Buns & Buns: Balance Could Lift Heavy, Rich Dishes
Buns & Buns established its affinity for the misogynistic era of the 1950s early last summer when it released a minute-long teaser video that opened with dozens of women's tanned, oiled backsides sunbathing on an unidentified beach.
billwisserphoto.com Buns and Buns Chef Reuven Sugarman, lamb ribs.
"Incontestably, we all like our buns hot and steamy," it said before cutting to beach scenes set to modern surf rock.
The six-month-old South Miami restaurant aims to return bread to the prominence it once enjoyed at the dinner table. In trying to revive the humble dinner roll, this fast-casual restaurant's single-page menu doesn't include Salisbury steak served by a rouge-lipped housewife in a knee-length dress. Instead, every dish comes with a bun or roll inspired by the world's greatest culinary cultures. There are steamed buns in a nod to China, naan in honor of India and the Middle East, and brioche in a salute to the French.
billwisserphoto.com Quinoa salad.
"We want to bring bread back into the picture, because lately it's been an afterthought," explains Buns & Buns chef Reuven Sugarman. "Every culture has its bread. Humanity started with bread."
A pair of fluffy steamed buns, similar to a soft-crusted hamburger roll, accompanies a quinoa salad flecked with roasted corn and cilantro. It's topped with three sweet-sour grapefruit segments and served alongside a helping of bland torn crabmeat. Stuff the clamshell buns with the mixture and make a sandwich if you like. Rip the bun and eat it alongside bites of the salad, or ignore it. The choice is yours.
Owner Alexandre Zibi, along with Sugarman, who was most recently executive chef at Richard Sandoval's Toro Toro at the InterContinental Miami, spent three weeks early last year traveling the world in search of inspiration, recipes, and techniques. Stopping in London, Istanbul, Bangkok, and Hong Kong, they wandered through markets, ate at pita stands in the Grand Bazaar, and visited pad thai stalls in rat-infested back alleys.