Photo by Chuck Cook Photography Battered and deep-fried pork tamales are only one of Underbelly's new happy hour dishes that will keep you from feeling a little peckish before dinner.
Between 3 p.m. and dinnertime, it can be tough to find a place to eat. Many restaurants close after lunch and reopen at dinner. Underbelly's wine bar, however, stays open even when the main dining room is closed, and thanks to a new happy hour menu, there's an opportunity to go on a journey across America without leaving town. Chef Chris Shepherd is paying homage to other chefs around the country with a menu that consists of some fun and even daring snacks.
He's calling it the "covers" menu--his renditions of dishes from chefs that he knows and respects. Besides happy hour, it's also available for late-night noshes from 10 p.m. until midnight Monday through Thursday, and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
The menu certainly has some eye-openers. Take, for example, the deep-fried pork tamales. The wife of Underbelly's butcher makes the tamales and Shepherd is serving them in homage to John Currence of City Grocery in Oxford, Mississippi. These are, in fact, the same tamales served at The Pastry War, where they've already garnered many fans. Shepherd takes them way over the top. It is not a misnomer to call them "chicken-fried." The combination of meatiness, softness from the masa and the initial crunch of the coating is compelling.More »