The Taste of Home at Underbelly

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At the top of Underbelly's simple, one-page menu is a bold statement: "Houston is the new American Creole city of the South," one that residents of New Orleans — long the country's main Creole metropolis — would certainly challenge to the death. But bold has long been the modus operandi of larger-than-life chef Chris Shepherd, whose new restaurant more than lives up to this claim in its diverse menu that's short and sweet yet wide-ranging in its array of cuisines: from Korean-style braised goat and pleasantly chewy dumplings in a fiery red gojuchang chili sauce to a German schnitzel with its always-present partner, red cabbage, the constantly-changing dishes on Underbelly's menu aim to tell the "story of Houston food" one influence and ingredient at a time.