Couple leave careers to start popular underground burger joint

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It's not hard to find a good burger in Houston, but this underground burger joint is a little hard to find.

"People will circle, circle, circle, and call us. People will say I think I'm here, I'm not sure," owner Diane Wu Feng laughed.

Burger-Chan is located at the Greenway Plaza office complex food court, one level underground.

"It's really popular, everybody really likes this place," customer Angela Huffman told us.

Its cult following just keeps growing, despite the hidden location.

"Regular customers who just tell their friends that is a big deal to us, Diane Feng said.

Diane and Willet Feng opened Burger-Chan a year and a half ago, to pursue their passion for food after earning degrees at Rice University and working careers in education and finance.

"I love eating burgers myself. I eat one almost every day," chef-owner, Willet Feng said.

"When owning a small business, you kind of just have to have that Swiss Army knife of skill set," Diane Feng said.

Diane still teaches but now, with daily math problems to keep waiting customers entertained. The prize is a Milo Ice cream, an extra-thick four ounce chocolate malt shot.

But it's not just the secret spot and thoughtful details that make Burger-Chan different. Each burger is completely customizable.

"It's tailor made. It's specifically made to what I like and what I enjoy. It's my burger," customer Sean Skobel told us.

The 80/20 ground beef gets extra flavor from a "signature glaze" that's seared into the patty.

"It is a mix of brown butter, roasted garlic, soy sauce, shiitake mushrooms, and Worcestershire sauce, that's the secret right there," Willet Feng said.

And if a burger isn't your thing, try the kimchi hot dog, fish sandwich, vegetarian chili or veggie burger made with fried Chinese eggplant sticks.

The Fengs came up with the name Burger-Chan, after facing a trademark infringement issue on their former name. "Chan" is a diminutive Japanese suffix for things that are small or cute.

It's name that fits the restaurant's quirky vibe, even though there's nothing small about their success.

"They all know about it, it's a long line," said customer Shaun Smith. "It's always a line over here, they're delicious."

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