Indianapolis is quickly becoming one of the hottest food cities in America. A destination for true foodies who are interested in everything from fine dining to food trucks. This column will put the spotlight on one of these local hot spots to help get the word out and share in the love of all things food.
Review by CBS4Indy.com contributor Dustin Heller
This week we’re taking a trip down memory lane with a visit to Cunningham Restaurant Group’s (CRG) very first restaurant, Boulder Creek Dining Company. We all know and love the CRG for being instrumental in helping to make Indy the great foodie city it is today, but do we know how it all began? Boulder Creek opened in Brownsburg (just north of the I-74 exit) some 20 years ago and has been a cornerstone in that community ever since.
Owner Mike Cunningham was familiar with the Brownsburg area and saw the need for a fresh new restaurant, so here we are. Not only was Boulder Creek their first restaurant, but according to Mike C “it really was the start of what CRG is today.”
Oh, did I forget to mention that they are celebrating their 20th anniversary all this week? Not only are they celebrating, but they are giving back as well by donating a portion of their sales to a local charity and awarding foodies with double VIP points all week. On a personal note, Boulder Creek was a game changer for me; it was the first non-chain casual dining restaurant to come to Brownsburg and I quickly became a regular. It was nice not having to drive to Indy to get a great meal!
The restaurant is beautiful both inside and out, with an oversized patio area that is perfect for those warm summer nights (I miss them dearly). The interior has the feel of a ski lodge you might find in the Colorado Rockies with its rustic, warm decor. When it comes to the food, Boulder Creek has a well-rounded menu. From ribs and steaks to pizza and sandwiches, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy. As for me, I am tasked with finding the four items on the menu that everyone should put on their Christmas wish list. Without further ado, here are the “can’t miss” items from Boulder Creek.
- Campfire Fettuccine…I’m ready to start a petition to have this dish replace hot dogs and s’mores as a campfire staple. They start with their delicious spicy red chili cream sauce (with just the right amount of kick); mix in some spinach, mushrooms and scallions for a nice earthy flavor; and then send the meat lovers into full-tilt mode by adding in andouille sausage, chicken, and topping it all off with barbecued shrimp. Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my chin!
- Barbecue Chicken Pizza…Let me start by saying that Boulder Creek isn’t necessarily known for their pizza, but I think they should be. Pizza lovers really need to check this place out. Their pizzas are wood-fired and all very good, but the barbecue chicken is the crème de la crème. The secret is in the smoked gouda. Shhh!
- Buffalo Chicken Sandwich…If you know anything at all about me, I like my food spicy and Buffalo sauce is closer to a beverage than a sauce. Well, maybe that’s a stretch, but Buffalo chicken definitely holds a special place in my heart and Boulder Creek serves up one of the best in all of Indy. The chicken breast is juicy and crispy, then they top it with guacamole, ranch mayo, and Buffalo sauce (nectar of the gods).
- Horseradish-Dijon Crusted Sirloin…When I opened up the menu, this might as well have been in blinking red lights, because when I saw it, I knew I had to have it. Doesn’t the name just sound delicious? If you’re like me and think the name sounds great, just wait til you sink your teeth into it. The creamy horseradish-dijon sauce is the stuff dreams are made of.
The restaurant industry is a very tough and competitive business, so celebrating 20 years is truly something special. Such an accomplishment speaks to the quality of food, but more so to the quality of the people behind the scenes. Happy Anniversary, Boulder Creek, and here’s to 20 more great years!
Tell Dustin your thoughts about Boulder Creek. You can follow him on Instagram @eatindywatchindie.
Check out more restaurants featured in our Foodie Spotlight section.