Introducing Underbelly Burger
Chris Shepherd serves up a new burger joint for historic farmers market
Chris Shepherd is bringing burgers to the Heights. The James Beard Award winner will open Underbelly Burger at the Houston Farmers Market this summer.
The announcement clarifies the style of the fast casual restaurant that Shepherd first announced last year would open at the market. It will be located next to a butcher shop from Texas wagyu purveyor R-C Ranch.
In terms of construction, the Underbelly burger will be similar to the Cease & Desist burger served at Hay Merchant, Shepherd's casual Montrose pub. Changes to the double meat-double cheese burger include the addition of shredded lettuce to the toppings and sesame seeds to the potato bun.
The menu will also offer Shepherd's signature bacon sausage both on top of burgers and in a hot dog. Chicken sandwiches and seasonal sandwich specials round out the entrees. Pair them with "sidewinder fries," which are described as "soft in the center and crispy around the edges," as well as milkshakes created by Underbelly Hospitality pastry director Victoria Dearmond.
With just 12 seats in its 1,200-square-foot space, most diners will likely take their burgers to-go or for dining outdoors at tables around the market's newly constructed green space.
In addition to Underbelly Burger, two other restaurants will open at the market this fall. Underbelly Hospitality culinary director Nick Fine will open Wild Oats, a restaurant that will explore the “history and traditions of Texas cuisine." Acclaimed Viet-Cajun restaurant Crawfish & Noodles will also open a second location on the property.
MLB Capital Partners, a real estate development firm led by Shepherd's business partner Todd Mason, purchased the market in 2017 with the goal of transforming it into a citywide destination for food lovers. Renovations to the market's produce stalls have been completed and more vendor announcements, including at least one more restaurant and a coffee shop, are expected soon.