By Raymond Bill

Twice in one week, I was asked if I had been to a new restaurant offering Gourmet Burgers and great cocktails. This is how everyone seems to refer to Eureka Restaurant in Indian Wells. I am not a burger person (though I have been known to visit the In N Out drive through a time or two), but if everyone is raving about it, I should find out what the buzz is all about. So date night began at Eureka and let me state that my expectations were far exceeded from the time we entered the building until our last bite of butterscotch pudding!

Greeted by a charming young woman named Gina (who happens to be their General Manager), we were escorted through a very busy restaurant to a cozy table on their heated patio. The bar was lit up, displaying several bottles and one of the largest draft beer selections on the east side of the valley. Every single seat was taken at the bar counter and in the dining area as well. This was a good sign that we were in for a treat. The patio was warm and welcoming and the staff is quick to accommodate. We began with an Old Fashioned and a Whiskey Sour. I have never had a better Old Fashioned. The drink was smooth, finished with one large cube of ice and garnished with a real cherry as opposed to the unnaturally bright red cherries from a jar that has far too many ingredients for a piece of fruit.

While deciding what to order, we realized this was not just a burger joint. There were salads and sliders, chicken, steak and more. We had to ask for some suggestions and finally began with an appetizer of Nachos and Lollipop Corn Dogs. The Nachos had a sweet and smoky flavor from the chipotle dressing. The Lollipops were presented five to an order with three sauces for dipping, my favorite being the spicy porter mustard sauce (and I do not like mustard). These not so little bites of happiness are made from all natural polish sausage. Incredible!

We followed our starters with their Napa Burger and their Naked Chicken Saltimbocca. The Burger was simply perfection. A thick, all natural, charbroiled, hormone & antibiotic free patty, cooked to order and placed on a homemade bun with fried pancetta, arugula, Havarti cheese and a pesto aioli, finished with a marinated and roasted roma tomato. Wow! I can’t say enough about how delicious this burger truly was. The chicken was an interpretation of an Italian favorite with prosciutto, melted mozzarella cheese and sage. The chicken was tender and full of flavor from the savory sauce provided on the side. We chose the housemade cole slaw and hand cut fries for our sides and added a little of the truffle sauce to the fries for that extra burst of flavor! We were in heaven!

For dessert, I could not resist the butterscotch pudding with a caramel sauce and sea salt. All my favorite flavors come together in this incredible dessert! But Eureka only has two desserts on the menu, so we ordered both, the other being a chocolate espresso soufflé with ice cream. The chocolate is very hot and taking a bite too soon is a mistake I wish I had only made once… but it was sooo good!

The food is incredible, the service is spot on and the smiles are everywhere at Eureka! The last time I was in that building, I was dining at Le St. Germaine and although there is no comparison between the two restaurants, I am very happy to say I’ll be returning again and again to Eureka! Be sure to stop by for a cocktail or a beer flight and see what the buzz is all about. Located at Hwy 111 and Cook Street in Indian Wells. 760-834-7700

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