City Cast

Meet The Man Behind Burger Bodega

Brooke Lewis
Posted on August 4
Abbas Dhanani, owner of Burger Bodega. (Michael Ma)

Abbas Dhanani, owner of Burger Bodega. (Michael Ma)

Abbas Dhanani started as a food blogger, creating a popular Instagram account that chronicles Houston’s evolving food scene. Now, Dhanani has taken on a new role as restaurant owner of the popular smashburger restaurant Burger Bodega.

HoustonEatz has been around for more than a decade. How has Houston's food scene evolved since you started the account in 2011?

“Houston has become more of a foodie city over the years. As far as talent, it's way more widespread throughout the city, and with that, the concepts have expanded and become even more diverse. Previously, there were only a few premiere chefs like Chris Shepherd, Justin Yu, and Hugo Ortega. Now everywhere you see, there's talent, not just in the city but nationally recognized talent. It was rare for Houston chefs to get recognized by James Beard in the past, but now we're a perennial city for nominations, paving the way for Houston as one of the top food cities in the country.”

Your family operated numerous franchises across the city and you helped them as you grew up. How did those skills transfer into helping you launch Burger Bodega?

“Without the family business experience, I wouldn't have had the confidence to do Burger Bodega. It would have been challenging to set it up as I did. Being a manager at the previous fast food restaurants under the Dhanani Group also gave me the experience of learning how to be a leader and lay the blueprint for succeeding.”

What's another burger spot that you love in Houston, and why?

“It's hard for me to choose just one spot, so here are a few of my favorites. Nancy's [Hustle] is already one of the best restaurants in Houston, but their burger might be the best thing on the menu. Stanton's City Bites. It's a Houston classic staple. Tornado Burger. More of a fast-food-style burger, but it's amazing. The spicy patty is incredible.”

If you want to hear more from Dhanani, then listen to his interview from earlier this week on City Cast Houston with our host Raheel Ramzanali. I know you’re also probably craving a burger, so check out our round-up of the best burger spots in town. [City Cast Houston 🎧]

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