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Bun-D offers a healthy alternative to the fast-food fare that occupies most of the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center food court on Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
Bun-D offers a healthy alternative to the fast-food fare that occupies most of the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center food court on Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (Courtesy Jackie Broome)
Bun-D offers a healthy alternative to the fast-food fare that occupies most of the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center food court on Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
Bun-D offers a healthy alternative to the fast-food fare that occupies most of the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center food court on Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (Courtesy Jackie Broome)
Bun-D, located in the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, specializes in rice bowls with a variety of options of proteins, vegetables and sauces.
Bun-D, located in the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, specializes in rice bowls with a variety of options of proteins, vegetables and sauces. (Courtesy Jackie Broome)
Health-food eatery Bun-D is located just around the corner from the main food court at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center on Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
Health-food eatery Bun-D is located just around the corner from the main food court at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center on Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (Courtesy Jackie Broome)
Bun-D, located in the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, offers a diverse collection of health-conscious toppings for its rice bowls, pitas and other menu items.
Bun-D, located in the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, offers a diverse collection of health-conscious toppings for its rice bowls, pitas and other menu items. (Courtesy Jackie Broome)

I’m normally among the first to sample any new eateries around Vogelweh and Ramstein. I celebrated the debuts of Dunkin’ Donuts, Popeyes and P.F. Chang’s as I lamented the fiery demise of the parking-lot Burger King and the disappearance of Chili’s Too. I welcomed the expansion of Shawingz and Doener Time into Vogelweh’s Kazabra Club. I’m anxiously awaiting Boston Market’s attempt to succeed where Captain D’s failed and intend to contribute what I can to that success.

But for months, my visceral reaction to the concept of “health food” kept me away from Bun-D, a walk-up spot in the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center emphasizing the healthiness of its various pitas, salads, bowls and smoothies. I managed to hold my ground even as its lines grew long and tables in the Ramstein food court filled with appealing mounds of chicken and rice.

For me, health ranks well below taste and portion size in choosing a restaurant. But I know intellectually that I should value health more, so the term health food forces me to confront my own dysfunctional thought process. That’s not the experience I’m looking for; I’m there to eat my feelings, not examine them.

Finally, inspired not by a sudden craving for quinoa but by the looming deadline for the very article you are reading, my wife and I tried Bun-D out for lunch.

I wish Bun-D had been able to negate my preconceived ideas of what an unabashedly healthy eatery offers, but, alas, it did not. The bowl I chose started with a base of rice and chicken, piled with the vegetables, sauces and other toppings of my choice. I was thrilled with this arrangement, as I love a selection of options served according to my whim. The final product looked like something tasty, despite the jutting spinach leaves.

But I did not enjoy it. The array of flavors I anticipated was instead a combination of textures with a uniformly bland taste. I begrudgingly finished the bowl as my eye wandered in the direction of Johnny Rockets.

To be fair, my wife had a far higher opinion of Bun-D than I, although any place that serves guacamole has an unfair advantage with her. And it appears to do a brisk business with or without my support, so good for them. I just didn’t like it.

But I was left to consider what role my pre-existing health-food bias played in evaluating Bun-D. Did it ever have a chance to succeed with me? I thought about this as I settled into a movie theater seat upstairs from the restaurant, mixing small handfuls of Caramel M&Ms into a proportionate amount of buttered popcorn.

I should probably give Bun-D another try. Soon.

broome.gregory@stripes.com Twitter: @broomestripes

Location: Kaiserslautern Military Community Center, just around the corner from Starbucks and the main food court.Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. SundaysDress: Lots of men and women in military uniformsPrices: The ubiquitous rice bowls cost about $10.Information: Website: bun-d.com, phone: (+49)(0)6371-952-2800

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