Black Creek Bistro is often regarded as one of the top dining experiences in Columbus, which makes this restaurant an excellent choice for a date night or special occasion. But what you may not know is that Black Creek also excels during the lunch hour by providing the same high quality food in sandwich formats at a price point that should be attractive enough to warrant weekly visits. Each item on the current lunch menu falls into the range of $7 to $12, with most sandwiches priced at $9. That includes your choice of a side dish: cole slaw, bistro fries, a side salad, or a cup of their daily soup. You’ll eat well for lunch here, regardless of whether you choose to dine in or order your food to go, if you’re the type of person who finds food ordered to go as acceptable for consumption.
The Monte Cristo ($9) is a straightforward rendition of this sandwich with ham and swiss served on egg battered and grilled slices of sourdough. The ham comes from an Ohio purveyor and is sliced thin. The bread is very slightly thicker cut, and the sourdough serves as a good choice for the french toast treatment as it manages to absorb some of the batter and butter, rendering it less greasy to touch and taste. The hot, salty combination of ham and swiss is balanced nicely with a side of cold sweet fresh raspberry compote.
Dave’s Chicken Trainwreck ($9) is a sandwich stuffed with Ohio-raised chicken, grilled onions, french fries, teriyaki, mala string beans and mayonnaise. At first glance, this looks like something invented by raiding the fridge for leftovers, but the flavors all end up working together surprisingly well. The beans have been marinaded in a spicy sauce resembling sriracha, giving the sandwich some kick. The chicken chunks were white breast meat that were grilled tender and juicy. And as always, Black Creek’s handcut shoestring fries are crisped nicely, adding an earthy, rustic element to the sandwich.
Black Creek’s Pork Burrito ($8) is a large flour tortilla filled with pulled pork, rice, black beans, corn, guacamole and roasted red peppers. Traditional mexican seasonings of cilantro and cumin are subdued, leaving the vegetables and meat stand on their own. Which isn’t a bad thing, but comes across as more of a midwestern comfort food flavor than what you might expect from a traditional burrito. The pork is certainly the star here, slow roasted, juicy and hand-pulled with a flavor profile closer to a home cooked pot roast. All combined, the ingredients blend together into a creamy texture. The only thing missing is a side of salsa.
Overall, the lunch menu items I’ve tasted at Black Creek Bistro all hit the ball out of the park. The inclusion of local ingredients where applicable combined with a thoughtfulness behind topping choices and house made sauces elevate these sandwiches and entrees into something worthy of a visit to this restaurant any day of the week.
Black Creek Bistro is located at 51 Parsons Avenue. They’re open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm, Friday from 11am to 11pm, Saturday from 4pm to 11pm and closed on Sunday. More information can be found online at www.blackcreekbistro.com.
Photos by Jennifer René of Jennifer René Photography.