While most recognize Bellingham’s Green Frog for its amazing live entertainment & extensive selection of local brews on tap, what many don’t realize is that the savory scent wafting down N. State Street, hitching a ride on the brisk spring breeze & tickling your nostrils, is also emanating from the Green Frog. With a menu that features 27 drastically unique pieces of grilled cheese artistry, as well as the always enticing “Special” which changes daily, the Rana Verde (that’s Green Frog in Español) is one location that’s worth (at least) a few hours of your time.
One of the best perks of being a food writer is that it’s accepted, nay, expected, that you order at least 3 items from every menu, at every establishment you visit, to get a feel for the place, the flavors, and of course, get a variety of different dishes. (Side note: Not all food writers subscribe to the same code of ethics & guidelines as yours truly, but I try not to judge them for those questionable decisions, such as ordering only one menu item per visit.) But, I digress.
On my recent stop by The Green Frog Acoustic Tavern, I wasted no time at all in pondering which toasty sandwich was best suited for my personal lingual papillae (fancy word for taste buds – now you know), and instead opted to let the lovely hostess provide me her recommendations. Number 1 on her list, as well as every other person I chatted up, without hesitation was The Elvis – Cheddar, Peanut Butter, Bacon & Banana grilled to perfection on the freshly baked bread of your choice. I’m being completely honest with you, dear readers, when I say that I was 100% relieved to find out that while The Elvis is, hands down, one of the most popular items on the menu, it was also temporarily unavailable due to a few of The Kings necessary munchies having run out (whew).
Crisis averted, I placed an order for The Gorgonzola, the first sandwich on the menu that really truly caught my eye & had my stomach growling (gorgonzola & mozzarella cheeses with bacon & green apple, on sourdough), The Deluxe (parmesan & cheddar cheeses, bacon, avocado, fresh spinach, & sun dried tomatoes), & The Mac Daddy (made from scratch macaroni & cheese, bacon, & more sharp cheddar cheese on fresh sourdough) because, quite honestly – why not! I also decided to treat myself to an ice-cold pint of Knock on Nelson IPA, courtesy of Seattle’s own Elysian Brewing Co. & secured a seat at one of the family style tables near the stage.
My favorite nibble was definitely The Gorgonzola. With the perfect pairing of smooth, rich cheeses, the tart bite of fresh sliced green apple, & of course the bacon – Yum! I seemed to make new friends quickly, & am still not sure if it was my radiant personality or the copious amount of grilled goodness sitting before me, but either way, we made quick work of finishing things off & spent the next few hours enjoying the open mic performances, and avoiding the rain outside.
One act that really caught my attention was a 14 year old gent who goes by Hardly Romance (a few of his faithful fans are great about posting clips of different performances on his Facebook page under the same name) – not only because of his amazing talent at such a young age, but also finding out that he’s only been playing in public, at open mics and such for a few months, & that he preformed both the Beatles & Black Keys with a ferocity and soul all his own.
For a full menu of what’s on the grill as well as on tap, & a complete calendar of events (there really truly is something just about everyday), be sure to check out the website at www.acoustictavern.com or follow them on Facebook – just plug in The Green Frog Bellingham. And, if you’re in the neighborhood between 4pm & 2am, any day of the week, stop by, and bring your appetite!