A Visit to Between the Bun in Greenwood
By Bob Burchfield, Editor
Ever feel like you’re stuck in the same old rut when it comes to eating out? Well…if you want to break out of that rut, take a trip to Between the Bun, a recently opened restaurant in the former Casa Miguel Mexican Restaurant building at 102 South Madison Avenue in Greenwood, just a block north of Main Street and a mile or so south of Greenwood Park Mall.
It’s not fancy. It’s not ostentatious. Certainly not uppity or one of those places with a million dollars worth of decorations. But when it comes to specialty burgers, hot dogs, and so forth, you’d be hard pressed to find a much better or more unique place to grab a bite to eat.
My good friend Ben Risinger from DoItIndy.com and I made the trip down to Johnson County this week just to visit Between the Bun. We’d both heard about this restaurant on Twitter, Facebook and other social media circles like Google+, and noticed that Indianapolis Star food critic Jolene Ketzenberger recently listed Between the Bun among her choices for the Top 10 burgers in the Indianapolis area (two out of the ten, I might add), and so we figured we better check it out. Am I glad we did!
The menu has a full selection of interesting and unique appetizers, salads, burgers, hot dogs, and so forth, but what really caught my eye was the description of the burgers. At $12.49, The Big Daddy stood out on the menu: a double bacon cheeseburger with one POUND of meat! I would have jumped on that 30 years ago just for the heck of it. These days it’s more than I can handle, candidly. Then I started focusing in on the rest of the menu and discovered a virtual plethora of specialty burgers: the PB & J Burger with maple syrup (honest!), Nacho Burger, Chili Burger, the Boss Hogg topped with pulled pork, the Apple Bottom Burger topped with sliced Granny Smith apples, and several more tempting choices.
But my sights settled on the Italian Stallion Burger, a half-pound beauty covered in pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, and dried oregano. It arrived as pictured herein, cooked perfectly to my request for a medium burger that was pink throughout but no red. I was particularly impressed to learn that the hamburger meat has been mixed with 24 different spices to give the meat a wonderful burst of tastes and flavors. Messy. Sloppy. Gooey. In other words: delicious!
The accompanying onion rings had this extraordinary texture and crunch to them that I can’t compare to any other onion rings I’ve tried elsewhere. Excellent.
What really made this lunchtime experience unique, however, was the appetizer that my buddy Ben ordered and ended up splitting with me: the Great Balls of Fire! What are the Great Balls of Fire, you say? Deep-fried Pepper Jack Cheese Balls served with Horsey Ranch sauce! Omigosh. I can’t say that I’ve ever had anything like this. You know how pepper jack cheese is: you get that little POW when you first bite into it, then the blend of the horseradish and ranch dressing hits you and gives you a second kick! See photo herein.
For a unique twist on a traditional side dish of Hoosier comfort food, Ben tried the macaroni and cheese served with BTB’s signature BBQ sauce. I know what you’re thinking: that can’t be any good. Wrong! It works! An excellent combination! Try it for yourself and see if you agree.
I was also impressed to observe the style of the husband-and-wife owners of this establishment. She casually pulls up a chair and SITS DOWN at your table to take each person’s order. It’s a friendly and personal touch with an air of sincerity that I found refreshing and appealing. He went around the dining room, which was very busy when we were there, and personally greeted each customer. You gotta love that, especially when I’ve been to one well-known burger establishment on the other side of town where the owner refused to come out and say hello, even when I asked to speak with him. “He’s too busy to talk to you,” was the server’s reply.
There’s a full kids menu, vegetarian options, a whole menu of specialty hot dogs including a Taco Dog, the BLT Dog, and the Spitfire Chili Dog, not to mention pulled pork, grilled chicken, quesadillas, and a knockout BLT with one POUND of smoked bacon!
All in all, I’d say that Between the Bun is definitely worth a visit. If you’re really in the mood for the ultimate Adam Richman kind of in-your-face food challenge, try the Big Pig Challenge: Two pounds of pulled pork, one pound of smoked bacon, a half pound of Cheddar Jack, a half pound of steak cut onion rings, topped with your choice of BTB’s signature BBQ sauce, and a pound of steak fries on the side! If you can finish in less than 45 minutes, it’s free and you get a commemorative T-shirt. Otherwise: $37.99. Two have tried. Both failed.
Between the Bun is open 11 am to 9 pm, Mon-Thu, and 11 am to 10 pm, Fri-Sat. For more information, visit http://www.btbindy.com/ (so new they’re still working on their Web site at this writing), or call 317-300-8327. You can follow BTB on Twitter @between_the_bun. Between the Bun on AroundIndy.com: http://aroundindy.com/between-the-bun.php.
All photos (c) 2013, AroundIndy.com, LLC. All rights reserved.