Tequila goes great with plenty of dishes — tacos, scallops, skirt steak and Doritos, to name a few — but everyone’s favorite south-of-the-border beverage actually goes best with grasshoppers.
Now, we weren’t expecting to suck down a handful of insects on our late-night snack and booze run to Mesa Coyoacan in Williamsburg, but an off-handed request for “Jose Cuervo, straight up” landed us right where we wanted to be: staring down a three-glass array of liquor, Bloody Mary mix and grilled, succulent grasshoppers — legs, antennae and all.
Luckily, we were ready for the task. After all, our reporters have been way out front of the entomophagy trend — we’ve eaten mealworms, larvae, crickets, and other creepy crawlies before, and all in the name of informing our beloved readers. So naturally we tried to offer them to the first cute girl we saw instead.
“It was a nice pairing with the tequila — like little pieces of burnt popcorn kernels,” said courageous Greenpoint resident Brooke Smith, who was completely unfazed by the undertaking. “You know, the ones at the bottom that are a little popped so they’re not too crunchy.”
Burnt popcorn, maybe, but the tiny morsels also have a kick. At first taste, the protein-heavy “kernels” are reminiscent of barbecued sunflower seeds. Crunching into them, however, is where the real flavor comes out — for better or worse — as slightly sour, tangy and extra spicy. So spicy, in fact, that you’re forced to take another sip of tequila, chase that with Bloody Mary mix and repeat. And repeat.
It’s the best damn bar snack since the peanut.
Mesa Coyoacan [372 Graham Ave. between Skillman Avenue and Conselyea Street in Williamsburg, (718) 782-8171]. For info, visit www.mesacoyoacan.com.