Log Homes Illustrated - March 2006
When Jamie Maschmeyer opened his first restaurant, he drew on
fond memories of his grandparents in northern Wisconsin, especially
the rib-sticking food his grandmother cooked. He wanted to
offer that same food and in a setting reminiscent of Wisconsin's
His Northwoods Hearty Home Cookin' & Saloon restaurant,
located in a shopping center, featured wood paneling. It was
a start. But Jamie aspired to do better.
Stan Fryzel, a sales representative for Expedition Log Homes,
remembers Jamie stopping by in 1998 to talk about buying a log
home. When Jamie mentioned his restaurant, Stan handed him
some literature on commercial log buildings. A few years
later, Jamie took delivery of a log package for a 7,500 square-foot
restaurant in Frankfort, Illinois.
The following year, Jamie added a log façade to his
shopping-center restaurant. The response to both places was
so great that he decided to up the ante. He went back to
Stan, this time looking for a suitable location for his pièce de
After finding 10 acres along busy Route 41 in Schererville,
Indiana, Jamie began designing a restaurant that would be twice as
big as his previous one. "He had some ideas for a design,"
Stan recalls. "I put him in touch with the designers at
Expedition, who helped him expand and refine his ideas. He
added a bandstand, enlarged the bar area, added more room for
tables and an outside deck, which overlooks the pond that he
dug. It even has its own waterfall."
The restaurant demonstrates how large logs can create a
lodge-like atmosphere that patrons cozy up to. The building
combines a half-log wall system with big, hand-peeled log posts and
trusses. "Some of the posts are up to 2 feet in diameter,"
To build the restaurant, Jamie chose D.K. Construction of
Beecher, Illinois, which has built most of the log homes in the
area. Construction took about nine months.
After the log posts were in place, Jamie had bears, eagles and
impish faces carved into them with a chain saw. He also
scoured the region for antiques and vintage collectible items to
decorate the place. Later, he bought some stuffed game
animals from a taxidermist to complete the north woods theme.
At 15,000 square feet, this Northwoods Hearty Home Cookin' is
one of the biggest restaurants in northwest Indiana. It
features live music on weekends and has a loft with a fireplace for
menu mixes Jamie's grandmother's favorites with other
upper-Wisconsin treats. Appetizer highlights are Weasel Tails
(chicken strips with crunchy jalapeno and cheddar breading, deep
friend then sprinkled with parmesan cheese and served with sour
cream garlic chive dressing) and Big Barn Pancakes (potato
pancakes, pan fried till crispy, then served with the sour cream
garlic chive dressing and applesauce). Fish dishes featured
lake perch, walleye, shrimp and salmon. Topping the sandwich
offerings is bratwurst, slow cooked in Leinenkugel's Northwoods
Lager Beer, then dressed with grilled onions, sautéed peppers and
mustard. Full-course dinners include pot roast, meatloaf,
chicken and dumplings, and an array of steaks, chops and
Two noteworthy desserts are Chocolate Carmel Moose Pie (creamy
truffle and chocolate mousse atop a chocolate graham cracker crust,
topped with chocolate-drizzled caramel and chocolate) and Apple
Bavarian Tart (vanilla crumb crust with apples, brown sugar, and
butter sauce with a hint of almond).
The appetizing food and the woodsy décor combine to create a
home-style hospitality that has made the restaurant a popular
attraction. Certainly, the log-lodge look goes a long way
toward making visits unforgettable.
Northwoods Hearty Home Cookin' & Saloon is located at 8101
US Route 41, Schererville, IN. For information, call (219)
558-8130 or visit the website www.northwoodsdining.com.