Executive Chef Devin Glenn prepares a dish at Frog & The Bull. (Photos by Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Iberian cuisine as people know it today has evolved from an intermingling of many different cultures and therefore has a lot of optionality and diversity, according to Frog & The Bull owner David Fernandez.
Fernandez opened Frog & The Bull on Quinlan Park Road in the Steiner Ranch subdivision in November, and said the name is both homage to his days as a Navy SEAL as well as a nod to Texas culture. It does not hurt that the “bull” part of the name is also significant to Iberian culture in Spain and Portugal, he said.
“The bull is a revered symbol in all three cultures. ... And so it was real easy to come to that,” Fernandez said.
While his ancestral ties are in part Iberian, Fernandez said the main reason he wanted to open the restaurant is simply because there are no similar establishments in the area.
“I definitely wanted to stay away from ubiquitous offerings out in the marketplace,” he said. “We wanted to be different. ... So the thought of joining the status quo is a big turnoff for me.”
Strict adherence to the Iberian theme is a hard and fast rule, and that extends to Fernandez’s hiring of Executive Chef Devin Glenn, who said he has an extensive culinary pedigree, having graduated from Le Cordon Bleu’s Austin campus as well as having spent the last six years as a chef at Salt Lick BBQ.
"It was a very new cuisine to me, so when [Fernandez] and I decided to partner up, I just hit the ground running researching as much as I could about the culture—cookbooks from different regions—to try to keep the authenticity." Glenn said. "I took what I learned and tried to create my own dishes."
Popular fare at Frog & the Bull include the Brussels sprouts, seared diver scallops and the grilled Spanish octopus.
True to his desire to be unique, Fernandez said even dishes that are served at a variety of different restaurants throughout the Greater Austin area get a personal flair at Frog & The Bull.
“I cannot tell you on how many occasions people tell us they’re the best Brussels sprouts they’ve ever had,” he said. “And that’s after them declaring that they’re Brussels sprouts connoisseurs.”
Frog & The Bull
4300 N. Quinlan Park Road, Austin
Tue.-Thu. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 4-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 4 p.m.-midnight; Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 4-10 p.m.; closed Mon.