Two of Houston‘s most acclaimed burger purveyors faced off in an epic battle on national television this morning. hello america Featured Trill Burgers and Burger Chan on a Houston-centric edition of its “United States of Burgers” segment.
Shot near downtown in Saint Arnold Brewerya panel of three judges — Excellent chef Finalist and Olympian Dawn Burrell, ABC13 presenter Chauncy Glover and former Houston Texans star Jonathan Joseph – have rated the two contestants for the chance to compete in New York on Friday for a $10,000 prize. After sampling both burgers, the judges unanimously chose Trill Burgers to go forward.
Trill Burgers served their OG Trill Burger, a double patty cheeseburger with onions on a Martin potato roll. Rather than serving their own burger smash, Burger-Chan offered their Alison Cook burger, named after the Houston the Chronicle the restaurant critic’s order that she describe in his popular Burger Friday column: a five-ounce patty topped with cheddar cheese, kimchi relish, sautéed onions and sambal mayonnaise.
Earning praise from the judges is just the latest accolade for Trill Burgers, a smash burger concept developed by Houston hip-hop legend Bun B in partnership with California restaurateur Andy Nguyen and Houston publicist Nick Scurfield. First showcased at the 2021 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, the concept has gone national by appearing at events such as the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and the Coachella Festival.
Bun and Chef Mike Pham will represent the restaurant in New York on the morning of Friday, July 29.
“I couldn’t be more proud to represent Houston in America’s greatest burger battle,” Bun B said in a statement. “I’ve had this city on my back since we started UGK, and I’m going to keep carrying it culturally, not just in music, but now in food. Let’s go baby.”
Burger-Chan is owned by Chef Willet Feng and his wife Diane. First opened in Greenway Plaza (now closed), the couple opened a new location near the Galleria earlier this year. Chef Feng’s signature umami glaze helps set Burger-Chan’s burgers apart. House-made sauces such as sambal mayonnaise and green onion aioli allow diners to customize each burger to their own taste.
“It was probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience to show our restaurant on a national level,” Diane Feng told CultureMap. Later, she adds, “Even though we didn’t win, we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved. . . There is the American part with cheddar and onions, and the Asian part which we are really proud to present.
Burger-Chan may have lost the competition, but the TV appearance has already boosted the restaurant’s notoriety. Feng says she got a phone call from a restaurant in Dallas that saw the segment and promised to stop by on her next trip to H-Town. Hopefully the look attracts a few Houstonians as well.
In the meantime, those who missed the segment can watch it below.