiled in this lake of flavor, so the outside of the steak is devoid of any grill marks. The only things to adorn the outside of the fillet is some flakes of spices, and a "shiny coat" from the lake of juices. When cutting into the fillet, no matter how many times I have had it, I am still in awe of how tender and juicy this cut of meat is. You could cut it with a spoon! Inside is a perfect medium rare, every bite more delicious and juicy than the last. As juicy as it is, I cannot help but cut a bite, and run it around the plate to soak up as much of the drippings and oil as I can. The result is what can almost be described as a "religious dining experience," to the point where you would almost want to cry when you only have a few bites left, because the meal is almost over. In this case, nothing exceeds like excess!
Speaking of the drippings: can't get enough of them? No worries, because the side dishes will give you yet another dose. The "must-have" sides are the rice and the spaghetti. Both are topped simply - with the same oils and juices that your steak is sitting in! The spaghetti takes it a step further and adds some grated cheese to the mix.
Bottom line: if you want to enjoy the most tender and flavorful fillet mignon you have ever had and are in the Mason City, IA area, this place cannot be missed! Guaranteed you will find yourself dreaming of this place, days, weeks later.