Columbia County has a new restaurant concept from the Frog Hollow Hospitality Group. The Frog & the Hen opened quietly last Friday on Flowing Wells Road. Owner Sean Wight’s latest concept is actually in the same strip as Farmhaus Burgers, Wight’s farm to table hamburger restaurant that opened in Columbia County in 2016.
The Frog & the Hen is what Wight calls “elevated comfort food” with chicken being the star of the show – cage and hormone free, single-sourced all natural diet chickens.
“We wanted to create something for busy families on the go-an alternative to normal take out food. Quality fresh items-real potatoes, real butter, real fresh green beans that have been blanched, no preservatives, with everything being homemade from scratch.”
The single-sourced birds are chilled in a salt and herb brine for six hours, then slow roasted. The process enhances the juicy flavor and the unique ovens are designed to keep the moisture consistent.
In addition to chicken, the menu features healthy homemade sides with no additives or preservatives, just good quality ingredients. Mashed potatoes with butter, salt and heavy cream, seasonal veggies like roasted butternut squash with sorghum glaze and a delicious version of Frog Hollow’s famous mac and cheese are just a few of the menu side items.
The lunch menu spotlights homemade chicken pot pies, artisan sandwiches such as roasted Joyce Farms Chicken, heirloom roasted pork and Border Springs Farms’ leg of lamb, as well as creative salads and daily Blue Plate Specials.
Saturday’s 10am-3pm brunch is sure to be busy this spring. Chicken and waffles, chicken biscuits, a breakfast hash and a staff favorite from Frog Hollow, big fat gooey cinnamon rolls with candied bacon. “We’ll have several versions of house-made bloody mary’s, kicked up mimosas with fruit puree and Grand Marnier infused fruit puree ice,” Wight shared.
In addition to the restaurant, the Frog & the Hen has a market well-stocked with dishes off of the menu, chilled and ready to pop in the oven at home. There are also pantry staples such as jams, jellies, honey, coffee, wines and craft beers.
“If you’re familiar with Sara’s Fresh Market over in South Carolina, off Highway 25, we carry some of their offerings such as their jams, which are simple crushed fruit with
pure cane sugar instead of corn syrup” stated Wight emphasizing the all-natural, homemade Frog and the Hen fare.
The well curated selections offered in the market are all created with much care and thought. “For example, Anson Mills provides fresh, native, stone-ground organic ingredients,” Wight describes the grits they locally-source. “It’s owned by Glenn Roberts out of Columbia and he has basically dedicated his life to bringing back older varieties of grains. The cold-mill all ingredients to order, immediately chill vac-pac them and ship them the same day. So, everything is kept cold and it actually takes like corn. They don’t dry it out and you can really taste the difference.”
The Frog & the Hen combines two of Wight’s passions, farming and cooking. Wight has been using farm-to-table ingredients from local providers since he was the chef at the Old Edgefield Grill prior to opening Frog Hollow in downtown Augusta about ten years ago.
When not in town working on his businesses, he can most likely be found on a tractor working his farm in South Carolina.
“I was at Edgefield Grill for 10 years and I thought it was really cool, because I just kind of taught myself how to do everything,” Wight said. “I had a lot of experience by then, but not so much cooking as I did front of the house. But if you are good waiter
or good at the front of the house, period, you know exactly how every dish is made. So, if you have some cooking ability, you can recreate a lot of stuff that you have served.”
In addition to great food, customer service is very important in all of his restaurants. At 21 years old, Wight worked for Disney when he lived in Florida. He quickly discovered that the company’s philosophy regarding guest services had a tremendous impact on him. Wight said Disney’s attitude really opened his eyes to the importance of treating guests with the utmost respect and providing them with outstanding service.
When Wight moved back to the Augusta area, he brought that philosophy of quality service with him. “Now, at our restaurants, I can honestly say that our food is great, but our service is equally great. And I think that is one of the things that really set us apart, is our emphasis on the guest experience.”
The Frog & the Hen will be offering family style dinners to go in a few weeks once the kitchen staff has a few week under its belt. Customers will be able to order on-line (or call in) and picked up via drive up window. In addition to the meal, you can take away a bottle of wine or craft beer that will compliment the meal at the drive up window.
“We’re featuring local and regional craft beers and have a number of wines available” says Wight. I think that is one of the things that really sets us apart, is our emphasis on the guest experience.”
“Don’t take it for granted. You have to earn it every day,’” Wight said. “Because it is truly a blessing to have people want to come here and spend their evening with us. I will never take that for granted.”
Frog & the Hen Market & Eatery
466 Flowing Wells Rd
Tuesday-Friday 11:00AM – 9:30 PM
Saturdays 10:00AM – 9:30 PM