Chef Chris Shepherd has been known to visit family-owned ethnic restaurants in some of Houston’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods in search of new techniques and flavor combinations. So it comes as no surprise that Underbelly’s pimiento cheese goes off in a different direction than other recipes for this classic Southern spread. Chris starts with Redneck Cheddar, a Texas farmstead cheese from Veldhuizen Family Farm that’s soaked in a dark Texas beer during the production process. Then, he replaces the traditional mayonnaise with Mississippi’s Comeback Sauce, a happy inspiration that occurred when he was using the spicy condiment in another dish. Underbelly’s menu changes constantly, and pimiento cheese shows up in some surprising ways. Lately, the restaurant has been serving it with pork cracklings as chips. And in summer, Chris likes to pair it with grilled okra. One word of caution: Before making a pilgrimage to Underbelly for the pimiento cheese, you should call first. It’s not a regular menu item.
1100 Westheimer Rd.