Before traveling the world and experiencing different cultures and foods, I never thought in a million years I would salivate over frog legs.
As a child, my father would take me to Canal Street in New York City, which was also part of Chinatown. In Chinatown the Chinese would skin the frogs right on the sidewalk before cooking them and I would watch the frogs shake as they were dying. It was pretty sick if you ask me, but my father was weirdly into it. They would deep-fry the frog and hang them in the window for customers to buy. My father would break the frogs apart and force me to try one of the legs. At 10 years old, I definitely wasn’t into it.
Fast-forward to my young adult life, and I’m reintroduced to frog legs during a brief stint I had living in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The frog legs looked like big deep-fried chicken drumsticks, and I was hooked. Just pass me some hot sauce and I could eat a basket of them while watching the football game. I absolutely loved it and thought there was nothing else like it until I got to Nice, France.
The south of France is a complete vibe. The city of Nice sits on the French Riviera, a coastal city influenced by an array of different cultures that still resonate through its art, architecture, and food. It’s similar to Cartagena, but definitely sexier since everyone speaks French.
Before most of my travels, I set an itinerary for places to eat while sightseeing the must-see touristy spots. You’ll always get hungry walking in-between museums and art galleries from one side of the city to the next. Just so happens a very popular small local restaurant from my list was nearby, and it was time to get my grub on. I walked up to the door and see that it’s closed, but it’s only 4pm. So of course, I think to myself, “who closes at 4pm?” What I didn’t realize was that all the shops close at around 2:30pm for the restaurant workers to have a break during the day and spend time with their families to have lunch or be with their children after school. Which in hindsight made so much sense for work-life balance.
I gave Nice 10 points for “quality of life”. One of the locals walked by and politely said in his best English, “lé seeks dirty” which I understood as come back at 6:30.
I return to my Airbnb and make reservations for 8pm at Le Frog. When I arrived, there wasn’t one seat empty at this place. Tourists and locals alike were eating and conversing as if it were one of the hippest restaurants in Soho. I knew from the reviews I should expect a crowd, but there was nothing like this restaurant during my travels through most of Europe.
Once I was seated, they brought out the freshest bread. I immediately ask for the frog legs and a glass of wine and waited about 40 minutes until I got my food. The wait was worth every single minute. These frog legs were divine.
They were sautéed in garlic and butter, the meat was tender, and would slip off the bone with the slightest bite that would melt in your mouth. No hot sauce necessary for these bad boys! French cuisine isn’t necessarily known for “bursts of flavor” but these were extremely tasty. I ate there about three more times, and I’m pretty sure two of those times I took some to go.