Tales from the Trails Blog

Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream

March 25, 2015 - General -

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By Jeremy Cole

The Great Pyramids of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus are just some of the 7 wonders of the world but, the 8th wonder of the world is right here in the Hoosier state. It can be found nestled in downtown Carmel at Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream and is known simply as "The Big Ugly". What is "The Big Ugly" you may ask? It is a burger unlike any other! A whopping 22 ounce monstrosity of ground beef grilled to perfection served on a fresh baked bun with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles. If you can handle eating this monster of a burger in one setting then you earn the right to have your picture posted on one of the hallow walls at Bub's. "The Big Ugly" and Bub's earned great fame when they were featured on the popular travel channel show Man v. Food. Host Adam Richman was able to eat 2 ½ Big Ugly burgers before having to tap out and fell just short of breaking the record (which is 4). Ever since Bub's was featured on Man v. Food they have been jam packed with guests wanting to try "The Big Ugly" and havent slowed down since.

Upon stepping into Bub's you instantly get a feeling of belongingness. Bub's is a quaint place with friendly staff and a family like atmosphere. Once seated, we were served up with some samples of Bub's chili and there soup of the day (which was a chicken enchilada inspired soup). Both were spectacular! The menu at Bub's is simplistic yet, what they offer on their menu is done to perfection. Bub's menu consists of a variety of burgers of different sizes prepared the way you want them, mouthwatering hot dogs, scrumptious waffle fries, some of the best hand dipped milkshakes you will ever try, and a couple of other surprises along the way. One of those surprises that have gradually become one of the more popular items at Bub's is the Elk burger. Made of 100% fresh hand-pattied Elk meat, this burger is a great option for those wanting something low fat and high in protein. And yes, they do make a Big Ugly version of the Elk burger. When you are at Bub's (especially if it is your first time) one just feels inclined to try "The Big Ugly" and that is exactly what we got along with some waffle fries and of course one of Bub's famous hand dipped shakes (chocolate). Of course if you havent guessed by now, Bub's portion sizes are quite large so it was comforting that the entire shake could not be served in a mere mug. The actual stainless steel malt cup it was created in gets served up as well. Once you take your first sip you are hooked! It has that delicious Malt taste that is a throwback to Malt shops of yesteryear. Served with whipped cream and a cherry on top, this shake is to die for! As good as this was it was on to the main event, "The Big Ugly"! First of all, pictures do not do this burger justice as it is massive. At times it almost felt like I was eating a personal pan pizza without slicing into it. As huge as the burger is, the quality of what you are biting into far exceeds it. You can tell that the ground beef is fresh and the patty is hand formed because it reminds you of a burger you would have at a summer backyard grill. The burger was juicy with that nice grill taste to it that puts a smile on this foodies face (and heart). The toppings for the burger were very fresh as well and the cheese was delightful! And the bun, my God the bun! The bun greatly complimented the rest of the burger and was just as fresh as the rest of the sandwich itself. There is a reason to this because the owners of Bub's actually have their own bakery called Lucys Bakery that is right down the road from Bub's. There they have the same person baking the buns for them that has been doing it for the past 12 years since Bub's originally opened its doors.

All in all, our dining experience was a true delight! Bub's has received a lot of attention and hype in the past couple of years and trust me it is well deserved. Bub's owner Matt "Bub" Fry has created a wonderful restaurant that serves up arguably one of the best burgers you will ever try, superior quality food and service, a great family experience, and one of the most unique food challenges in the Hoosier state. "The Big Ugly" challenge is so well known that people from all 50 states have come to Bub's to attempt the feat of eating this massive burger. Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream is a wonderful place to eat and is without a doubt becoming an institution in the state of Indiana. I highly recommend to all my fellow foodies out there that you put Bub's on your list of great places to try, not just in Indiana but anywhere. It will not disappoint!

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