For years, the brunch crowd around Texas Christian University has gone to a Bluebonnet Circle bar-and-grill named Rock Bottom, or just The Bottom.
College bar by night, it also doubled as a decent if drab lunch or brunch stop.
Now, beginning his second year as the latest in a series of owners, Briant Dukes has changed the name to the Purple Frog Restaurant & Cantina and the focus more to food and dining.
On one recent Monday, the weekly special of a $5 cheeseburger with fries seemed like a bargain compared to the Frog’s more expensive neighbors.
But on another visit, the $5 burger was overcooked and the sourdough bun was dry. New items like a “health nut salad” with fruit, avocado and cheddar sounded better than they turned out, and some of the most interesting items and desserts were sold out.
Maybe the Purple Frog is trying to do too much for too many different audiences. But the brunch still gets high ratings, and there’s definitely room for another neighborhood bar-and-grill on the circle across from Fred’s, between Rusty Taco and Mellow Mushroom.
Some of the best reviews involve the seafood, and the lunch prices are reasonable: $10-$13 for catfish, tilapia or salmon, grilled or blackened ($10 for fried catfish and shrimp). Gumbo costs $4-$6.
Onion rings with remoulade ($8) were the biggest hit of the lunch along with a spicy spinach-artichoke dip.
The menu touts the crab balls, crab cakes and fish or chicken tacos.