Enjoying the Underbelly in Houston, TX

I was invited to do some book events in Houston. I had a really good time talking with people about my book -- and doing serious research at Underbelly 1100 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas 77006 -- the easy to miss place across the street from the El Real Tex Mex neon sign. Underbelly was rocking at 6:30 P.M. with standing room only except for my reserved table. It sounds like a pig-centric place, but it's not, it's global cuisine executed with local ingredients. Chef Chris Sheperd calls it new American Creole cuisine. 

Underbelly, in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston TX

Underbelly, in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston TX

To test the kitchen's talents in diverse cuisines I ordered: Korean Braised Goat & Dumplings, Burrata with Heirloom tomatoes and Fava Bean Salad, Crispy Local Vegetables with Caramelized Fish Sauce, Warm Sourdough Bread, Roasted Garlic and Roasted Leek Butter, Seared Pork Tenderloin Bibimap, Rice, Pickled & Raw Vegetables, Kung Pao Lamb and Vinegar Pie.

 

The meal was memorable and the talent is excessive. A few notes for your visit:

  • The Scoville Heat Rating on the Korean Goat is north of 250,000, perfect for chile heads.
  • I am going to learn to make Burrata the way they do it at Underbelly. The flavor and texture was amazing.  The platter was a still life and everything on it was freshly picked, delicious and lightly handled as it should be, but the Burrata stole the show. Order two of these for a crowd.
  • Caramelized fish sauce makes anything taste good.  Gilding in this example with vegetables this perfect.
  • You could skip the sourdough bread and just eat the butter, but the bread is quite good and it's a big chunk for sharing. 
  • Bibimap was new to me as I can't pass up Korean BBQ when it's offered. I liked it but I do not know if this is a spectacular example.
  • No matter Chinese or whatever seasoning, you would have known this little lamb grew up on a really nice farm. 
  • Next time I'll try some of the Gulf fish or shrimp choices. 
  • After sampling several reds by the glass, the Miner Family Merlot was a good all round choice for this tasting. 

It's so exciting to be out and about and eating things I've never had before! 

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