Meat Is The Menu At The Log Cabin Tavern: Reinventing good food in Liberty Center

. December 20, 2016.
Chowline

When you overhear that diners have driven in from hours away just to eat at a restaurant, it sets a certain expectation and excitement. The Log Cabin Tavern is buried in rural NW Ohio, but it operates like the best big city eateries: thoughtful food and lots of it. And while the place has been around since the ‘30s, as primarily a bar that served burgers, it has now become a foodie hub.

In 2014, local businessman Glenn Hunter bought the dormant building (that had been affected by a fire), to make it a destination eatery in Liberty Center, bringing in Executive Chef/General Manager David Meyer to develop the food options. Meyer has since trimmed down an “all over the place” menu and focused on a few choice entrées. Hunter’s latest addition is a brick oven for pizzamaking, flown in from Italy. You might not think that BBQ and pizza go together exactly, but then you haven’t experienced smoked meats served on dough crisply cooked.

Such evolution makes the Log Cabin Tavern a work-in-progress in more ways than one. Be sure to check out the amazing patio and artful flourishes— the tables beneath the stained-glass in the eaves are hand-shaped and the bar is hand-poured concrete from Hunter’s brick remanufacturing plant. Meyer says the restaurant was a very different place a year ago, as it continues to be transformed. Wait to see what they come up with next.

The Appetizers

Backwood Chips Adding pulled pork to these nachos offsets all the healthy, fresh vegetables that top the standard appetizer. And while it would be a pleasant app on its own, the upcharge meat addition makes this dish magnificent. Combining jalapenos with BBQ is a newer style that pairs fantastically.

Fools Gold Not the standard “loaded french fries,” these heaping, thick-cut steak fries are coated in cheese and an absolute mountain of bacon, setting the bar high for the rest of the meal.

The Entrées

Bullseye Ribeye You can tell this place cares about this cut of meat, the most popular item on the menu. Aged for 21 days, the ribeye has a perfect sear to it— brown on the outside, beautiful pinkish-red interior of well-marbled flesh, a true carnivore’s delight.

Nutty Pigs Unbelievably succulent were these pork chops. Thick white meat, not at all dry, these twin hunks of swine come bathed in a maple bacon reduction sauce and absolutely covered in whole walnuts. Knock through the walnuts to get to the meat, then add them to every bite.

CowPie Chef Dave doesn’t mess around. The CowPie is good brick-oven pizza, thin and crispy (just that perfect amount of burn to the bottom), and absolutely loaded with toppings. On the CowPie, those toppings include smoked prime rib, beef tenderloin and Gouda cheese, so you can imagine how rich the flavor is. This is how kings eat.

PoorManThe sandwich you wish you could have made when you came home hungry after school as a kid. If you love bologna, the hunk served up here is incredibly thick and complements both the pickles and the cheddar cheese.

The Desserts

This is heartbreaking. As it turns out, each of the desserts are entirely handmade on-site daily by one of the “front end girls,” Diane. If you want something sweet, like their Peanut Butter Pie or Blondie Brownie, you have to get there early, before they sell out.

Be sure to time your visit to experience the BBQ options they add to the menu Thursday-Sunday, beginning between 3-4pm (good BBQ is an art, not a science).

11am-11pm, Monday-Saturday; 11am-10pm, Sunday
T464 County Rd. 3., Liberty Center
419-832-0500 | logcabintavern.net