Ladybug, Ladybug owner Carrie White traveled around the world after high school. Coming from a strict religious background, White wanted to see the world before settling down to college and a career.
Her travels led her to Southeast Asia, where she saw insects being sold as food in marketplaces alongside chicken, fish, and pork. Curious at first, she tried some beetles, scorpions, and silkworms and found them crunchy and delicious. She vowed one day to bring these delights back to the United States.
Four years and one degree from Johnson & Wales University later, White is keeping her promise. Her new restaurant, Ladybug, Ladybug, is scheduled to open in the food court at the Galleria Mall this weekend.
The restaurant will serve a diet of "alternative protein." Menu items will include spider ceviche (a mix of wolf spider and golden orb spider, marinated in lemon and orange juice with cilantro and green onion), cricket fritters (crickets rolled in a panko bread crumb and flash fried), mealwormburgers (a moist patty made with ground mealworms, lentils, and bread crumbs served on a bun with soy cheese), and the house specialty, Ladybug Linguine (par-boiled linguine with a pesto sauce garnished with seasoned ladybugs and fresh parmesan cheese).
Ladybug, Ladybug will also feature a special "insect sushi" bento box, featuring an assortment of insect sushi items. Beer, wine, and sake will be available.
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White knows that opening a restaurant of its kind in a mall might be tricky, but she's hoping for both a repeat local crowd and a clientelle of tourists who won't really know what they're ordering. "I'm planning on surprising them [the customers] at first," White says. "Hopefully, they will have paid and eaten their food by the time they realize what they ate."