Let's cut through all the noise in the world of food TV: Anthony Bourdain has the best food show on television.
Exotic, interesting, salivating, No Reservations is to food shows what Planet Earth is to nature documentaries. It's an effective formula: Take Bourdain's bold, open-minded personality, add alluring locals and set out in search of the best foods and unique cultural experiences.
It's an effective formula: Take Bourdain's bold, open-minded personality, add alluring locals and set out in search of the best local foods and unique cultural experiences.
This week's show, and the start of his final tour? Austin.
To off his ninth — and last —season on the Travel Channel before moving to CNN, Bourdain wanders the streets of the state's capital city during SXSW, partying with bands less than half his age and talking about smoked meat as if it was an item of religious veneration.
For an Austin foodie scene that has gone from migas tacos and queso to sea urchin nigiri and grilled chicken testicles (you'll have to watch the episode) in less than a decade, Bourdain's recent visit (he stopped by a few years back) is just the icing on the cake. Consider this: America's premier food explorer took his show to Austin between jaunts to Mozambique and the Burgundy region of France.
Initial sleuthing and episode teasers have put Bourdain at Barley Swine, Franklin BBQ, JMueller BBQ, Contigo, Quality Seafood, the Draughthouse, Trudys, the Tamale House, Lala's and El Taco Rico among others. Teasers have also seen him drinking avocado margaritas and getting a tattoo on his arm from the guitarist of the Sleigh Bells. So it's going to be that kind of episode.
The season premiere of No Reservations airs Monday at 8 p.m. on the Travel Channel following a nine-hour Labor Day marathon featuring fan favorites from previous episodes. The marathon starts at 11 a.m. and features trips to Paris, Ireland, Shanghai, Egypt, Chicago, Kansas City, the Carribbean and Brazil's Amazon.