Lately I have been hearing a lot about eating insects. Everything from how they’re packed with protein and B vitamins to how the Nordic Alchemists at Noma are turning them into gourmet delights. I’d like to give bugs a try, but I am just a little bit squeamish. Can you reccomend an entry level insect eating experience in Queens? — N. Tomofage, Bayside
N., I’m so glad you asked! I’ve been waiting to tell the world about Playground Thai Bistro in Woodside. They have some truly lovely insect dishes on the menu, plus they’ve got karaoke. (Frankly I prefer eating bugs to singing karaoke.) At a recent Gastronauts dinner I tried a lovely red ant egg salad. The ant eggs themselves pop, sort of like a thinner, antier salmon roe. They’re dressed with roasted rice, lime juice, and chili powder, among other things. Delightful! The fried grasshoppers with black pepper sauce are quite nice too. For God’s sake whatever you do don’t get the silkworms if you see them on the menu. They taste like a musty attic and are most decidedly not an an entry level insect eating experience!
Playground, 71-30 Roosevelt Ave., Woodside, 718-779-7912