The previous shows seemed to be watered down to me. Too much emphasis on food and not enough on culture. I like when Tony searches out those off the beaten path areas of a country and he definitely did that here.
This was also the all important return of the Snarky Tony that I really missed! With the exception of the "bat cave" in Jamaica, Tony has just been too "happy happy joy joy"!
And despite a lot of flack I've read about Zamir being Tony's guide I think he was perfect and was thrilled to have him along, bad back and all!
Seems to me, when things don't go exactly as they should on the show, that's what makes the show special. So this show was very, very special!