Houston, Texas is the birthplace of many a music icon — Beyoncé, Paul Wall, Travis Scott, and Bun B all hail from the largest city in the Lone Star State. So when one of those legends decides to launch something in H-Town, it’s sure to make some noise. Still, few could have predicted the buzz when the UGK’s Trill OG himself opened his new burger concept, Trill Burgers, in June after a few years of popping up at festivals around the country.
Drake has been to Bun’s new joint. So has Shaq. E-40, Luda, and Tyson have all dropped by. So it’s no wonder that locals and tourists alike are ready to brave the line, which often wraps around the storefront.
Thankfully, that snaking line moves quickly and efficiently. Upon entry, diners are greeted with a thumping mix of dirty south hip-hop from the likes of Outkast, Paul Wall, Gucci Mane, and of course, UGK. The walls are graffitied with paintings of Bun, as well as his late bandmate Pimp C. Bun has always been the holder of Pimp’s legacy and the decor underscores their brotherhood.
Trill boasts a simple menu of their standard “OG Burger” — a smash burger with two patties, two slices of American cheese, pickles, caramelized onions, and a signature sauce. Diners can also order the triple OG burger, a vegan OG burger made with Impossible Foods patties, and a triple vegan OG burger. It’s In-n-Out-level sparse without the secret menu — a strategic decision to make sure quality control is kept on lock.
Good Morning America recently named Trill Burgers the best burger in the nation. It was also a hit at this year’s Coachella. So naturally the Uproxx crew had to pay a visit.
Tasting Notes & Thoughts:
After about a 15-minute wait in line, I ordered the OG burger combo, which comes with fries and a drink. With slim patties smashed with pickles and caramelized onions, slathered with the special sauce, and sandwiched between two Martin’s buns, the burger already has the makings of a down south favorite. And I’m here to spoil this review by telling you — it delivers on flavor.
The OG burger is notably juicy; that’s literally the first note I wrote down. The sweetness of the onions, sauce, and pickle balances well with the umami savoriness of the patty. The burnt outer edges of the smash burger also give the burger a nice crisp texture. Some smash burgers rely on an assortment of toppings and garnishes but Trill’s are seasoned so well that even with only two toppings (and the sauce) the burger literally bursts with flavor.
I did feel like it would have been nice to balance out the meat with some lettuce or tomatoes but I certainly like the Trill OG more than Smashburger, based on flavor alone. Perhaps lettuce or tomato options will be added as the restaurant finds its footing.
The fries contain a crispy outer coating, which gives them a sweet taste and an almost cheddar-esque aftertaste. I wondered if the potatoes were brined in pickle juice before going to the fryer but that notion was denied by an employee, who noted that the taste comes from the restaurant’s assortment of secret seasonings. Regardless, these fries are undeniably delicious and even more so when dipped in the secret burger sauce (ask for it on the side).
The visit proved to be rather quick, with guests entering and exiting quickly. The burgers and fries don’t sit too heavy, which is ideal if you’re walking around Houston after your lunch. Trill is located in a shopping district with a locally-owned music store, a used book store, and a comic book and game shop — plenty of ways to kill time if you make a day trip from Dallas (like we did).
The Bottom Line:
Trill is great. Incredible, even. Granted, opening a restaurant in Houston – a mecca for southern staples like barbecue and burgers – is a tough bet. But with a legend behind it and a strong customer base from both near and far, the burger joint is sure to become a city staple. And don’t be surprised if the Trill OG has plans to franchise throughout Texas and beyond.
Trill Burgers is located at 3607 S. Shepherd Dr. in Houston, TX
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