The Princesses & the Frog Legs. Phong Dinh Restaurant. Rosemead, CA.
Anna & Chloe, a couple of princesses with their frog legs.
Back when I was a kid, the weirdest, gross out food ever was definitely frog legs. Based on an unscientific survey of my second grade class at John Foster Dulles Elementary, this opinion was universally agreed on. Frog legs were guaranteed to induce gagging whenever brought up in juvenile banter. In our young and wildly vivid imaginations, scores of legless frogs sat pathetically in wheelchairs panhandling outside of French restaurants with signs imploring, "Human, can you spare a dime...or maybe a leg."
Even I, the kid who ate brains, couldn't stand the thought of eating frog legs. I mean that was just totally crossing the line. Beyond the pale. Obscene cuisine, even. I pondered about who these French people were who ate such culinary atrocities. I personally didn't know any French people at that age in my suburban Los Angeles neighborhood, especially any who ate the legs of frogs.
Nowadays, frog legs are, eh, a walk in the park. Actually, maybe more like a swim in the pond, fork in hand, grab one of the mucus covered amphibians and, ta-da, lunch! Then, yank off the hoppers, batter up and dunk in hot grease. The batter is chunky and crunchy (like that of the old Pioneer Chicken or current Popeye's) and the meat is a tender chicken of the pond with tiny bones that are easy to pull out clean.
Friggin' fabulous, fried frog legs!
Just like big tobacco companies, "start 'em young" is my motto for getting kids to eat strange foods. But, circumstances can develop a little strangely even for me sometimes. For example, after watching a screening of the freshly released The Princess and the Frog, my little girl Chloe, all aglow, declared enthusiastically, "That was awesome!" However, the next thing to come out of her 5 year-old mouth was not, "Can we go to the Disney Store and buy up everything with The Princess and the Frog logo on it? Huh, can we? Huh, huh??? Puleeeeze!!!" Nor was it, "Wow! I want to be just like Princess Tiana when I grow up!!" Instead it was, "Daddy, remember when we ate frog legs? I want to eat some again. They were good! Can we get some now?" I was speechless and just marveled at her statement in disbelief and could only stare back at this small person sitting next to me. Then I smiled really big and said, "Sweetheart, let's get some now." Because real princesses know it's better to eat a frog than to kiss one.
Phong Dinh Restaurant
2643 San Gabriel Boulevard
Rosemead, CA 91770-3253 -