Hakuna Matata: Learning To Eat Bugs

I was not born an epicure; it has been a relatively slow evolutionary process. When I was young, I eschewed many foods I now love, such as: most vegetables, Mexican cuisine or any type of meat off the bone. Luckily, I grew out of my pickiness and now I am eager to stuff myself with organs, raw meat, marrow, you name it — anything edible is fair game.

Still, there are a few final hurdles I have yet to wrap my head (and mouth!) around. For example, while the nutritional value and sustainability of insects as food has been fairly well documented, the idea has never been at the top of my culinary to-do list. So when I received a coveted invite to the opening of Poquitos, a new restaurant in Seattle touting ultra-authentic Mexican street food, I knew I had to pay them a visit and sample their most notable menu offering: chapulines. Time to eat me some BUGS!

Before Poquitos, I was a virgin in the bug devouring department (except for that urban legend about the average human unintentionally eating eight spiders a year, which makes me want to die just thinking about it). My only “experience” with intentional bug eating heretofore was watching that “Hakuna Matata” scene in The Lion King: “Slimy yet satisfying!”

I honestly had no idea what to expect when I ordered my chapulines, but I knew I needed to have a margarita at the ready. Besides my lifelong vendetta against spiders, I’m not terrified of other bugs. But the prospect of putting a whole insect in my mouth wasn’t exactly delightful either. Especially when my lovely server deposited a huge bowl of them right in front of me. When Matt, one of Poquitos’ co-owners, stopped by my table to check in, I pulled him off the busy floor for a quick chat re: Mexican bugs. I needed to know what I was in for.

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Burns My Bacon: Stop the Music


Memo to all restaurant owners: In my line of work/leisure I visit a lot of restaurant and bar websites, and I just do not understand why so, so many of you view this brief, virtual interaction as an opportunity to share a sampling of your preferred musical tastes with me. It’s unnecessary. It’s distracting. It has nothing to do with food.

If I’m visiting your website, chances are I’m there to do one of three things: 1) Look at the menu, 2) Find out the address, or 3) Make a reservation. That’s it. I do not need some sort of visceral, subconscious encouragement that you really are the restaurant for me. I certainly do not need a primer on the music of whatever country’s food you specialize in. That cheesy Italian tune is not going to make me any more likely to visit your trattoria. The hum of a mariachi band will not push me towards a Mexican spot. I don’t care if your establishment is owned by Hova himself — you don’t need to prove it!

Do you really think you are getting more customers this way? Trust me — you’re not. If anything you’re only causing a large percentage of them to frantically close the browser window before their bosses hear that thumping background music and realize they’re not working. And do not try to tell me it’s OK because you have a tiny off button hidden down on the bottom of the page below your site credits. No. Just stop. All of you. Please.

And don’t even get me started on flash animation.

Feed Us Back: What’s the worst restaurant website music you’ve ever heard?