the frog has been around for around 15 years. my wife worked there for 5, and we go in all the time. we absolutely love it, there is nothing else like it in town. it is fun, campy, eccentric, great food, and simply an institution. you literally never know what will happen. that said, it is definitely expensive (for entrees) and is definitely "worn-in." i mean, the building used to be the dive bar The Red Front, and it still has a dive bar kind of feel. i personally think the more casual atmosphere works in its favor - it's a restaurant where people have fun, not instagram their food or speak in hushed tones. it is one of the only "fine dining" restaurants in town where people end up chatting and having a ball with people at other tables, or end up staying at the bar until well after closing time. in this regard, it is very "french."mean wrote:Le Fou Frog was my guess. I thought it had been around at least since I was in Junior High French class, because my I recalled my teacher using it to explain that "frog" was slang for French people. That would put it at least around 25 years old.
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Must be misremembering if it's only been open 15 years. That said, I love the place, I wasn't trying to disparage it. I'm not even sure Colby was, whatever restaurant he was talking about; "it's not very clean and is overpriced" can probably be said about plenty of places, but "it's so comfortable and worn-in that nobody cares how much they're paying" is arguably high praise.
Le fou frog opened in 1996, it was put together with a lot of hard work from Mano and Barb. I was never state of the art it just had a lot of love and passion poured into it. The kitchen has came a long ways from day one, i know I was there. It's a true labor of love that pours everything back into it. The sea food is still flown in from Boston twice a week, the menu has always been packed full of specials. A crazy amount of them, it wasn't uncommon to see forty plus on any given night. The frog is "broken in" that's it's charm. They money has always gone back into it's ingredients. The building is over 100 years old, you should have seen it before it opened. Anyone can open a place with a ton of money with backers in some suburb in a strip mall with a fake feeling. The place has been busy from day one, we did lunch, brunch and dinner with a three person kitchen in the beginning. On a Friday and Sat night around 250 people each night, so yes there is some wear just like you would find in France in a small southern town. Are their prices high? No, if you know anything about food. The frog has shaped the food scene in Kansas City more than any other restaurant here, Mano just never jumped on the beard band wagon. Some people just don't need that to have belief in themselves or justify their being.
Mano is like a brother to me, I respect him more than another chef in Kansas City second would be Martin from Affare. He has greatly enriched my life by me just knowing him. if you look up "Mensch" it would show a picture of Mano.
No one likes the Frog more than I do, and as a francophile there is no place in town that I enjoy more. BUT there are other people who don't like it for various reasons, whether I agree with them or not. But it IS expensive - we're not talking about value or quality of food and experience...we're talking about the price paid for a meal. Saying that it's not expensive 'if you know anything about food' is coming at the issue from an ownership/management perspective, not from the public's or diner's perspective.
Applebees is expensive for what you get, it's all in how you define expensive, Paying the price for chief's tickets is expensive for what you get in return even though it's cheap by NFL standards. Is an apple computer expensive? Are Baldwins worth the price are they expensive? When I go out i normally just set at the bar and leave spending 70 a person average, is that expensive for drinks? Is a local craft beer worth 5 to 10 dollars a glass?
The last time I went to Le Frou Frog they sat us on the porch in a plastic chair. The food was 'good' but for $100/person I don't want to be on a porch with no view or a dining room that isn't much better than Buca di Beppo.
That Pitch article was so infuriating to read. It makes me sad that these business owners are so shortsighted and have such ignorant views on general city life because I love their restaurants. After reading this crap I almost don't want to give them business anymore. I mean come on, all this talk of no parking downtown and everyone getting their cars ticketed and towed. Even with all this construction it is still very easy to find a parking spot. I have never once had trouble finding a parking spot anywhere in this city, and almost every time I park on the street. I'm sorry that some of your customers are stupid suburbanites who don't know how to transport themselves around downtown.chingon wrote:Don't worry, the streetcar construction is going to put them out of business anyway. I read about it in the Pitch. Of course, both Micheal and Nancy also said in the article that their business was actually up this year, but why let facts spoil a good public pouting...kcjak wrote: my bet is on Michael Smith's - that place is awful in so many ways.
OH, and when the city told them to take transit to work Nancy actually said we don't have transit built yet?? What is she crazy!? This whole article was just absolute batshit crazy. And the fact that they are doing well financially is laughable. Why even write the article? The most frustrating part of this is that loads of people who are completely ignorant on the subject will pick up the pitch and use this to shape their opinion.
On the other hand, I absolutely loved reading this Feast article. It was completely interesting from start to finish. It makes me feel much, much better seeing that many of our town's great chef's are actually aware of city issues and care about these things that will truly make KC a more complete, better city. Now, it isn't completely fair to make the comparison because these chefs don't have restaurants along the streetcar line, but I'm thinking they wouldn't feel differently if they did after reading this.
It is good to know that some people actually care about the greater good of others and our city, as opposed to only caring about themselves. The Pitch article shows a bunch of extremely selfish opinions. If anything should disturb their special lives then it is a terrible, stupid thing and should be stopped immediately. Never mind the fact that once the construction is done it will increase their revenue even further.
These damn hypocritic idiots will be talking about how much they love the streetcar once its up and running. They will say how they were for it the whole time. How much you wanna bet? And Kotar complaining about the hotel being built across the street from his restaurant? What is this the bizarro world!? Who complains about future business being built across the street? It just makes no sense.
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a hotel with no restaurant! it's like a double fucking rainbow for him.Demosthenes wrote:And Kotar complaining about the hotel being built across the street from his restaurant? What is this the bizarro world!? Who complains about future business being built across the street? It just makes no sense.
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Michael Smith must be doing all right downtown if he feels comfortable parting with a restaurant at Prairiefire. http://www.pitch.com/FastPitch/archives ... restaurant
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http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment ... 97768.html
Eventually the two will move into a larger space, perhaps in a building Brazeal already owns in the Crossroads Arts District.
Ate dinner at novel last week and got an update on the plans. Apparently the Cadillac building (the roof in particular) is too far gone and will be demolished. The restaurant will go into the first floor of the small two-story building to the north.KCDowntown wrote:I think the building he owns is the former Cadillac Catering event space.
Who parks in that massive surface parking lot just south of 20th on McGee? Every time I go by the place is full of cars but there aren't really any immediately adjacent businesses of any size.pash wrote:Great, so 20th & McGee is going to get a fourth parking lot on the fourth corner.
Ryan Brazeel is nuts if he thinks his customer base is going to follow him from Novel's present cozy confines to a new restaurant parked in a wasteland of surface lots.
I am one of those customers who will greatly miss the old Novel in the west end. Possibly the most quaint restaurant in KC.