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Las Vegas pizzeria to debut grasshopper-topped pie

First came the grasshopper cocktail specials. But as the insect infusion of the Las Vegas Valley continues, one local business owner is moving beyond whimsical tributes to the pests to serving them up on a plate (or at least serving up some of their cousins on a pizza).

On Tuesday, Branden Powers and his team at Evel Pie on Fremont Street began experimenting with fried grasshoppers as a pizza topping.

“I always try to (use) interesting ingredients and create interesting pizza combinations,” says Powers, who serves rattlesnake sausage pizza at the Evel Knievel-themed restaurant.

The newest menu item, the Canyon Hopper pizza, is a tribute to the motorcycle legend’s failed attempt to jump Snake River Canyon on a rocket. It comes topped with goat cheese, chorizo, a grassy bed of arugula and a sprinkling of fried, seasoned Mexican grasshoppers, and will be available starting Wednesday for $5.50 a slice.

“That’s kind of the spirit of Evel Knievel,” he says of attempting to sell insect-topped pizza. “And the spirit of Evel Pie is just to be always be a daredevil with your taste buds. Take chances. Take risks.”

If adventuresome guests find the risk a little hard to swallow, they can always wash it down with a drink from the bar, or go across the street to The Smashed Pig for one of its grasshopper cocktails.

Contact Al Mancini at amancini@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlManciniVegas on Twitter.

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