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Chef Chris Shepherd Is Working on a New Burger Joint for the Houston Farmers Market

Get ready for the Cease & Desist burger, plus crispy “sidewinder” fries

A cheeseburger topped with tomato, lettuce, two burger patties, and cheese. Fries sit in the background.
The Cease and Desist burger
The Hay Merchant/Facebook

Last year, chef Chris Shepherd announced that he was working on two restaurants for the Houston Farmers Market, which is recently undergoing a major revamp. Initially, Shepherd only released details on his plans for one of those spots, but now we’ve got some intel on what the second restaurant will look like.

A permit application filed with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission indicates that Shepherd’s Underbelly Hospitality is working on a brand new burger joint for the space at 2520 Airline Drive, Suite B-215. The permit application calls the eatery “UBH Burger Shop,” an abbreviated version of the shop’s actual name: Underbelly Burger.

Previously, the restaurant had only been described as a fast-casual eatery, but it does make sense that Shepherd would open a burger joint at the location considering that it will sit directly adjacent to the forthcoming butcher shop from Texas wagyu beef supplier R-C Ranch. Shepherd’s Montrose restaurant the Hay Merchant is also known for making a damn fine burger — the Cease and Desist, named for the stern letter he received from lawyers for California chain In-N-Out after putting a burger called the UB Double Double on his menu back in 2013.

Per a press release, the Cease and Desist burger will be the star of Underbelly Burger, plus chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and Shepherd’s famed bacon sausage. “Sidewinder fries,” or swirl-cut potatoes with crisp edges and soft centers, will also be on the menu, along with a menu of milkshakes from Underbelly pastry chef Victoria Dearmond.

The burger spot will sit directly next to Wild Oats, Underbelly Hospitality’s first foray into the Heights that will be led by chef Nick Fine. Fine, who got his start with the group at its namesake eatery Underbelly, plans to serve a menu of dishes that focus on the history and traditions of Texas cuisine. It’s currently projected to open sometime later this year, likely in summer 2021.

Stay tuned for more details on Shepherd’s plans to bring burgers to the Houston Farmers Market as they become available.

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