Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations

Season 1 Episode 3

New Jersey

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Aug 08, 2005 on Travel Channel

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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  • "Man can not live on foie gras alone."

    "Man can not live on foie gras alone." -- Tony

    The above quote from this episode sums it up nicely. This episode is NOT about gourmet food. Instead, it's about childhood and memories and comfort. It's working class. Tony does a good job of touring Jersey and sharing his own memories.

    My absolute favorite part of this episode is the guest spot by Mario Batali. The whole sequence is hilarious as Mario is over run with fans, while Tony gets pushed aside. Brilliant! Mario and Tony have been friends for years and it shows.

    I was a little disappointed with the focus on the Sopranos in the first half of the show. Eventually, the prolonged discussion of New Jersey's most famous TV show pays off with the closing Mario gag. However, the same joke would've worked with less set-up. This would have given Tony more time to visit other places, maybe even found a high class restaurant to try.

    Overall: It was nice to see Tony in some different places (a high school cafeteria, a hot dog stand, etc). If you only like the episodes where Tony is at his most cynical and snarky, this isn't the episode for you. This is more of a self indulgent trip don memory lane where comfort and predictability are more important that fancy ingredients and gourmet tastes. I wouldn't want this gentler Tony for every episode, but it did make a nice change of pace.
  • Didn't do Bergen County justice!

    As a fellow Leonian and foodie who moved to NYC as quickly as I could, I have always felt an affinity with Bourdain and was extremely excited to hear he was heading to our hometown. I also happen to be Korean and was dying to see what Asian goodies he would unveil - Tony, I'm sorry to say that for once I was disappointed in your choices (it was almost as bad as the Romania episode). Here are my 3 major issues with your coverage of the "asian invasion". Firstly, it boggles my mind why anyone would order sushi at Baumgarts. The restaurant is known for some of the best chinese food in the country (sizzling duck crepe etc.) and the fact that the opportunity to show their amazing food was lost really irked me. Secondly, the Korean restaurant you went to is really only know for their soondubu (soft tofu) dishes and I didn't really get why you ordered kalbi there. Korean BBQ is obviously our most famous food and you would've done much better to have gone to So Moon Nan Jip in Pal Park where they put smoldering wood chips in the center of your table (AMAZING) and provide you with lettuce, sesame leaves, and salad so you can wrap your meat appropriately. Lastly, anyone in Bergen knows that Mitsuwa is certainly not Yoahan and has really slipped over the last few years. If you wanted to highlight the million-and-one goodies oriental supermarkets contain, your first stop should have been Han Ah Reum - if Mitsuwa seemed emptyto you, it's because all the real Asians were over there. The one chance NJ had to redeem itself from it's "armpit of America" image definitely fell short in my eyes. I wouldn't care except that I expected more from a hometown boy... I'm obviously still going to watch your show religiously though. Haha.
  • Whirl wind tour or Jersey and her food!

    If you think you know Jersey through Sopranos, or because you go to the Jersey shore you should watch this episode and learn how very much more there is to the Garden State.

    I live down the road from Bobolink Dairy and I wish more folks knew about the mountain and farm region of Jersey.

    Tony did a fabulous job of showing the world how diverse Jersey really is and how many fantastic food choices are available. (As a matter of fact I am now going to have to check out the Korean restaurant!)

    It was as nostaligic for me, a lifelong Jersey girl from Mercer County (who works in Bergen County and lives in Sussex County with her chickens and goats!) as it appeared to be for Tony.

    I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did. And if it compels you to visit our state, PLEASE get up to Sussex county and be amazed.