100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes 2014-15: No. 73, Hog & Hominy Poutine at Underbelly

Once again, Kaitlin Steinberg is eating her way through Houston and counting down her 100 favorite dishes as we work our way toward our annual Menu of Menus® issue and culinary extravaganza. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most delicious, most creative and, of course, most indicative of our ever-changing food scene. It's a list of personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that are uniquely Houstonian.

As a food writer, I hear a lot of talk about what people feel are overrated restaurants in Houston. I hear all the griping about places being passé or not as amazing as local and national media make them out to be, opinions that I sometimes feel are based on the hipster if-everyone-thinks-it's-cool-it's-no-longer-cool mentality. The primary Houston restaurant that I feel falls victim to that unfortunate stance is Underbelly.

Possibly due in part to all the national attention it's received, people love to bash on Underbelly, saying it's derivative of small, ethnic restaurants in town (which is kind of the point) and that it's hit or miss. While not every single dish I've ever had at Underbelly has resulted in a life-changing moment of culinary bliss, I must say this: The quintessential Houston restaurant has still got it.

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Kaitlin Steinberg