Fork in the Road: The North Star Steakhouse, making great steaks for 76 years

By  | 

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Some restaurants manage to make it through the years by redecorating and changing with the times.

This week’s Fork in the Road takes us to a restaurant that has stood the test of time because its stuck to its roots.

The North Star Steakhouse has been in a staple in North Topeka for 76 years. Married couple Bob and Pat Jennings have been eating there for decades.

"We've been coming here probably 50 years." Bob said. " Yeah, twice a month.” Pat agreed. “The food and the people, it is a true look at Topeka." she said.

Many people claim it's some of the best steak in the area, and the North Star may have a trick to it.

Cook Andrew Banks explained that to add more juice to their premium cut steaks they needle point tenderize every steak and then let it sit in ice water. Other than that, they just add salt and pepper to their signature meats..

"We serve a rib eye, a fillet, we've got a nice steak for two, and porter house which is almost unbelievable." GM Jeffrey Schell said.

They also serve some pretty famous fries with gravy.

"Which are kind of our signature item, or you could have hash browns, a baked potato, and of course a salad." Schell said.

But the restaurant is more than just good food. It’s the memory of good people like David Benson who waited tables at the steakhouse for 50 years and helped make the North Star what it is today.

"Everyone loved him, but he was also known for never writing anything down, so he would take your order groups of 12, 14 or more…and would always get it perfect.” Schell recalled.

“It’s kind of interesting because last time I saw David, he died in 2006 but I saw him in 2004, and he came in and I told him, ‘hey man there’s not a day that goes by that somebody doesn’t mention your name or tell a story, ask about you’, and here we are 18 years later and it’s still the same." Schell said.

And it’s the North Star’s tradition of remembering the past, that'll keep directing customers back through their doors for years to come.

"They have kept it like it used to be and some people that’s not what they want and that’s fine,” Pat said. “But we enjoy it, we enjoy the clientele, we enjoy the people that run it."

The North Star is located at 1100 NW 25th street in Topeka and they are open Tuesday through Saturday starting at 5 p-m.