Houston rapper Bun B’s burger joint Trill Burgers could be on its way to earning some Texas-sized bragging rights. The rapper’s burger restaurant, which has operated as a series of pop-ups since its launch in August 2021, is in the running for the title of the best burger in America for Good Morning America’s national “United States of Burgers.”
Owned by Bun (formally known as Bernard James Freeman), restaurateur Andy Nguyen of Bored & Hungry, and publicist Nick Scurfield, Trill Burgers went head-to-head against burger-chan, another notable Houston burger joint owned by Diane and Willet Feng, in a patty competition on Tuesday, July 26 at Saint Arnold's Brewing Company. Guests like Top Chef alumna and restaurateur Dawn Burrell, KTRK-TV personality Chauncy Glover, and former Houston Texas Pro Bowler Johnathan Joseph judged the “smash burger smackdown,” which featured burger-chan’s Southeast grilled smash burger, made with a soy sauce, roasted garlic, and brown butter umami glaze, and topped with its “funky” sambal mayo, onions, and cheese.
Judges voted unanimously in favor of Trill’s saucy OG Trill Burger — a smash burger made with 44 Farms beef patties, its secret “Trill Sauce,” onions, and pickles, all sandwiched between a smooth Martin’s potato roll bun.
Now Bun B and Trill Burger chef Mike Pham are advancing to the next round. Both will appear on Good Morning America in New York, Friday, July 29 — this time, battling against finalists from Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Miami for the top spot in the competition.
“It’s great for me to have a good passion to put behind purpose. For years, rap music and recording was my passion, but now I’m looking to transition into different things. Food is the perfect place for me,” Bun told Good Morning America Tuesday. “These burgers are the perfect way for me to come into the culinary industry, and I can’t wait for the world to have a Trill Burger.”
Though Trill Burger has earned claim from various celebrities, including rapper Snoop Dog and former Houston Rockets player James Harden, it has largely operated on the road, dishing out its patties at major events, including the Houston Livestock & Rodeo Show, and music festivals around the country, like Coachella in California, D.C.’s Something in the Water, and Miami’s Rolling Loud. The restaurant, however, is slated to officially open its brick-and-mortar in Houston later this year, according to a release.
Update/Spoiler: Trill Burgers won Good Morning America’s best burger competition.