New restaurant to open in downtown Asheville; Mr. Frog’s Soul and Creole coming to Market Street


There’s a new restaurant coming to downtown Asheville. It will be called Mr. Frog’s Soul and Creole, and will open at 42 S. Market St.

The eatery is a project of Vijay Shastri, most well known for his work with The Flying Frog restaurant formerly at the corner of Haywood Street and Battery Park Avenue. That restaurant closed in Jan. 2011.

The Mountain Xpress got a little detail recently about the project when the newspaper interviewed Shastri about work he was doing with the folks running the Hole-N-Da-Wall located above the former Simma Down restaurant space in the old Ritz building.

Former chef and owner of the Flying Frog, Vijay Shastri, was at the Ritz building when Xpress visited. Shastri says that he’s offering pro bono restaurant consultation at the Ritz Kitchen in his spare time (the Shastri family has its own rich history when it comes to the restaurant world). “I’m donating all of the recipes that I have to these guys,” says Shastri. “Gustavo’s been trained to the gills with all of this stuff, even the more casual stuff. He really loves comfort food and does that well.”

Shastri says that the soul-food menu at the Ritz will offer standards like buttermilk-fried chicken and comfort food with a bit of a creole edge to it, with menu items like étouffée, red beans and rice and jambalaya. Shastri says that he’s offering his favorite recipe for hushpuppies to the cause (a sweet potato and bacon variety) as well as a recipe for braised oxtails with sweet potato pudding. He adds that the restaurant staff will smoke its own meat and make biscuits and cornbread from scratch.

Here’s the other detail Shastri posted about the new restaurant (posted on his fb page):

42 S. Market St. (Downtown)…March 2012.
Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 8pm.
Sunday Brunch 10am – 3pm.


Food luv! March 6, 2012 - 8:46 pm

Seems like “Skins” only reads headlines and does not know the facts behind them. For example the first shooting was not at Simma Down, it was several blocks away. Also, Hole N da Wall was not a “failed” club. It was a victim of circumstances that were out of the owners control. Should Vincinzos be blamed for the series of shootings and drug activity there just because they share a parking lot with Magnolia’s? No.
As to the 2 failed restaurants Skins, did you ever eat at either one? I ate at both and they were not that great. As for the Flying Frog, the food and atmosphere were always stellar. It’s my opinion that you should not talk about a situation unless you know what actually happened because things are not always what you hear on tv or read in the paper.
Location is what you make of it. I think Vijay has a great vision by opening in “the block”. 10 years ago people were crazy for trying to do something in West Asheville and look what happened there. To make assumptions about a location based upon location and past history is small minded and quite frankly racist.

Adrienne March 6, 2012 - 7:42 pm

The past two restaurants that were in that location did not have good food. This is not a problem that Vijay Shastri has! He, along with Gustavo at his side, will be a powerhouse culinary dream team! I can’t wait to see what he does. Who cares where it is located

Omenya2002 March 5, 2012 - 7:12 pm

BTW-there are plenty of places still in business in A’ville where bad things have happened in the past.

Omenya2002 March 5, 2012 - 7:08 pm

Almost every building in downtown used to be something else, and if anyone in this town can build a business from the ground up it is Vijay Shastri. I have worked in kitchens all my life and he is the most talented chef I have ever worked with. If you don’t play, you can’t win.

Skins February 21, 2012 - 5:46 am

No thanks. Not much in the mood to get shot.

Shirts February 21, 2012 - 3:27 pm

Then don’t wear your white hood when you go there.

Skins February 21, 2012 - 6:07 pm

2 shot (1 fatally) at this same location with the same owner and that makes me a member of the KKK? Are you a simple minded idiot? Btw, I’m a drummer, thus the skins moniker.

Hauntedheadnc February 21, 2012 - 6:47 pm

Indeed, Skins. It was all about the building itself, certainly not the business that was located in the building. I hear it’s much the same in other locations where awful crimes or tragedies have occurred. For instance, I hear they have terrible trouble getting people to park in the lot that replaced the old Cocoanut Grove nightclub because, just as they did back in the 1940’s when the place went up in flames, people who attempt to park their cars in that parking lot today often just spontaneously combust.

Skins February 21, 2012 - 6:57 pm

Ignore the facts if you want to. This place has failure written all over it. Let’s meet back here one year after opening and discuss what was Mr. Frog’s.

Hauntedheadnc February 21, 2012 - 8:19 pm

What would you rather they do with the building, out of curiosity?

ashevillain February 22, 2012 - 8:40 am

Skins – Please refresh my memory. What facts [pertaining to this restaurant’s imminent failure] were those again?

And while we’re at it…define ‘success’ in the restaurant world for us. Is it staying open long enough to break even…or turn a profit? Or does it pertain to longevity beyond that? 1 year? 5 years? 10 or 20 years? Or is it a certain number of satisfied customers? Is success a 102 rating from the health department? Does success for a restaurant require a building with no questionable historical events?

Skins February 22, 2012 - 9:19 am

Just my opinion that this will not fly. 2 failed restaurants and 1 failed club in this location in like 3 years. 2 shot, 1 dead. Chef’s restaurant closed a year ago. We are in recession, and this place is in an area where to many people won’t walk around at night. I’m a gambling man, but those don’t look like good odds to me.

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