Frogging Around

When and if you find frog legs in Austin restaurants, they're likely to be eateries with a Cajun influence. Mandeville, Louisiana native chef Craig Sullivan grew up gigging frogs in the bayous of southwestern Louisiana and then frying up a mess of them at home. These days Sullivan is chef at the new Bertram's restaurant downtown at 16th and Guadalupe and features a more sophisticated frog-leg preparation on his menu. Try the Louisiana Style Frog Legs ($13.50) that are dipped in egg, dredged in seasoned flour, and fried. Sullivan serves them with sun-dried tomato remoulade, sides of okra, and tomatoes and scallion rice.

Elsewhere around town, frog legs will sometimes show up as off-menu specials. Pappadeaux will charbroil them from time to time and the chef at Gumbo's on Bratton Lane says he likes to BBQ frog legs if they are tough, pan fry them if they are tender. McGowan's Cajun Kitchen chef/owner Billy McGowan is considering a frog-leg dish for the menu in his relatively new Pflugerville restaurant (1101 W. Pecan) where the legs are lightly fried in butter and then finished by a 10-minute bake in the oven.

Evidently, development and habitat destruction have made the Louisiana frogs of Sullivan's childhood somewhat scarce. The frog legs commercially available locally (through Groomer's Seafood) are Taiwanese and packed IQF (Individually Quick Frozen). - Virginia B. Wood

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