At the end of January, Spring scored one of the suburbs’s most exciting new eateries in Belly of the Beast, a casual new Mexican restaurant with a truly diverse menu.
Now open at 26510 Border Street in Old Town Spring, Belly of the Beast is a project of chef Thomas Bille and his brother Edward, both of whom originally hail from Los Angeles. Before relocating to Spring, Thomas Bille honed his skills in the bustling Los Angeles restaurant scene, including stints at chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s much-lauded Otium and gastropub Ford’s Filling Station. After moving to Houston, Bille briefly worked for chef Hugo Ortega at Xochi.
Bille describes Belly of the Beast as a “very grassroots project.” “My brother helps me out in the kitchen, my niece is at the counter taking orders, and my sister is running food and clearing tables,” Bille tells Eater. “We’re only four people, but we’re going to be a Navy SEAL team.”
As far as the food is concerned, diners can look forward to a seriously compelling, if tight, selection of dishes like Mexican hummus that’s made with “refried” chickpeas, queso fresco and almond salsa macha, then served with freshly made tortillas. Four different taco options are also on the menu, including a carnitas taco that’s made with confit Berkshire pork belly and a juicy, vibrant birria de res taco that’s served with a side of rich caldo (soup) for dipping.
Don’t expect this menu to stick around forever, as the chef plans to make seasonally appropriate changes. “This first opening menu is my love letter to Mexican-American cooking,” Bille says. “Growing up in L.A., I was surrounded by so many cultures and I kind of inherited that in my style. I bastardize food, I do my own thing, I like to do Thai food and Japanese influences.” Those influences can be seen in dishes like the hamachi tostada, which is served with a uni mayo and avocado puree, and a black garlic pad Thai dish that Bille is planning to top with salsa.
Right now, Belly of the Beast is open for lunch service from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In the coming months, following the debut of its next door neighbor Excalibur Brewing, dinner service is set to follow.