The New York-born, New Jersey raised, author, takes us to places we've heard about, and may have seen on other travel shows, or even in school, but through a somewhat bloodshot, cigarette-smokey lens!
Most of the time, Anthony disdains and avoids the urbane, in favor of grungy, out-of-the-way, back alleys, and paths less-taken. He seems uncomfortable when asked to participate in touristy things or to wear a suit and tie, and we definitely feel for him in those "awful" instances!
Like reporter Hunter S. Thompson, he spices his narratives with views that only a curmudgeon can give. Sometimes, he will tell the viewers what he won't tell his hosts, though I wonder what he would say to them in his defense, if he should meet up with them in the future and they happened to see the show!
Somehow, Anthony always sees the humor in the worst of situations, and, with rare exception, accepts whatever is thrown at him. However, we are left to wonder whether his inevitable, seemingly once-a-show accolades - - inevitably saying that it (whatever "it" is) is the "best" he has ever seen or had - - are genuine, or simply put in to show that nothing is all bad!
Most of the time, I don't learn anything new, and find myself uninterested in visiting the places he has been. Instead, I watch for Anthony's adult and dark-toned humor, the unapologetic pathos of enduring the seemingly (to him!) unendurable, and the occasional relief when things go his way. Though not for everyone, I heartily recommend this show as a breath of fresh - - if not smoke-filled - - air!
I remember when this show first premiered and I scoffed at it because I also remembered Bourdain from when he was on the Food Network and how much of an arrogant jerk he was. I refused to watch his show because I found him to have WAY too big of an opinion of himself. But as time went on and shows that involved travel became less and less on the Travel Channel, I found myself watching this guy. Sometimes it was because there was nothing else on. Sometimes it was because the places he went and the stuff he ate looked just darn good.
Let's get one thing straight by answering a few questions: 1. Do I watch this show for the enjoyable, likeable host that brings a vibe and energy to the show? Heck no! 2. Do I watch it for the places he goes and the stuff he gets to eat? Heck yes! No Reservation's biggest thing going for it is the places the guy gets to go. The episode that really drew me in was the time he went to Saudi Arabia. When was the last time you saw a travel show about that place? The answer is (at least for me) never. What the place was and what I thought it was going to be was totally different. The people were friendly and the food looked good. It was an eye-opener. That's perhaps the best thing about the show; it introduces you to places and food you never would have thought about prior to seeing the episode. The funny thing is that you could certainly see yourself going there once you're introduced. Oh, and the food looks flippin' awesome! There's not enough room to describe how well this dude eats.
So, I still find Bourdain as an arrogant middle aged man who thinks WAY too highly of himself, but perhaps not as much as I did in the past. One thing is for sure though: the places he gets to go, the stuff he gets to eat and the people he's met are very, very cool. Ironically, this is one of the last travel shows left on the Travel Channel.
This is a show about food but not cooking. It is shot on location in some fairly exotic locales (and some not so exotic). Anthony, the host, is a writer at heart which is evidenced by the quality, smoothness, and humor of narration.
On "No Reservations" Anthony Bourdain travels, sometimes to dangerous locations, he eats things occasionally that belong on "Fear Factor" more than on a food/travel show, and he narrates. His voice-overs and speech are a bit educational but also clever and easy to listen to. He speaks like a writer as much as a chef, and after reading his book "Kitchen Confidential," it was easy for me to see that his abilities as an author rival his as a chef. This show is not the cuddly, family-friendly fare you find on the Food Network (not that there's anything family-unfriendly about it), and I think Anthony would be thankful that a bit of prickliness comes through in the finished product.
I feel like this show misses some its potential audience because it is not on the Food Network. But in many ways, it is the "anti-Food Network" show. Food Network is a celebrity factory, taking several names from obscurity to household names, including Rachel Ray, Alton Brown, Mario Batali and Giada De Laurentiis. Anthony Bourdain eschews these celebrity chef icons, and has an edge that the Disney-like characters that the Food Network invents lack. There is something a bit edgy and distinctively adult about "No Reservations" which I enjoy. He seems to see a lot of parallels between cooking and rock 'n roll, and he sees depravities in himself that he doesn't share with the audience.
This show really is a travel show more than a cooking show, although food is definitely the star. There is not a lot of focus on food preparation, and there aren't any recipes you can replicate at home. There is a lot of travel, a lot of scenes from the street and dark restaurants, and a lot of scenery. Unlike every show I've seen Giada in, Anthony doesn't spend 2/3 of each episode taking a bite something and saying "Hmmmmmmmmmm" for the next five minutes. For this, I am grateful.
A great show, about food/travel, with some cleverness you'll enjoy thrown in.
Sometimes watching No Reservations makes you want to kill Anthony Bourdain. Seeing this proudly arrogant and preening recovering substance abuser/chef gallivant around the world taking in the most sumptuous delicacies the globe has to offer can inspire more than a little envy, but watching him do it is admittedly, if somewhat begrudgingly, fun. After only a few episodes, it becomes clear why Bourdain is the man for this job and not you. Whatever his foibles, Bourdain is a practiced gastronomist with an eye for what's relevant and interesting, and a snarky comment for everything that's not. He knows more than you do, so sit there and shut up. The entertaining host, however, is not the star of the show, and most of the time, he knows it. Each episode finds Bourdain in a new, usually exotic, location. The show does an excellent job of capturing the essence of these locales and how their culture informs their cooking. It's like Rick Steves' Travel Guide with food. That said, Bourdain makes for a bit more lively host than what can be found on PBS, and after a while you don't so much wish he were dead as you wish to be along for the ride.
I like a bitter, smart-mouthed man -- or a smart man with a bitter tongue. And, that's Anthony Bourdain.
Watching No Reservations is more than indulging in a show about good, or interesting, regional food and travel. It's a meditative log of a memoir, a voiced-over reflection on a journey made, one that is planned but unpredictable, the kind that has the potential to change the travelogger. The pleasure is Bourdain is sensitive to the effects of the journey, and both honest and self-conscious enough to record them for us.
He's got a wicked sense of humor, too. It's self-deprecating at times (he often comments on his inability to climb every mountain due to smoking, mocks the poor circumstances he encounters due to production decisions, and suggests market research finds viewers offended by his drinking). While, at other times, it's ironic and pointedly arrogant. It's when Bourdain rips the local cuisine or culture that he's at his funniest.
And yet, there's a humility about Bourdain, too, and a humanity. He's not ashamed to taste test for the best french fry. He's genuinely grateful to meet good people, to just hang out, to go with what the locals do.
He's a man of pleasurable contractions. Physically, he's afraid of getting hurt, and he complains about discomforts, but he's a sucker for goofball adventures, such as when he took a death-defying tumble off a dune on an ATV or got an authentic native tattoo.
What's more, he'll eat anything. ANYTHING. Even that fermented shark stuff the Vikings used to choke down to prove their manhood. Okay, I added that last. They probably had enough rocks to feed it to their infants. Bordain's a grown man with finely refined taste buds, but he'll eat it because -- well -- what else is life about, but living it?
I can't think of another food writer I'd rather travel with than Anthony Bourdain.
I've never eaten Anthony Bourdain's food, but if it is as good as his two shows, A Cook' Tour and this one, he's a four-star chef. Combining Mr. Bourdain's love of food, sense of adventure and sardonic wit, No Reservations offers the viewer a chance to experience different foods and cultures in hip and inviting way.
I am a huge fan of Tony Bourdain since his book Kitchen Confidential and his first show on the Food Network, A Cook's Tour.
What makes No Reservations a better show is that it is an hour instead of thirty minutes.
My favorite part of each episode and commercial break is the disclaimer. Far be it that children or those faint of heart be allowed to watch the show.
Anthony Bourdain is a chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America. He was the executive chef of Les Halles in NYC. In Kitchen Confidential, he does not hide the fact that he had a drug problem nor that he is, at best, a nonconformist. Tony swears, hates vegetarians, smokes, and has little patience for certain other chefs.
What I love about Bourdain, and what separates him from other host, is that he is a very well read man, an excellent writer, has absolutely no snobbery when visiting other cultures, is unfailingly polite to any host, will eat or drink anything and has a true curiosity about life outside of NYC.
I look forward to any destination No Reservations visits in the future.
How can you not like this show! Every episode is great. Initially you'll think he is just tough, crass, and sarcastic. If you watch for just a few minutes. But watch all the episodes. This guy gets it. And he is brutally honest about everything.
Where else do you get to see someone unwillingly kill a pig. But does it so as not to be rude to his hosts and then beats himself up for it. Or he almost kills himself on an ATV because he didn't hear the directions correctly. Oh, and yes this show is about food in different cultures as well.
Is it a show about food? Or an adventure in world travel? It's both and it is quite interesting.
I once heard at TMZ one of the people there asked Harvey, how can you be not addicted to Anthony Bourdain?
Anthony is not the biggest star on TV but I love his honesty and the thought that narrations are the same words we would expect him say. I have read his books and it's his own brand of humor that makes him different from other travel show host. He is a very interesting man with a keen taste with food and adventure. I trust his opinion on food more than I would trust big time celebrity chefs. His lines are raw and unscripted, sometime it may rub on touchy subjects but his candid remarks simply endearing.
Good show. Bourdain\'s sarcastic and irreverent wit is spot on. I really liked the French and New Jersey episode. The show has become a regular part of my Monday night.
I do take issue with the whole \"be a traveler not a tourist\" nonsense. Your tourist Tony! Regardless of which French bistro you frequent. Being served a rare piece of beef on your own personal cutting board doesn\'t make you Vasco da Gama.
Caustic + Sarcastic = AWESOME!
I cannot tell you why I tuned into this show, because I HATED his Food Network show. Something about a guy cooking with a cigarette hanging out his mough is kinda disturbing, right? But all the things that didn't work for the cooking show really work for the travel show! Best moment yet: After finishing a mud bath in a health spa he comes out and vindictively smokes an entire cigarette in like ten seconds.
Forget Andrew Zimmern. No Reservations, that where its at. What's great about No Reservations is that Anthony Bourdain doesn't cope out like other travel shows do, he doesn't show us the tourist friendly areas of a country, and doesn't show food that's from 5 star restaurants or food that 3/4 of the country's population don't even eat. What's really appealing about No Reservations is that he doesn't condescend the audience, its not dumbed down for general consumption. Bourdain takes us to places where the food, place, and people don't actually look that compelling and makes it look like a cool place to visit. He does this so easy that he blows western notions of the all of these things out of the water and shows us the misconceptions that all Americans have of foreign countries. No Reservations succeeds where all other travel shows in the past have failed, everything is compelling as well as entertaining. In the words of Anthony Bourdain, "be a traveler, not a tourist."
I love this show and Anthony Bourdain in all his snarkiness. He takes you to places off the beaten path and gives a glimpse into the local cuisine, people and of course alcoholic beverages. I was only introduced to this show in January but since then I have seen every episode at least once and can't wait to see where he take us next. My favorite episodes have been Tony's return to his restaurant "Les Halles" for his old shift, the Vegas episode, and the Indonesia one. I love all the episodes with his friend Zamir too. This show takes you away to all the places you want to go, without haven't to buy the plane ticket.
I accidentally stumbled across this show while avoiding commercials during a Poker Tournament I was watching.
I changed channels and POW, there was this this really cool looking guy in an exotic location (turned out to be Indonesia) staying at this incredible hotel in his own little bamboo bungalow on a lake, having breakfast delivered to him via boat. I was mesmerized.
After doing this channel hopping between Poker and NR for a few weeks I suddenly realized I preferred watching No Reservations and stopped watching the Poker!
It took quite a few months, but thanks to reruns and recording, both my husband and I have now seen every episode (in full, lol) of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and are eagerly waiting for Season Four to continue.
I'm really glad that NR is on the Travel Channel as opposed to the Food Channel because we watch it not for the food, but for the exotic (OK some aren't quite so exotic) locations, and of course for the wonderful interaction between our beloved "Snarky" Tony and the people he meets.
This is probably the only TV show that I've ever watched where even if an episode falls a little short of my expectations, I've still been entertained by it and would even watch it again.
In other words No Reservations at its worst is better than most shows are at there best!
In Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, we meet Anthony who is a best-selling author and a professional chef. We follow Anthony as he travels the world and taste the food of the locals, and learns interesting facts about the places he visits. I love watching shows like this, they make me want to pack my bags and travel the world. What I like about Anthony is that he holds nothing back, he dosen't care about what people say about him. This is one of the great shows that has grabbed my attention from the very first episode, and has kept me entertained ever since.
I loved this show from the first time I saw it on. Tony travels all over the globe sampling food and culture. All of food usually is so much different than I ever see here in my country. It is interesting to see what people eat. I like the interaction with the people and learning new things all the time like how they live and what they do for entertainment. Tony can talk to anyone and it is fun how he interacts with everybody. I love when he tries the foods and he is like in total heaven! The duck in Hong Kong made me very hungry here. I wanted it myself. I learned so much from this show. Just great.
Anthony likes to travel. His culinary point of view is obvious. He wants to experience all foods from all places. Too bad Food Network has such a crummy budget. Because the Travel Channel has no problem sending Anthony all over the place. He eats things I would never dream to put in my mouth. I am sure that I would starve to death first. Still, the locale's serve the interest of the viewer more than the food. I am sure that the locale's sometimes overshadow the food, but most of the time the two go hand in hand making for good entertainment and possible upset stomachs!
I Love this show, it\'s the best travel show i have ever seen, me and my husband watch it every time it airs. I am only a little disapointed that Anthony did not go to Portugal yet, it is a beautiful country with wonderful food and a beautiful culture friendly people and lots of drinking, i garantee that you will love being there.
I Love the little promos that Anthony Loves to do and all the little things funny things that you guys do. I hope you go to Portugal soon and keep doing what you\'re doing.
He is a great person who knows how to explain how good food can be a sexy thing. Doesn't food come before sex?
Tony loves his job you can tell. I always try to watch his show to see what unique food he is eating. I feel guilty watching him because I like him so much. So, I hope Tony will keep up with the innovative ideas and places and FOOD. Although I cannot eat like he does, I enjoy watching him eat. He enjoys it so much. I can almost taste the food myself. Go Tony Go!! Linda P.
No Reservations is the best of The Best TV. Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations ranks with MASH, Seinfeld, and Deadwood as some of the best tv of all time. Nothing else needs to be said other than you need to get yourself some Tony Bourdain tv now, (don't be a pathetic loser and miss out).
This is a hilarious, offbeat look at travelling to eat. Bourdain often goes where none of us could, or would dare to even if we could, so it\'s not a how-to travel guide show, it\'s more of an enjoyable, exotic travelogue. His offbeat sense of humor and great sense of what\'s good in food really make this show special. It\'s a must watch.
A very unique show like his previous creations but different then others out there on television netowrks. A great show that explores more than just the food but the culture that comes with it. It is so much more than normal it is an adventure and a journ
This show has it all to entertain. Plenty of information that is truely informative on culture and ofcoarse cuisine but it truely excells in giving the presentation of a lifetime as Anthony explores each culture and class of people in the cities he visits. There is always so much going on and he truely tells a great tell of adventure as he shows what is like away from our television sets and how it is in other countruies and parts of life. He vivsits many different areas of the world exploreing religion, culture, food, people, cities/archetecture, and even the native animals. This show is also exiteing as much as it has usefull facts and trivia on other cities and palces as it shows the food and more of some of the processes in which it is made. This show has resteraunts and food thats just made in houses that invite Anthony in while hes on the road. There is such a unique blend of different types of aspects of life in one hour of broadcasting. Anthony truely brings home the experiance with his witty commenting on whats happening around him and the emotions and feeling are truely there in this show. He knows how to present and so far all the episodes have had everything anyone has ever wanted in a travel/food show. He has truely outdone himself this time and it shows. I hope many people truely relish what he is doing for the shows and what it us for I hope he stays on the air for a while telling us his magical tales from the places most of us have never been.
Seriously the best narrarated show on TV. I cant get enough of Anthonys storytelling style and I constantly crave more. Please Anthony, we want more!
I love all the crap he gives people, all the side jokes, and basically all the trouble get gets himself in, wheather it literal or played. They hit the nail on the head with this one.
Finally our favorite celebrity cook has a show again, unfortunately its on the travel channel. But do not despair for Anthony Bourdain is as funny and clever as ever, give the show a chance and watch as tony travels to far away places (like nj) and attaches his trademark film noir style to traveling. So light up a cigarette and watch!
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