The buns of Buns & Buns.
The buns of Buns & Buns.
Photos by Laine Doss

Buns & Buns: Value-Priced Fresh Bread and Grilled Meats

Buns & Buns was something of a mystery for a while. Not much was known about the restaurant except its location, name, and a vague concept including bread and grilled meats. In fact, even the public relations firm hired to work with the place couldn't get a menu before it opened.

See also: Buns & Buns to Open in January 2014

When I finally walked into the small space that once housed OMG! Burgers and featured a presidential visit, I wasn't sure what to expect. Buns & Buns can be considered a fast-casual restaurant -- order at the counter, get a number, and wait for your food. The menu has a simple premise: Several proteins at three price points are offered, each with a side and a bun (which can be substituted for a different bread).

There are also some appetizers and salads (the only vegetarian options). All are priced by category, with bites offered at $5; salads at $10; grilled items at $10, $15, and $20; and desserts at $8. The restaurant also serves beer, wine, and cocktails. It should be noted that this is not a sandwich shop. You'll find no burgers, tuna melts, or turkey clubs. The menu clearly states that fact in case you didn't get it when perusing the options: "This, sir, is not a sandwich shop." Nevertheless, with a plate filled with grilled meat or seafood, slaw, and a warm bun, you'll catch on quickly that a fresh sammie is within reach.

The breads are baked daily and, as befits the name, are a focal point of the menu. Cravers of carbs can also purchase the buns individually ($1.50 each) as a snack or to take home. Once ordered, the food gets to your table quickly (mine took about ten minutes). When I arrived at 2:30 p.m. to taste some menu items, the restaurant was humming with a mix of moms picking up their kids from local schools and shoppers out for a late lunch. Here's what I tried:

Buns & Buns: Value-Priced Fresh Bread and Grilled Meats

Is the O'Pama cocktail a nod to when the president visited this location? I pondered the question while sipping a blend of Pama, sake, watermelon juice, and lime ($8).

Buns & Buns: Value-Priced Fresh Bread and Grilled Meats

The name sounds like something out of South Park, but spinach poofs, served on a bed of tahini, are a good start to a meal ($5).

Buns & Buns: Value-Priced Fresh Bread and Grilled Meats

Roasted heirloom tomato salad with burrata, watermelon, and avocado ($10).

Buns & Buns: Value-Priced Fresh Bread and Grilled Meats

A huge platter of lamb ribs with slaw and an herb bun is a value at $10.

Buns & Buns: Value-Priced Fresh Bread and Grilled Meats

Thick, tender pork belly, served with slaw, bourbon sauce, and a steamed bun, is just waiting to be assembled into a megasandwich ($15).

Buns & Buns: Value-Priced Fresh Bread and Grilled Meats

Chili-rubbed shrimp is served with aioli for dipping. I asked for cheese naan ($15, plus 50 cents for the naan).

Do not, under any circumstances, miss the Lost Bun for dessert if you're a fan of bread pudding ($8). A brioche bread pudding is baked with candied orange peel and served with arancia creme, rum sauce, and caramelized pecans ($8).

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send: