210 W. Main St.
Carmel Indiana 46032United States
At this burger joint in historic Carmel, the enormous Big Ugly burger -- a full pound of ground beef -- is quite the novelty.
Located in Carmel's bustling Arts and Design District, Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream is a neighborhood institution -- a popular spot for families cycling on the adjacent Monon trail or taking a stroll through town. In summer, locals pack the patio for burgers, hot dogs, chili and treats from the ice cream parlor, but this is also a year-round destination. Inside, walls are lined with photos of brave -- or at least very hungry -- customers who have eaten an entire Big Ugly burger (toppings, bun and all) in one sitting ($14.55). The burger's handmade patty weighs in at 22 ounces before cooking and a full pound after cooking, so the restaurant has to special-order its buns from a local bakery just to get ones that fit. For those with smaller appetites or budgets, half-pound and quarter-pound versions are also available ($7.85 and $5.85). For the more adventurous, elk burgers are also offered in the same sizes for a few dollars more. We ordered the Big Ugly burger and opted to share it, and we also ordered the three fry options: regular fries ($1.20), waffle fries ($1.20), and sweet potato waffle fries served with marshmallow dipping sauce ($2.42). Even though we knew what to expect, we were completely intimidated by our first glimpse of our Big Ugly burger, which is as big as a dinner plate. The patty was hot and had appetizing grill marks, but the slices of cheddar cheese were greasy, and the lettuce and tomato didn't seem fresh. The fries were great, and the real winner was the order of sweet potato fries, both salty and sweet, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Like most things here, they're not diet friendly, but they are family-friendly and delicious.