Event Tickets My Account Advertise About Us Contact Us Archive RSS Newsletters
Monday, May 18, 2009

Triumph of the Snails

Jo writes: “My 79-yea-old mother loves frog legs. Do you have any suggestions on where to go for such a delicacy? She lives in the White Bear Lake area.”

I immediately recommended the frog legs at Cave Vin, the often-overlooked restaurant along the Edina/South Minneapolis borderlands. I love those frogs legs. They’re garlicky, fat, yummy—the epitome of what frog’s legs should be.

Then I set about looking for something closer to Jo’s mother’s house. Surely there were frogs legs—that Kennedy-era epitome of Continental cool—somewhere closer to White Bear Lake?

I looked to what I thought were the likeliest suspects, places that still serve a Kennedy-era clientele. The Lexington? Nope, escargot. I looked to French places. Vincent? Nope, escargot. Pierre’s Bistro? Nope, escargot.

So, in case anyone was wondering: Snails 3, Frogs 1. Sometime in the last decade, frogs were eclipsed by snails. Whether this is good news for frogs I couldn’t say. The frogs and snails served in restaurants are farmed, so you can put this in the great question as to whether it’s better to have never been born or born to be eaten.

Finally, I did find another place in town that serves frogs’ legs: Jensen’s Supperclub.

But if you like frogs’ legs, my advice is to get ‘em now. These things are going the way of the dodo.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for an exciting career in a growth-area of sustainable food, why not become an escargot rancher? I read they eat radish leaves and have sex organs where you’d figure their ears would be.

And that wraps up this episode’s edition of snail-related news, check back in 20 or 30 years to see if something has changed. 

Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009 in Permalink

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

Old to new | New to old
Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
May 18, 2009 08:43 pm
 Posted by  pinecone

When I was a kid, frog legs were my favorite food. And I'm half her age. And - I grew up in Roseville! They must not have been that scarce back then.

May 18, 2009 09:57 pm
 Posted by  Emmysue

The other place I thought of, which you may have checked but just didn't mention, was Jax cafe. According to the slogan on their website home page, they serve "steaks, not trends."

They could change it to "Serving steaks, not trends or frog legs" and it would still be accurate from the looks of it.

May 18, 2009 11:15 pm
 Posted by  Dara

I did look at Jax! Before noting that they not only don't have frogs legs or escargot, but they don't have the other creepy-crawly that dominates all appetizer menus in the modern era, namely, calamari.

Why do we like to eat bug-looking things as appetizers? Crab-cakes, calamari, escargot. But lobster is almost always an entree. I guess that busts that theory.

Also, Pinecone: Did you outgrow frogs legs, or are you still a fan?

May 19, 2009 03:21 pm
 Posted by  Gale Henry

At the State Fair you can get alligator, the other green meat.

May 19, 2009 04:24 pm
 Posted by  ryanol

This is going to sound crazy but they serve frog legs at the chinese buffet in SLP near biglots off of highway 7. Their deep fried numbers but if you get them when they first come out...their pretty decent.

May 19, 2009 04:43 pm
 Posted by  Danny

Frog legs are found at quite a few of the Chinese buffets. I couldn't tell you if they're any good, but quite a few of the bigger ones have them.

May 19, 2009 05:02 pm
 Posted by  pinecone

I am still a fan! Although I've eaten so many other delicious things since then that I no longer seek out frog legs. But I actually have had them at the Grand City Buffet in StLP - probably the best thing on the menu.

May 20, 2009 02:49 pm
 Posted by  beth

The Lakeside Supper Club between New Prague and Montgomery often has frog legs on the marquis. Nowhere near White Bear Lake, however.

May 21, 2009 09:57 am
 Posted by  peeps

The dining guide in Minnesota Monthly notes that Cafe Levain serves frog legs... is this still the case?

May 21, 2009 10:47 am
 Posted by  Dara

Good catch! According to their menu from May 15, the answer is: No. We will update the dining listings to reflect that - though the June issue is already out, so the change won't be reflected in print until July.

I am shocked at the depth interest of community interest in this topic and so I will be posting a follow-up with breaking frogs legs news later today! Or tomorrow. You know how it goes. Still: I am surrounding this story!

Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Add your comment:

About This Blog

TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally bring the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Minnesota Monthly Senior Editor Rachel Hutton, Sustainable Food Correspondent Marie Flanagan, Home Cook Stephanie Meyer, Chef Jason Ross, Food Writer Joy Summers, and Drinks & Real Food Senior Editor Mary Subialka. Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Sign up for our monthly dining e-blast:

MNMO Dish Sign-up

The Latest in MNMO

Best New Restaurants Mosaic
Icehouse Cool Primebar
Haute Hot Dogs Technique
Culinary Cloning Fika
Birdhouse Takes Flight Corner Table
Best Bars Left Handed Cook
Creative Cocktailing A Lotta Burrata

* Access all reviews here. 

restaurants Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory