Chef Feature: BuffBurger

Local. Natural. Sustainable. Three ingredient characteristics not commonly paired with hearty, mouthwatering gourmet burgers. For burger enthusiasts and BuffBurger owners Sara and Paul “Buff” Burden, the challenge of incorporating such wholesomeness in burger dishes of fine-dining quality is not only an option for preparing perfect burgers – it’s the key to success.

When Sara, a native Houstonian, and Buff, a Londoner, first met as ski instructors on the powdered slopes of Colorado, the food- and travel-loving duo launched a lasting romance as well as an idea that would bring a new dining concept to the Houston culinary scene. Inspired by a unique eatery on a trip to New Zealand, the couple sought to introduce a fast-casual gourmet burger restaurant featuring only locally-sourced, all-natural ingredients that glorified Houston’s distinct love of beef.

Their namesake, BuffBurger, opened its doors in March 2015, and became one of the first of its kind to deliver burgers with the high-end taste of fine-dining yet efficient convenience of fast food. Today, the restaurant sizzles with customer enthusiasm for its savory, local products and is one of the only fast casual restaurants to exclusively feature 44 Farms beef.

“We believe ingredients being grown and raised the way they’re supposed to be creates our quality that customers love more than anything else,” said Sara, co-owner of BuffBurger. “Our burger is made by the quality of the beef. The care that 44 Farms takes in raising the animals to produce meat with unparalleled texture and taste allows the beef to speak for itself. All other meats pale in comparison.”

Featuring a variety of customizable gourmet burger combinations, from Truffle Aioli to Pickled Carrots and Daikon, BuffBurger also offers house-made salads, sauces and sides – all infused with Buff’s self-taught culinary flair.

“People want to know more and more about where their food comes from. We are blessed to have incredible quality beef right at our doorstep with 44 Farms only a couple hours away,” said Buff. “Since there is no variation in the quality, we’re able to consistently produce dishes each family member adores. Some children don’t even eat the bun or toppings because they love the beef patty so much.”

BuffBurger will open a second location in Houston, at Montrose and Mandell near The Menil Collection this fall. The new location will exclusively offer 44 Farms beef with new additions to the in-house menu.