Setting the Table
The name may be unusual, but it's hard to forget.
The building at 16th Avenue North and Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach has had many names and tenants. In recent years it was Mr. Pit, The Filling Station, and, for a few weeks, J&B's Soul Food & Caribbean Cuisine. But now George Falaras, who previously owned several restaurants in the Detroit area and is a cousin of local restaurant owner Georgia Carandola of Athens Pizza, has opened Bar King Frog & Grill.
Falaras was hustling in the dining room on a recent Friday, helping the lone waitress when there was a surge in business from zero to 20 in 30 minutes. He and general manager Ruth Waibel, who for years worked at the Falaras family's Michigan restaurants, remodeled the oft-used space before opening in late June.
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Where J&B's had a lot of booths and a dramatic black lounge effect going on, Bar King Frog & Grill has more of a family-style atmosphere by day that turns into a well-fed beach party at night. It's cool and dim inside, and there is also a roomy outdoor dining area.
The bar looks froggily swampish with glowing green backlights.
Down the Hatch
Yes, Frog Legs are on the menu. It's an extensive menu with finger foods, soups, sandwiches, burgers, sliders, seafood and unique salads.
Starters include House-made Onion Rings; Mediterranean Fries dusted with Italian parsley, Parmesan cheese and sea salt; and Fried Frog Legs served with Cajun Rémoulade and celery.
My friend and I tried the Frog Legs ($9) and some Calamari ($7.50). The frog had a nice crispy exterior and the meat is tender, but it is tasteless. It didn't even taste like chicken. The rémoulade didn't help, because it is also bland.
Our basket of fried calamari had rings and whole little squid, but they were also bland and too chewy. However, the sweet and sour sauce that came with it had a nice fiery sweet kick.
The house soup is Steak and Beer Chowder, and Chili will be served in the winter. Soups of the Day vary among Chicken Noodle, Crab Bisque, Kickin' Crab and Sweet Corn Chowder, Italian Wedding, Lobster Bisque with sherry, Minestrone, Mushroom Brie Wine, Potato Bacon Cheddar, Red Pepper Bisque and Wisconsin Cheese.
Several burgers and hot dogs are available, from a South of the Border Burger with two patties, guacamole, Cheddar, lettuce and salsa; to a Coney Island Detroit-style dog with chili, mustard and onions.
Many sandwiches are served, including Super Grilled Cheese with two cheeses and sautéed onions or mushrooms; My Big Greek Gyro; BBQ Pulled Pork with spicy mustard peanut sauce; and the Club Frog Delux which is a triple-decker piled with Virginia ham, applewood smoked bacon, turkey, rye, and Cheddar and Swiss cheeses.
Fried seafood and chicken baskets can contain shrimp, fish and chips, chicken fingers, grouper, frog legs and oysters.
We tried the Seafood Sliders ($6.59), and the day we visited the seafood was crab cakes. Although both the cakes - and the rolls they were put on - fell apart, they were tasty. The fries that came with the sliders were skin-on, thick and crispy.
My favorite dish was the customizable salads. You choose from a variety of greens, toppings, meats, seafood, cheeses and dressings, and then it can be tossed or chopped. My small one ($6) was chopped Romaine with blue cheese, black olives, sunflower seeds, Chinese noodles, garbanzo beans and red onions. It sounds weird, but was delicious.
For dessert there's a Froggy Cookie Zookie: an oversize soft cookie topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and whipped cream with a choice of adding chocolate chips, white macadamia nuts or peanut butter.
Diners ages 21 and older can opt for the Guinness Float where Guinness stout contains ice cream, caramel sauce and whipped cream. Of course you have to like dark beer to get into this. I thought it was delish, but my friend who doesn't especially like dark beer thought it was gag-worthy.
Children have their own $5 meal options such as grilled cheese and fries or fish and chips.
Bar King Frog & Grill is at 1604 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach and opens daily at 11 a.m. The number is 712-1585.