DINING: Transitional signage masks above-average pizza

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Dining - A&E

When you see the flimsy banner not quite covering the fancier sign of the previous owner, when your menu choices are featured on paper covering an old menu board, when you click on the website where there’s little besides the menu and some inaccurate prices, you could conclude that Eagle Creek Pizza (5510 Lafayette Road, 290-1122) isn’t ready for prime time.

But there’s another possible interpretation—one I’m embracing now that I’ve indulged in a meal from Eagle Creek.

That interpretation: The locally owned pizza purveyor is putting all its efforts into creating customer-pleasing fare. The rest—the cosmetic stuff—will come later.

From its predecessor, Eh! Formaggio, Eagle Creek Pizza inherited the brick oven that helps make its offerings distinct from those of the ubiquitous chains. Its cornerstone pies ($14.99, $18.99) come with three toppings of your choice and the management kindly allowed us to divide ours, half for the carnivores (paper-thin slices of pepperoni, small chunk hamburger, and fresh tomatoes) and half for the herbivores (spinach, mushrooms and peppers).

ae-eaglecreekpizza-15col The California pie at Eagle Creek Pizza comes loaded with fresh veggies piled on a delicious crust. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Pre-set ingredient combinations are also available. Under the Specialty Pie category, the California ($16.99) doubles down on the garden stuff. A Filet Mignon Pizza ($24.99) includes caramelized onions and gorgonzola. And a Pesto pie ($15.99) includes goat cheese and olives. All are served on a delicious crust that isn’t quite consistently capable of supporting the weight of the toppings. At least, initially. A few bites in, though, and we were able to fold and hold.

As if our pie choices didn’t offer enough dough, tomato sauce and cheese, we ordered a Panzarotti ($14.99), a massive creation that, in its box, looked like a science project scale model of Madagascar. The house version comes with pepperoni and/or sausage (I come down on the “and” choice), cheese and sauce both inside and as a pour-on topping or dip.

The Greek salad ($7.99) and a Traditional Caesar Salad ($6.99—although if it doesn’t have anchovy filets, is it truly traditional?) were both ample and well-proportioned.

There are snacks, including Buffalo Wings and Crab, Spinach and Cheddar Dip, as well as sandwiches (Hot Pastrami and Muffelata among the usual pizza shop choices). But it’s the quality of the pies that should lead Eagle Creek Pizza to hang a permanent sign.•


First in a month-long series of reviews of newish pizza places.


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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim