Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bub's Burgers

I have realized hamburgers are such a matter of taste. They vary so much from place to place. They can be grilled on a flat top or a flame grill, fat or thin, and the buns--well, that’s a whole other story.  I have said before, I tend to like a thin burger cooked on a flat top, preferably with some crispy edges. I like a soft bun, and I like to be able to take a bite of the thing without unhinging my jaw.
So Bub’s has been on the list for awhile and it seemed like a good kid friendly place to hit at lunchtime the other day when I was in the mood for simple, but something new.  I ordered a special burger of the day, the “steak and egg.”  I got their smaller sized burger with choice of cheese, bacon and a fried egg.  I also had the potato salad on the side.
So the burger isn’t bad, but it isn’t really my kind of burger.  The smallest burger you can get is ¼ pound after cooking (usually those weights are given to the pre-cooking weight).  It is pretty big.  The beef is nicely seasoned though—whatever they are seasoning with, I like.  The beef is also fresh and “hand-pattied.” The bacon was also tasty and cooked well.  The egg was fried hard (I should have asked), so didn’t really add much to the burger in my opinion. If it had been runny, it would have gone a long ways toward making the burger a bit more tender.  My main complaint was that the burger was a bit too dry—I ordered it medium, which is what they recommended, but I think next time I would go medium rare.  I would say this medium was a little more done than that.
The bun was pretty dense too.  Their website says they are made fresh at a local bakery specially for their burgers, and size-wise they did match up to the burger, but they were a little too bready for me—I tend to prefer a softer bun.  The burgers themselves are big—I cut my small one in half and with all those toppings, could only eat half of it. I can’t imagine getting a bigger one (and they have the “big ugly” which is a full pound of meat! After cooking!)
I really enjoyed the potato salad. It was called “loaded potato salad” and had baked red skin potatoes, scallions and bacon mixed with a tangy mayo type dressing.  It was unique with the bacon and scallions (and since I am not a fan of celery in potato salad, I really liked the scallions).  I ate every bite and would certainly order it again if I were there.  My son had a corn dog and onion rings, and the rings were good.  They were the battered type that I like and the portion they gave my son with his dog was quite generous I thought.  Between the three of us, we ate every one, and my son declared he couldn’t understand why we hadn’t been there before.  They also give kids a drink and a bag with some goldfish and fruit gummies.  Not exactly healthy, but popular among the preschool set.
All in all, I can see how this would be a nice easy place to go with kids for some classic American food made with good quality ingredients. Is it my favorite burger? Not by a long shot, but it wasn’t bad.  The service is really friendly, and it feels like a real neighborhood spot.
Bub’s Burgers
210 West Main Street
Carmel, IN 46032

Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream on Urbanspoon


  1. This place is always crazy busy - especially after the Man vs. Food challenge. I've witnessed someone eating the big ugly, only to get ice cream after - but I agree with you, it is a BIG burger at 1/4.

  2. Jessica in NoblesvilleJanuary 6, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    Erin, next time try the elk burger medium rare, it's so tasty and juicy! They do offer a mini bub burger (1/8 lb cooked) on the kid's menu, but I've ordered it several times and they don't make a fuss about it. Their grilled mahi mahi is also amazing, served with a delicious mango salsa, perfect if you want something healthier.

    About 2 blocks down the monon is Bub's Cafe, which I highly recommend for breakfast/lunch. I heard they now serve homestyle dinners but haven't tried them yet. They make donut holes the size of a child's fist, fried and crunchy on the outside, light and steamy on the inside, so good! For me, it's always a struggle to choose between the biscuits and gravy, or the parmesan crusted steak sandwich. Either way, it's a nice way to enjoy a weekend brunch.

  3. I love the atmosphere of Bub's and when I bike by I'm always tempted by the smell... but, ultimately, I'm more of an advocate of the smashburger - like at Steak-n-Shake or Culvers....

  4. Erin, I second the Elk Burger suggestion. I had it on one of my trips and was really impressed (suoer flavorful) - I liked it better than their beef burger. And, yes, I second that potato salad.

    I like the deli that's right there too (across the street maybe?)

    (David in CA)

  5. Angie- I can't even imagine it. That would be A LOT of meat!

    Jessica- I saw that 1/8 pound burger on the kids menu and seriously thought about asking for it, but since I hadn't actually had the regular burger yet, I figured I should give it a try. But good suggestions. And next time I will get the Elk (wonder if they will do that kid size? :) Good to know about the breakfast place too--you know I am always looking for a good breakfast.

    Indy Grub--yeah, that's my fave for sure too. Steak n Shake is a family favorite. And Workingman's friend.

    David-thanks for the second on the Elk suggestion. I will try it next. Not sure what deli you mean..

  6. David may be referring to Joe's Butcher Shop and Fish Market which is in the same building as Bazbeux's across Main St.

  7. Yes, thanks Josh.

    Joe's butcher shop

    A great butcher shop. Not sure if they make sandy's or not, but a great place for me to stock up on goodies to take to my Mom's house when I visit town...

  8. Erin, have you tried the burgers at Barking Dog Cafe at 49th & Penn? Based on your description of the burgers you like, I think you would really enjoy theirs. (And their pommes frites are excellent!)

  9. Mary Jane,
    I have not tried the burgers at Barking Dog, although I have been there a few times. Will have to add them to my list for a repeat.

  10. This probably isnt a place you would normally go, but I think they have a GREAT burger...and its not kid friendly. It's the Living Room Lounge on Penn north of the Indianapolis Public Library. Its kind of a dive, at least the last time I had been there, but they were remodeling. But it's one of my favorite places. It has been a while since I ate there though since I do not work downtown anymore.