For brothers Tony and Mike Mistry, one of the best parts about owning Burger Nation is seeing a new customer take their first bite.

“That’s our juice, if you will,” Tony said of customer feedback and interacting with diners. “The entire credit for the menu goes straight to our guests.”

Before opening Burger Nation, the two often came up with unconventional toppings and flavors for their homemade burgers but found there were few to no restaurants serving these combinations, they said. This inspired them to open their own—first a Victoria location of Burger Nation in 2011 and then the NASA Parkway location in 2015. A Pearland location also opened in 2021.

“We love to put weird stuff together,” Mike said, adding customers have ventured into new culinary territory over time. “People have opened their palettes to diverse foods.”

The Burger Nation motto of “awesome burgers for awesome people, by awesome people” is emblazoned across one of the walls near the kitchen on NASA Parkway. Burger Nation started off serving patties made from one of two kinds of meat with three bun selections and expanded over time for varied customer tastes.

The menu at the NASA Parkway location now includes half a dozen types of buns to accompany more than 15 burgers made from beef or other meats, such as bison and elk. One popular burger is made with half beef and half pork; other toppings include Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, brisket, and macaroni and cheese.

Nonburger menu items include five types of chicken sandwiches, build-your-own hot dogs and veggie burgers. While customer feedback drives menu selections, keto-friendly options came about in part because of the brothers’ diets, Tony said.

“We were doing keto, and we eat here every single day,” he said. “Those lettuce wraps got boring.”

The Mistrys said they hope to continue building brand recognition across Houston and open locations along Beltway 8; they are eyeing Pasadena as a next stop, they said.

As the duo works to feed burger aficionados in the Bay Area and beyond, they said the trust they have in each other due to their familial ties helps make communication simple.

“We’re very efficient in that sense,” Mike said.