Monday, April 29, 2013

The Frog & Princess (Paris, France)


I made The Frog & Princess for happy hour: pints only 5 euro, off from 7.  Pricey for mediocre beer but they will also do a free rack of samples, though each was the size of a shot glass. Free is free.

Of the lot, the Dark de Triomphe seemed to be the strongest with some Guinness-like flavor but watery with more chocolate, as described by the bartender. Weak and thin, I now feel that I've tasted what one would stereotype craft beer as in wine-crazy France. As it warms, a clear diacytl buttery note. Brasserie O'Neill nearby felt much more local and and the beer was brewed cleaner.

Appetizer with my new collection of event themed coasters. 
Both bartenders admitted to the young American couple nearby that neither were particularly fans of the beer in the pub and worked to crush mint for mojitos, a specialty of the bar evidently.  Evidently, each "Frog & something" pub does have it's own brewer and separate beers: five in Paris, one in Toulouse, and one somewhere else that I missed. But, in this case, I think I'm going end my pursuit here.

Dark de Triomphe with a coaster of the
queen in track gear
Unfortunately, I left the other pub hungry, so decided to give a starter a try that sounded adventuresome: onion bhajis, described as an Indian dish with onions and spices that's deep fried. Greasy as hell with some tang and rawish hunks of fried onion inside.  A sauce similar to tartar saucer at first, but was clearly lighter and something else, tempered the heat a bit.

Next, I tried  a pint of the next favorite sample: Ginger Twist. Actually, not a bad beer. The lemon, lime and coriander spices blend well with a full bodied gold to amber lager. It's pretty in the glass bubbling up to clean off white head. Much better brewed beer than the previous pint and it is almost cutting through the grease of the bhajis. Glad I ended with the better beer of the lot, though still just adequate.

The bartender I met before opening had an accent clearly of the British Isle, was personable and, I sense, made the local expats feel at home. Commenting that I liked the queen in track gear beer mat, he went downstairs to get me the Euro 2012 soccer mats from earlier in the summer. A very fun stop, but I wish the beer had been a bit better. I could see coming here if I was a Brit expat who was very lonely for home, but can't recommend it otherwise.

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