Greenwood’s Award-winning Burger Joint Celebrates Five Years
Writer / Jon Shoulders
Photographer / Amy Payne
Scott Sims always knew while grilling burgers at home during casual summer pool gatherings that he might someday try running his own burger joint. His homemade seasonings and unique topping configurations would garner abundant backyard praise from friends and family, and he eventually began bottling his sauces and seasonings to sell at flea markets and special events.
However, after taking the plunge and opening Between the Bun Burgers, Dogs and More (BTB), his Greenwood-based casual eatery, in 2013, even Sims is surprised at the amount of success he’s been able to achieve in a mere five years.
“I have a lot of what people would call insane ideas when it comes to food and toppings,” he says with a laugh. “It’s always been my dream to own a burger place and it seems like we’ve had a good response so far.”
Sims launched Big Dad’s Nappy-Q food truck in 2012, which swiftly became popular and prompted the southside native and Southport High School graduate to consider opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant. After finding a space on South Madison Avenue in January of 2013, Sims had Between the Bun up and running three months later, and he says the name comes from a friend’s casual suggestion that he felt encapsulated his concept well.
“I thought the name was good because we’re not just doing burgers – we’re doing all kinds of stuff, so I ran with it,” he says.
Indeed, Sims has remained busy creating unique appetizers, hot dogs, sandwiches and burgers – several of them award-winning – and he’s concocted almost 50 types of burgers since opening.
“I’m always rotating out burgers,” he says. “Generally, what I’ll do is come out with a burger of the moment, and if it sells then I’ll add it to an upcoming menu.”
While the BTB customer favorite remains the Classic, served with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and mayonnaise, Sims says the Mac Daddy, with bacon bits, ranch and a seven-cheese house mac and cheese served inside a pretzel bun, is a very close second.
Among his award-winning burgers is the Cookie Monster, which took home second place honors at Indy’s 2016 Bull Burger Battle and features cookie butter, smoked bacon and a sriracha drizzle on a brioche bun. The Thai One On, which is served with pepper jack cheese, sautéed jalapenos, smoked bacon and house sriracha ranch, won the 2015 Indy Burger Battle.
Sides include onion rings, Spitfire Chili, tater tots and house mac and cheese, and the menu also features kids selections and locally produced beverages from Sun King, Taxman and Oaken Barrel breweries as well as Mallow Run Winery.
Sims says winning the 2017 Indy A-List Best Burger in the Indianapolis Area was especially thrilling, and an inspiration to continue indulging his most far-fetched burger whims for potential menu inclusion.
“Winning the A-List was gratifying because in our first two years we came in the top four, then we came in second in 2016 and finally took it for 2017,” he explains. “It’ll be nice if we can keep that kind of momentum up, but regardless of the awards I’ll still be experimenting with different flavors and combinations to see what makes a unique, tasty burger.”
As BTB moves past its five-year mark, Sims says the focus will be on continuing his innovative approach to burgers, as well quality control. While he plans to eventually open a second location around Indy, he says his primary spot will always be on the southside.
“You can go to any place and get a burger but when you get it, a lot of times it looks nothing like what you’re seeing on the menu,” he says. “What I focus on is consistency in quality. We have a ton of regulars with some people coming in two and three times a week getting the same thing. We try to ensure that when they do, we have the same, exact quality and appearance every time they come in.”
Between the Bun Burgers, Dogs and More is located at 102 South Madison Avenue in Greenwood. For more information and to view the full lunch and dinner menu, visit btbindy.com or call 317-300-8327.