"Without a doubt Houston is the most interesting, far-ranging, delightful food city in the South — strike that — in America right now," writes author Jennifer V. Cole, citing H-Town's diverse population as well as its easy access to fertile farmland and Gulf coast fishing areas.
"Chris Shepherd of Underbelly might as well be the town's pied piper, leading diners deeper into the flavors of the city. He so strongly supports the evolving nature of food in Houston that he sends out the dinner bill wrapped in a trifold of recommendations of other restaurants and producers in town (50 to be exact)."
Cole singles out Underbelly's signature Korean Braised Goat and Dumplings, shouting out the Shepherd's use gochujang chili paste and toasted benne seeds.
On Monday, the celebrated chef will get another dose of national attention on a Houston-centric episode of Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods America.
Here are Southern Living’s best new restaurants in the South: