While the chance to tailgate with Chris Shepherd is reason enough to fly across the country, it's pretty obvious that a busy guy like Andrew Zimmern — author, chef and host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods — didn't just come to Houston (cough, with a camera crew, cough) to eat buffalo and watch the Texans kick ass.
Following Zimmern's trip to Houston and beyond via Twitter, we do have one slight complaint if he's filming his show here: Nothing he's eating looks very bizarre at all. In fact it looks pretty amazing.
Hitting Chinatown, Zimmern declared that Crawfish & Noodles serves the "best blue crabs in the south... no shit."
In addition to tailgating with Chris Shepherd, Josh Martinez, Bun B and the rest of the Underbelly crew, Zimmern also stopped by Little India for samples from Raja Sweets and visited Galveston's Benno's on the Beach and Gilhooley's in San Leon, getting an exception to the "no cameras" rule in the latter. Dubbing Gilhooley's "A real dive bar with some of best chow around," Zimmern snapped a picture of his crew digging into a platter of wood-fired oysters.
Zimmern also joined PJ Stoops, the fishmonger formerly of Louisiana Foods' Total Catch Market, for a Gulf fishing trip to learn about bycatch, which on their trip included a mako shark.
Hitting Chinatown for some steamed crawdads, Zimmern declared that Crawfish & Noodles serves the "best blue crabs in the south... no shit."
It looks like the chef cast an absentee ballot, because on the morning of election day he was up and out early, joining Reef's Bryan Caswell in Oyster Bay for a successful duck hunt, hauling in 18 in an hour according to Zimmern.
The unlucky ducks soon became part of a delicious feast, as Caswell roasted some redfish over the campfire before making wild duck gumbo and preparing duck breast medallions by curing them for an hour and searing them rare, with a result that Zimmern called "stunning."
The celeb chef was equally impressed with the spread at Underbelly, where he once again observed Shepherd's mastery of all things meat (and more). Tweeting pics of Texas goat saucisson sec, a slice of raw wagyu shortrib with a quartet of sauces and spices and describing Underbelly's chicken and biscuits in gravy as "brilliance."
By my unofficial tally, that's approximately zero bizarre foods and over a dozen perfectly delectable ones.
Where's the sweetbreads tacos from Taqueria Tacambaro? The goat brains masala from Indika? Zimmern, if you want to eat bizarre foods in Houston, you're going to have to up your game or change the name of your show.