UPPER EAST SIDE — That crunch you're tasting might not be from the tortilla chips.
A special buggy guacamole featuring whole grasshoppers will be added to the menu as part of the monthslong guacamole festival at Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen and Tequileria on First Avenue and 91st Street — in what restaurateurs are touting as an innovative variation of the traditional Mexican dip.
Maya's special "Sur" guacamole isn't on the menu yet, but will feature "grasshoppers, tomatillo, cotija cheese, onion, chile cascabel, cilantro, lime and sea salt," according to restaurateurs.
"The grasshoppers, or chapulines, are whole and there's no disguising them in your guacamole," said David Gonzalez, Maya's Chef De Cuisine.
But he defended the unlikely choice of ingredient, saying the restaurant's chefs have even "been traveling around the country looking for new recipes and ingredients" to spice up this year's event.
"It's good fun," he wrote. "Seasonal dishes always get the kitchen going — we need to develop new dishes and taste new flavors throughout the year. Guac Fest means summer is on!"
For those who like their food insect-free, the restaurant is also serving up guacs with a less-drastic twist on the classic base of avocado, onion, chilies, tomato and salt, the restaurant said in a statement.
There's the "Baja," which includes "kiwi, jicama, strawberry, mango, mint, chile arbol, lime and sea salt."
And chefs will also offer mouthwatering guac with bacon and tuna tartare.
The featured apps will range in price from $10 to $16.
"It's traditional, it's comfort food. It's delicious. It's deceptively simple — add a few unexpected ingredients and it's a whole new dip," Gonzalez said.
The specials will be available at Maya, located at 1191 First Ave. between East 64th and 65th streets through Sept. 30, 2013.