HARLINGEN, Texas (KGBT) — Frank Macias, better known as Frankie Flav of Frankie Flav’z Craft Burger House, is about to open his sixth restaurant in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) nearly seven years after he first started flipping patties out of a food truck he opened in 2016.
“When I opened the food truck, I wanted to do a good burger,” Macias said. “That’s what drew people to our food truck. Me and my brother-in-law, Chris, were sitting in the truck, and we decided, ‘Let’s make different burgers.’ From there, it just progressed from two or three burgers. Now we’re up to like 35 burgers on the menu,”.
He wasn’t always known for his flavorful burgers. Macias said he was headed down a different career path.
“To be honest, I was going to school at TSTC to be a nurse. They had a culinary program, and I’ve always loved cooking. I had a passion for it,” Macias said. “I told my wife, Cindy, ‘Hey, look, I like this culinary program. I’m thinking of switching.’ She says, ‘That’s your passion. Go for it.’ So I transitioned from nursing to culinary.”
Macias said his inspiration for cooking came from his father, who worked in the kitchen at Valley Baptist Medical Center for over 40 years.
“He’d come home, and he was always going to barbecue like most dads, but he made Chinese one day, do Italian [another] day. Growing up, I always thought, ‘Oh, that’s pretty neat,'” Macias said.
One of his bestsellers on the menu is the Si Pancho Burger, which originated from Macias’s father.
“My dad would go to the kitchen, and be like, ‘Hey, can you make me this burger’ and, ‘Si Pancho, Si Pancho.’ I was like, ‘You know what, that’s a good burger,’ and I put it on the menu, and that one sells a lot,” Macias said.
Macias has successful businesses across the RGV, but he said when he first opened his food truck, it came with many struggles.
“You have to depend on your business and what location you are going to be at and if the elements are going to be there,” Macias said. “If it’s cold and raining, you are not going to get any business. You just gotta roll with the punches and take what was given. When the opportunity is there, you have to present the best food you can at any moment.”
With the opening of his newest restaurant in McAllen, Macias said his craft burger house might make its way up north in the near future.
“We definitely want to hold down the valley first and build the structure, and then we can kind of move forward with that,” Macias said. “But yeah, being here in the valley with six locations has become a big challenge, and we’re ready to try, so when the time’s right, we’ll move to Austin.”
Frankie said he is proud to represent the RGV and help showcase everything the valley has to offer.
“It’s good to see people like us striving and becoming who we are. We were here from the valley. It’s a lot harder than coming from up north,” he said.