Frog Legs

June 19th, 2018 § 0 comments

Many years ago, New York’s theater district and the cross streets that extended into the far west side were dotted with plain spoken, very traditional French bistros. Hearty, affordable food and rough and ready wine. Close to the waterfront were the rugged bistros favored by French seamen from the ocean liners. Those were the places where young HG first sampled beef hearts, tete de veau and other innards plus long simmered stews. At the classier (but still economical) bistros near the theaters were where HG first tasted frog legs. HG approached the dish with apprehension. But, culinary curiosity forced HG to order a plate. HG was hooked. Whether cooked a la Provencal (with tomatoes and onions) or sauteed in olive oil with garlic and a sprinkling of paprika, HG always ordered them before proceeding to brains, kidneys or boeuf bourginon. Hard to find on restaurant menus these days (even in Paris). Thus, HG was happy last summer to find frozen frog legs in the fish counter at Sobey’s Supermarket in Charlottetown. HG ate dozens (the sautee version) before being admonished by daughter Lesley R.. Because she is the communications and marketing director for a major health care provider in Rhode Island, she is knowledgeable about the harmful effects of certain foods. Asian frog legs are harvested in dirty, fetid swamps and streams and processed in less-than-ideal environs. Eat at your own risk, said she. HG did admit to some queasiness after a big plate of frog legs. HG believes this was due to Lesley-induced fears plus an overindulgence in vodka. With these fragile justifications in mind, HG picked up a half pound of attractive, fresh frog legs at the Atlantic Superstore in C’town.They were meaty, tender, delicious. No bad after effects. Sadly, all of those cheap and tasty west side French bistros have disappeared. Only one remains, the tiny Chez Napoleon. The women who run it feature all of the classics including frog legs and brains in black butter. The menu is a roll call of old time French good things. Plus, you can get a very good souffle if you order it at the beginning of your meal. Chez Napoleon, long may it reign.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What's this?

You are currently reading Frog Legs at HUNGRY GERALD.