If Brix Pick Andrew Zimmern is the jolly, food loving uncle that can't wait for you to try some strange food then Anthony Bourdain is the sour, smoking, mean guy that your aunt is now dating and you all have to suffer during holidays when he puts down the cooking and brags about how much he smokes.
I was, with good reason, reluctant for a long time to accept the show No Reservations despite many friends enjoying it. After a marathon on the travel channel this weekend I have partially changed my tune. The wonderful thing about the show is that he takes the viewers to extremely interesting spots, places unlikely to garner much television coverage anywhere else.
Whether down in treacherous bat caves of Jamaica or making me want to put Hatch, New Mexico on my places to visit for their red and green enchiladas, Bourdain always discovers the fascinating, informative and fun. Obviously, he's not my ideal traveling companion, his mixture of forced testosterone and snobbery is hard to handle, but I have to admit, he does kind of grow on you as you watch. And let's face it, his bragging about hangovers beats the repetitive and asinine chatter of most food specials that pepper cable television. “It's big on taste AND portions!”
So it is WITH reservations (ha ha ha ha ) that I admit that No Reservations can be great entertainment. But I can't say that I am completely wrong about the man himself. Apparently when taken out of intriguing places and situations, he is just a plain old prick. His recent bomb of a show At the Table earned such fire and ire on his site with comments like?:
“OMG you owe me Tony! You owe me an hour of my life I can never get back. That was the worst piece of *** I've ever seen! Please for the love of God tell me you haven't turned into a tool! “
“At the Table” was about the worst show I've ever seen. This is coming from a regular viewer of “No Reservations.” As someone who was laid-off in January and unable to find work, it was painful to watch a bunch of swells pontificating about eating a $1,900 meal during the worst economic times in living memory. If you have that kind of money to burn, you should have eaten some street hot dogs and given the remaining $1,895 to charity. That kind of scratch could feed my wife and I for about nine weeks. In a few weeks, after my unemployment runs out, I'll think of you and your stupid, boring friends and the $1,900 meal and what I could have done with the money.”
And these are just a few from pages of hatred mostly from his fans. Whew, with fans like these… he should just stick to No Reservations and books filled with kitchen sex.