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No Reservations - Jersey

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I enjoyed this - even more than Paris and certainly more than Iceland. In fact Iceland left me cold... I kept wondering, why? Why in the middle of winter? Why eat that rotten shark stuff? Again?

But New Jersey redeems him. That he went to places I've been to, gives me a firm reference. I understand the irreverence in Mitsuwa about Hello Kitty and the other Japanese marketing icons. And using Mario was a gem... in fact they should do a series - Mario is the perfect foil for Anthony's tomfoolery. The ending, of course, is both classic and on the mark...

Compared to his previous series, he's definitely less into details and tends to hit more places (both in terms of food and travel) at a glossier level. But he does give some time, when the subject calls for it, like he did for the cheese and bread couple on this show.

Overall, this is just so much more entertaining than anything on foodtv.

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    1. Yep me too... Loved this one ...hated Iceland. .... but we'll always have Paris .... sorry Boggie...
      Guess I'll have to watch the next one now. Was hoping that I have time to do other stuff on Monday nights..... but Tony, my man ... badda bing!

      1. I am SO PISSED...! My wife went out of town for the week, and she's the one who keeps her eye on the TV clock while I'm goofing around in the kitchen. Well, I forgot all about the show until after 7:30, and turned it on and caught the last part of it. Wow, I said, this is SOOO much better - I need to stay up and watch it when it runs again at 10. So of course the next time I thought of it, it was almost 11. Poop!

        Yeah, it was a really charming episode, what I saw of it. I guess they'll do a re-run one of these days...

        7 Replies
        1. re: Will Owen

          No matter how much TV you watch (a lot or just enough) get Tivo.

          1. re: Tugboat
            Janet from Richmond

            I agree Will. Tivo's the best invention since the birth control pill. I can't imagine life without it now.

            1. re: Janet from Richmond

              OMG!!! LOL!!! I've never put exactly that way... but I totally agree! Especially for a chowhound... not only does TIVO remind you, it also allows for going back and writing down those precious ingredients and techniques on cooking shows! My last three new recipe experients were from my Tivo'd shows! :) :) :)


              1. re: Dommy!

                Jeez, you guys, this houseful of Luddites is doing damn good to have color and cable...and now you expect us to jump into Tivo??? I guess I'll just have to put it on the list, right after indoor plumbing... ;-)

              2. re: Janet from Richmond

                Well if you have enough of a backlog in the Tivo it might become a birth control option................ ;-)

                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                  Maybe that's why we haven't bothered getting it, as any kind of birth control has been irrelevant around here for a loooooooooooooooooooooong time...

                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                    Funny, as I struggle to tape stuff on my VHS tapes because I fall asleep watching shows after 10:00pm, I wonder if I don't have to capitulate and get TIVO. Sounds like the Baby Boomer's Nirvana.

                    As to Tony, I have to confess, I love the man. I hope it's not an act, because his utter cynicism is very refreshing.

                    As to his Jersey show, when he commented on the lobster -- "you think if you cut Paris Hilton in four pieces, she'd walk away?" -- I almost fell off my chair.

                    I'd watch the guy read the phone book.

              3. This one is SOOOOOOO good. I enjoyed just about everything about this, except maybe for the HoJo reference and the strip joint segment. The couple that makes artisanal cheeses and breads was so very interesting, earnest and seem like such good soild people that I was surprised when Bourdain didn't go off on them a la the Icelandic episode. The bit with the Korean food made my mouth water, now I have a yen for kimchee and short ribs.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Phaedrus

                  While they're almost all sad, that HoJo's in the middle of winter was probably the saddest one I've seen ever.

                  And I enjoyed the cheese/bread segment as well, as well as the banter in the Korean restaurant. The Mario ending was perfect. :-)

                  Much, MUCH better than the Iceland show. But then again, I'm originally from NJ (although I was born in Brooklyn). And I'm one of those who doesn't mind saying I'm from NJ. :-)

                  Looking forward to his trip to Vietnam next week.

                  1. re: Linda W.

                    I don't have cable, so i can't watch! Could someone tell me who and where the artisanal bread couple are? Always on the lookout for great bread in NJ! Thanks so much!

                    1. re: fresser

                      Saw it mentioned over on eGullet - it's called the Bobolink Dairy - website linked below.

                      Link: http://www.cowsoutside.com/

                      1. re: Linda W.

                        This place was also mentioned in "Food Finds" (i can't believe i actually watched an episode).

                    2. re: Linda W.

                      That HoJo's is the same in the summer; the boardwalk is nearly deserted. Total mystery how it survives. Perhaps even the Howard Johnson company doesn't know it's there. As you saw on teevee, the one elderly guy takes the order, goes back and cooks it, then serves. It's a wonder.

                  2. Applehome, I thought the Mario scene was brilliant. Also the "business man's lunch" at the strip club was nice and edgy for the Travel Channel. Bourdain has the potential to be the food/cable version of Hunter S. Thompson. As a die-hard Chowhound, I am all for Gonzo food reporting.

                    1. I don't understand it, I thought this was the worst one yet. I understand this is a travel show, and not a food show, but a little more food and less filler would be better.

                      The Korean food section was just lacking any details about different Korean dishes, when he himself was not familiar with them - the viewer learned nothing also - except that kimchee is eaten with everything.

                      I would like a little more detail about the food he is eating, like the ingrediants and flavors he is experiencing.

                      This one was more boring than the iceland one. At least I didn't fall asleep during that episode.

                      At least the food in northern Jersey is not as boring as that show made it seem.

                      Tony seems to be burnt out on what he is doing. Mario had more passion in his 5 minutes on the show than Tony has had in 3 shows.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: rl

                        No kidding ... you actually thought that this was a legitimate food show? ... WOW!

                        1. re: Wayne

                          Well, its easy to get confused, there hasn't been a legitimate food show on in a while. Good Eats is the only one I can think of that is still on regularly. Nothing on the Food Network is "legitimate" they are all about the schtick.

                          1. re: Wayne

                            WOW! It's amazing how people who are selective readers are so quick to try to put down someone elses opinions.

                            From my post:

                            "I understand this is a travel show, and not a food show, but a little more food and less filler would be better."

                        2. Do they replay this during the week?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: MV

                            Yep, on Sunday nites, ck your local time-----

                            1. re: Jez

                              I'd like to know as well! I missed the episode and I'm pissed!

                              1. re: mr_fro2000

                                He actually didn't say, but it's on Main St, Ft. Lee.

                                Fell in there when visiting; loved it and can't wait to go back. My sense of direction barely exists, but here goes:

                                If you're heading in the direction of Edgewater, it's on the right hand side - past the little mall with It's Greek to Me and Sally Ling's - set off by a small parking lot from the street. Shot from the show is exactly what it looks like inside and outside, except when we were there, it was packed.

                                If this is utterly meaningless,post again and I'll get better directions from the designated driver.

                                1. re: JRL

                                  Wow, that's where I thought it was, but wasn't sure not really knowing Fort Lee very well. I was actually in their parking lot about 2-3 months ago when grabbing a quick sandwich at the cafe next door.


                                  1. re: JRL

                                    From your location description and a bit of googling I came up with the following restaurant, which seems like a good bet to be the place...(I hope).

                                    So Kong Dong Restaurant
                                    (201) 242-0026 - 0.4 mi E
                                    Name: So Kong Dong Restaurant
                                    Name: So Kong Dong Restaurant Address: 130 Main St, Fort Lee, NJ 07024 Phone: (201) 242-0026 Cuisines: Korean

                                    1. re: WLA

                                      Sounds right. Here's a link to an earlier thread that may be more helpful for finding it. I think the awning also says soft tofu restaurant.


                                    2. re: JRL

                                      Justed watched the episode... hilarious! Considering I grew up in Jersey and have been almost everywhere he went in the episode, It was a blast.

                                      So Kong Dong is one of the (if not the) 1st "Soon du bu" joints in northern jersey. The girl's assesment of Korean food was spot on...

                                      Considering he had a whole Italian thing going on I'm surprised he didn't venture over to hoboken... there are like a million awesome deli's that make homemade mozzarella...

                                      1. re: mr_fro2000

                                        Yep, I need my weekly dose of Fiore's Mozz! Definitely the gastronomic highlight of living in NJ.

                                2. This was my first one, and I really liked it. I could go for a couple of "rippers" now and it's only 9:08 am. Unfortunately for me, the episode I saw came on at 10:00 pm Eastern, and at 10:50 I HAD to go to sleep and missed the ending, so I missed Mario...

                                  Now I am a long time Tony fan, loved his old show , read his books, ect, but I have a small problem with his repeated drug references. It really is not relavant to know hear that "this is where I learned to ski on lsd" and "this is where I scored weed" and this is where "we used to get high and ride around".
                                  I don't need to hear it over and over, we know that's part of his past. Yes, he is a cool dude. I get it.
                                  I have some of that in my past too (let's don't go there please) but maybe now that I am 45 and have an 8 year old my tolerance for this is less than it used to be. I am no stick in the mud but this really jumped out at me.
                                  I look forward to Vietnam next week, but hopefully we won't find out where Tony scored his Thai stick!

                                  1. I like the show a lot, particularly this episode. I think of him as the antidote to RR.