Frog & Snail began 19 years ago as Chez Machin, a French bistro located at the current Hawthorne address. Created in 2001 by Bruno Gonsard, he sought to bring simple bistro dining from his native France. In 2014, Bruno retired and sold his restaurant to Dominique and Diane Pierce, who continued with the Bistro concept but with an emphasis on crepes. In 2019, Chez Machin was sold to Chad Bernard, an Ashland Oregon native with French heritage and a love for cooking great food. From an early age Chad knew he wanted to own a restaurant, and Frog & Snail is the sweet result of that dream.
With the outbreak of coronavirus in early 2020 and subsequent lockdown, Chad used the opportunity to refresh the now 19-year-old bistro. With a new look, name, and more crepe-centric menu, our focus now is on crepes using 100% buckwheat flour - the traditional way in Brittany, in the north of France. Using a simple crepe as a vessel, we offer flavors inspired by food we have enjoyed from all around the world.
Buckwheat flour is a healthy and flavorful alternative to wheat flour, as it it is naturally gluten-free. It is the perfect vehicle for the delicious variety of fresh fillings and toppings we adorn each crepe with.
Sometimes called the ancient grain, Buckwheat has been cultivated for more than 8000 years. It was a common cover crop used worldwide as a natural way to return nitrogen to the soil, until nitrogen fertilizer was introduced in the 20th century, which increased the production of corn and wheat. As a result, these crops were planted in fields formerly used for buckwheat, so its production fell dramatically.
Unlike the wheat we all know, buckwheat is the seed of a flowering plant related to rhubarb and sorrel. When ground into a flour, these little seeds pack loads of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants into each serving. Among its many health benefits, buckwheat may improve heart health, promote weight loss, and help manage diabetes, and, it contains no gluten.
Buckwheat; healthy for you, and the earth.
Due to the lockdown, our initial offering will be limited. Please keep checking, and there will be more great things to eat as restrictions are loosened!