I travel frequently and love eating local foods. So as I stay a night in Banner Elk and researched the local cuisine. I drove around, as I am solo, and took a peek at several choices I had made. Saw three restaurants (window shopping) and all were dead. It was in the "dead season" here. However, I wanted a bit of atmosphere, so I continued and found The Frog and the Monkey. I sat at the bar and was greeted by a relaxed and comfortable bartender, cool dude. I was pleased to find a gluten free beer from Spain. Delicious. I ordered the blackened local trout, greens, blue cheese mash potatoes, and an extra side of julienne cut veggies. Being a former restaurant owner I have become critical of cooking methods and quality. Dinner came out perfect. I preferred the blackened season more spicier, however; it was flavorful and did not take away from the flavor of the fish. The blue cheese mash was strong with real flavored blue cheese. If you don't like a heavy blue, don't order it. The greens was perfectly cooked and was a great balance with the fish. Follow up with the blue cheese mash for slap in yo face! The veggies on the side was also cooked properly, with a slight crunch and lightly seasoned. It takes a substantial experience for me to get the time to write up something positive or negative, but the place deserved my attention. Oh, the prices are very reasonable. $3.00 a beer, around $16.00 for the dinner, and 2 bucks for the extra side of veggies. For the quality, well worth it.