Southern Smoke

1100 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006, USA

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Houston's New Creole

Chris Shepherd spent nine years in the kitchen at Brennan’s (and another five at Catalan) before opening this ode to Houston‘s culturally diverse dives, its ethnic underbelly. What to expect: Korean braised goat with dumplings, Vietnamese-style pork meatballs, and by-catch with ribbons of cucumber, buttermilk, and chili. If there’s beef on the menu, order it (Chef Shepherd finishes his cows with spent beer grain and two bottles of St. Arnold a day) and, for dessert, the old-school vinegar pie is a must.

A Big Heart

A cheerleader for his adopted city, Midwest-raised, James Beard Award-winning Chris Shepherd has a mission: He won’t stop promoting the mom-and-pop ethnic restaurants that are the heartbeat of Houston’s diverse neighborhoods. Experience his passion at Underbelly, Shepherd’s locally-inspired restaurant in Montrose, which National Eater listed as one of 38 essential restaurants in America, and Bon Appétit and Esquire lauded as one of the nation’s best new restaurants in 2014. (Food & Wine also paid homage to Shepherd as one of the Best New Chefs in America.) Forever seeking deeper knowledge, Shepherd has also opened an in-house butcher and charcuterie shop, where he works to use the whole animal.

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