Restaurants / Openings

Houston Rap Icon Partners With Restaurant Innovators on New Smash Burger Joint — Trill Burgers is Coming

Bun B Knows Food — and Lyrics

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Powerhouses in their own right, siblings Patsy and Benson Vivares of Sticky’s Chicken and California restaurant innovator Andy Nguyen of Afters Ice Cream, are teaming up with a Houston rap icon on a new burger joint named Trill Burgers. Yes, Bun B is embracing the world of restaurants. And fast casual burgers.

An avid foodie, Bun B fell in love with the smash burger concept and decided to come on board the Trill Burgers team.

“It’s easy for him (Bun B) to put his name on and he’s full-on helping develop the menu with us,” Patsy Vivares tells PaperCity. “It’s not complicated chef-driven type of stuff. . . Even though he is a foodie, it is something that he can actually make in his own kitchen. And it tastes really good to him.

“That he can create something with it.”

The Vivares and Nguyen have been friends long before they entered the Houston restaurant world. After getting Nguyen’s help on their massively successful Houston food truck turned-restaurant, Sticky’s Chicken, the Vivares have wanted to collaborate on a restaurant with Nguyen.

With Sticky’s Chicken opening just a month and a half before the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns hit, the Vivares’ and Nguyen had to put that goal on hold until the time was right. Now, it finally is.

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“We were just throwing ideas around, and for one, (Nguyen) is really big about catching trends and finding the next big thing,” Patsy Vivares says.

Trill Burgers Fills a Void

Nguyen noticed that despite being such a meat-focused city, Houston lacks a standout smash burger spot. True smash burgers are a hit on the West Coast — and these foodie minds knew Houston would be a natural for this burger trend.

Bun B and Andy Nguyen of Trill Burgers
Dynamic duo, Bun B and Andy Nguyen of Trill Burgers. (Photo by Nick Scurfield)

“(Nguyen) was like, ‘One of the things that I’ve noticed is that there’s no smash burger yet in Houston,” Patsy Vivares says. “There’s nobody that’s really doing it yet here and it’s huge out in California. Why don’t y’all try it?’ “

Bun B — the rapper who is one-half of UGK — is a longtime fan of Sticky’s Chicken. He was at the opening of Sticky’s and he always makes an effort to visit the truck while in town. No stranger to cool collabs, Nguyen suggested setting up a meeting with Bun B and the rest is history.

A smash burger is a patty that is literally smashed until it’s super thin. “You get this nice crispy edge and it changes the flavor of the burger,” Patsy Vivares says.

Arguably, the best and most flavorful part, it is now in-between two buns.

Since the meat is smashed so thin, Trill Burgers are double patties, making for flavorful, crispy bites.

Trill Burgers' Smash Burger
The Oklahoma-style smash burger from Trill Burgers. (Photo by Trish Badger)

Trill Burgers’ menu will consist of a few staples such as an Oklahoma-style burger which is loaded with sauteed onions. A classic and Houston-inspired burger is still in development.

We’re excited because it’s something different that we can bring to the community,” Patsy Vivares says. “And we’re excited to be working with Bun on this because it’s his first actual legit food concept.”

Want an early sneak peek of Trill Burgers? Bun B and Nguyen will be on-site at Sticky’s Chicken on Sunday, August 8 at noon for Trill Burgers’ first pop-up. Smash burgers will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will be more pop-ups after this — with plans calling for a permanent brick-and-mortar restaurant by the end of the year.

Trill Burgers should have staying power, after all.

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