The Frog and Turtle

Place: The Frog and Turtle

Time: 6:30pm, Friday evening, 9-14-07

With: My BFF, Sabrina

Where: Westbrook, Maine 

Plot:

So, Sabrina calls me and says that we should totally check out the new restaurant called “The Frog and Turtle”. ‘How very British’, says I! It went in where a very hip and happening restaurant closed a few months ago – Chickeys. Remember Chickeys? It rocked. They actually served tater tots. Yummer. Moving on.            

The Frog and Turtle (FaT) is owned by the folks who brought us café Uffa! (exclamation point theirs). (In fact, the receipt still said café Uffa! on it. Details, people!) And yowza, they have been busy. Gone are the Chickey’s green walls, gone is the stage that was always a little rickety, gone is the black seating. They refinished the floor to a beautiful hardwood shine. Very good job lacquering. They built a bar to the side, and made the kitchen smaller in the back (but you can still see in it).  

We got there about 6:30, and had no wait for a table. Unfortunately, the table was bordering the “bar area”. And by bordering, I mean that the 24 inch circular table’s placement had my head bumping some bar-patron lady’s bottom, and sitting next to a couch. That was kinda facing me. And was packed with 4 young people. I was like: “Hi, unwashed youth sipping a beer on a couch uncomfortably close to my face! How are you?” I used my poor me look on the maitre de and he moved us to “the other end” of the restaurant.            

FaT calls itself a GastroPub. They are really trying to be a high end eatery and a fun, RiRas-like bar. But, they are in a 40 foot room. With no partition. So, in effect you get expensive food while sitting in a crowded bar. Hmmm. It is not working.            

The table that we were moved to was about 5 feet long. And they sat us at either end of the table. The placement of said table was against a wall on one long side, so we couldn’t move together. We were just lookin at each other from either end, like very very rich people, or like Bruce Wayne and Vicki Vale in Batman (geek!). Remember that scene? Good times. Anyway – awkward.            

The table was as heavily lacquered as the floors. But, not as nicely done. It was riddled with bubbles. It kinda felt like sandpaper. But, it did keep my plate from sliding off. Seriously – it was so shiny I could see myself.            

We had 2 waiters. The first I shall call Tall-Pete-Wentz. He had that disaffected swoop of black hair across his face. The other I shall call Mutton Chop. As you might guess, he had massive sideburns. And really really straight teeth. Sabrina loved Tall Pete, I was crushing (in a married way) on mutton chop. Sabrina thinks Tall Pete winked at her. I’m not so sure, Sabrina.             

Sabby and I ordered the 2 cheapest things on the menu (which ranges from 10 bucks to 30 dollars and up!). I had a burger with onion rings, and she had “flatbread”. We assumed it was pizza.  My burger was unbelievable. It was most likely the finest tasting burger I have ever tasted. It had goat cheese and bacon on it. It was the perfect blend of tangy (cheese) and smoky (bacon). It was perfectly cooked.             

My onion rings, however, were grody. I think that they were breaded in flour, and nothing else. They had very little flavor. It didn’t even taste very oniony. They came with ketchup that was served, no kidding, in a thimble. It was maybe a half teaspoon of ketchup. I’m thinking it was a nod to the high end eatery way of thinking, but in fact it was just frustrating. When I asked for more, Mutton must have sensed my angst, ’cause he brought me a bowl of the stuff. Thanks, Mutton! Work the facial hair!            

Sabrina’s flatbread was pizza, as we expected. It was good and cheap. She likey. She was heavily flirting, so I’m not sure she tasted anything, anyway.                        

It must be said that this was day 2 of FaT being open. I know from watching reality TV that you only need 1 day to work out the kinks in a new restaurant, though (Hello, Top Chef!). However, Tall Pete said that they will be expanding their menu and trying for more dedicated spaces eventually. I will give an update if Sabby and I go back.            

Overall, I would tentatively recommend. If they work on adding a little more pub fare, and put up a screen or two, this place might be worth an evening’s excursion. Of course, the wait staff is cute, so Ill probably go back.

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6 Responses to The Frog and Turtle

  1. puddingpop says:

    Thanks for the review. I hope Chef James can work things out, though I wonder if Westbrook, Maine is really ready for the “gastro-pub” thing. I sure miss Uffa! And welcome to the blog-o-sphere. Great to find another gay foodie Mainer!

  2. chris2fer says:

    Thanks, puddingpop. Its nice to be here! I totally just giggled.

  3. sabrina says:

    ok sabrina is my sister and she is what she is
    love her, but she needs a man. I know its hard on Maine to find a straight confident man
    there’s got to be someone out there. Ok this man needs to weigh less than 250, and needs to not live his mother. Oh did I mention a job- a job would be a good thing. Its not about money cause she makes plenty, but its about a state of mind.

    Anywho
    I have some issues with the review
    1) frog and turtle name – seems British but lacks the real British masculine furver. Cock and bull is strong. Frog and turtle is kind of weak and sort of French
    2) i dont want to ever hear the following words again. Its now 2008 not 92
    A) tater toys
    B) yummers
    C) rocks
    D) onion rings
    F) cheap
    3) if I wasn’t sitting at Walters with sabrina, I would have more points

    Until the next review then

  4. Dave says:

    Chris2fer,

    Thanks for taking the time to write this review. I was planning to take my wife there for a Valentines Day celebration this weekend. I was looking for something a bit classy and calm. FnT does not fit these criteria. You saved us a large degree aggravation and expense.

    : )
    ____________

    For Sabrina’s sis,

    I wish your sister all the luck in finding a good man!

  5. Portlandbartenderguy says:

    I feel bad for Dave and his wife who could have had a wonderful valentines day. I hope they did where ever they went. Your review of the frog and turtle is painfully inaccurate. It’s not British at all and recently won the readers pool for best FRENCH restaurant. Frog=French I mean it’s right in the title and you’re still paying attention. I noticed that you tentatively recommend it after ordering the two cheapest items on the menu and commenting the not only did you both like the dishes (sauf the onion rings) but that it was the best burger you’d ever had! As for serving sizes, note that not everyone likes to cover the flavor of food with ketchup but “mutton chops” brought you more so your tater tot level palate could be satisfied. Additionally, you mentioned it was crowded but then later say that the concept(which you clearly misunderstood) was not working. You comment finale about Top Chef informs me you’ve never worked in a restaurant in your life and have no understanding of them. Your review is a huge disservice to the restaurant and the people of Westbrook. I urge you to remove it and eat there again with an earnest interest in writing a review of quality.

  6. chris2fer says:

    Dear Portlandbatrenderguy,
    Thanks for your honest feedback.
    It is not my intent when reviewing a restaurant to either overly praise or tear down any establishment – I try to be truthful and to tell the reader what I feel and what I experienced. I am sorry that you didn’t appreciate my attempt at “Top Chef” humor.
    C-
    PS – Thanks for reading,

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