Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Top Ten Favorite Episodes of "No Reservations"

I'm a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain's Travel Channel series "No Reservations." Each episode offers wonderful photography, amazing locales and people, and, oh yeah, food. Each episode is unique, and you never know what you'll see each time you tune in. Of course, some episodes stand out. The following ten are my favorites, inspired by this week's most excellent entry:

1) Tokyo (Season 4)

I really enjoyed the peacefulness, the beauty of the Tokyo episode. Tony Bourdain is usually snarky and seeking pork, but in Tokyo we see a completely different side. A, dare I say, zen Tony Bourdain.

2) Azores (Season 5)

I had never, ever heard of the Azores before this episode, and watching it made me want to go there immediately. The scenery rivals anything you'd see in the Caribbean or Hawaii, and the people seem super-friendly and welcoming.

3) Quebec (Season 2)

Between, the seal hunting, the crazy maple syrup guy and the huge feast of meat, the Quebec episode is one of the most memorable I've seen yet.

4) Ireland (Season 3)

Pints of Guinness dark as the night. Seafood so fresh it's almost swimming. Warm, comforting bowls of stew. Echoes of troubled times nearly gone. Street bowling. This episode has it all.

5) Hong Kong (Season 3)

If the bright neon lights and endless maze of streets aren't enough to grab you, the Noodle Man surely will.

6) Laos (Season 4)

I don't remember anything about the food on this episode, but I'll never forget the people. This one shows why Anthony is not afraid to face the hard truths of reality and accept them for what they are. The scenery's pretty, too.

7) Egypt (Season 4)

Ok, so we didn't get to visit the pyramids. We did, however, get to see Anthony get all poetic out in the desert after a night of eating from a fire.

8) Uruguay (Season 4)

It's always good to get Chris Bourdain involved in his older brother's adventures. Watching the Brothers Bourdain try to find their roots while also eating enormous portions of fat-dripping meat was highly enjoyable.

9) Cleveland (Season 3)

Tony loves the unusual, and Cleveland has plenty of unusual to offer. Large bookstores, lakeside surfing and Harvey Pekar himself are some of the treasures Cleveland has to offer.

10) Thailand (Season 5)

As of now, this is the newest episode, and it's spectacular. It's so different from any other episode of No Reservations before it, what with the title screens and little videos. Tony and his companions encounter adventure everywhere they turn. They also find some really wonderful food. This one was very enjoyable and just excellent all around.

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