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Where would you take Anthony Bourdain?

There's another thread running about "Where would AB go?" in the area, but as somebody pointed out, he would likely go where the handlers scouted.

So, let's make that small, but potentially enlightening shift. Suppose you got a phone call saying "This is Tony Bourdain. I'm in town, and somebody told me you know the good places to eat. Wanna go someplace?"

Where would you take him? Assume the expense account is covering it, even though AB strikes me as the sort who is just as likely to enjoy low-buck places as high end.

And note, your answers should not only reflect your impressions of the kind of places that AB would like, but also which place you feel would be worthy of his attention. For example, some might consider it a challenge to find a vegetarian place (or a place serving vegetarian dishes) that AB would like!

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  1. Crazy John's on the Block for lunch, Koco's for dinner for crabcakes, Brewer's Art after for beer and fries.

    1. A good crab shack for crabs and beer but one that has outdoor seating so he can smoke.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Dakota Guy

        He quit smoking because of his daughter .. I think I read it on here, but may have been another interview. You'll notice it doesn't show up as much in the show (if at all) and he has tapered off completely since then.

        1. re: aletnes

          He said the same thing when he spoke at the Lisner at GW a few months ago. But hey, it might be tempting with crabs, beer, and a warm outside setting.

      2. Similar to the other thread I would take him to Faidley's for a crabcake if it were in season for MD blue crab.

        I would also take him to the Lebanese Butcher.

        He said he gave up smoking in his talk and a few interviews now.

        5 Replies
        1. re: ktmoomau

          mmmm Lebanese Butcher? More info please

          1. re: photographicality

            The Lebanese Butcher is in Falls Church off Lee Hwy kind of I don't know the exact intersection name. It is a butcher shop that has good lamb, beef and other meats and the restaurant which has great Lebanese food. I think the quality of the meat there is far better than many Lebanese places.

            Lebanese Butcher & Restaurant
            109 E Annandale Rd, Falls Church, VA 22046

            1. re: ktmoomau

              I took a Leb friend there some time ago. He reported to me the other day that in terms of MidEast markets, there's a much bigger one behind Leb Butcher.

              I haven't made it by yet - anyone else have info on this?

              1. re: Dennis S

                Make no mistake about it. I have been to all of them and I am certifiably Lebanese. Mediterranean Gourmet Market on Franconia Road in Alexandria is Bourdain material -- yes, I love Lebanese Butcher, and yes, I guarantee that George Azar's Mediterranean Gourmet Market is the hands-down Bourdain destination.

                I own all of Anthony Bourdain's books, including his dark novels and his tribute to Typhoid Mary. The guy can write and he has a Hunter Thompson side to his literary talent. He would enjoy Lebanese Butcher. He would rave about Mediterranean Gourmet Market and he would return there every day he's in the DC area.

                1. re: BigEats

                  So do you know the name of the one BEHIND Leb Butcher? If so, what are your thoughts on it? My Leb friend said it had things he thought he'd never find in America (not sure what exactly).

        2. This is a fun approach to discussing your local restaurants, but please do keep the responses focused on local restaurants, rather than just general trends or in depth discussion of Anthony Bourdain himself. Thanks!

          1. If I remember correctly, there used to be a great Mexican dive/biker bar in laurel called Tippy's tacos or Toucan tacos....

            1. He has stated that he likes the food of the people. Also anything with a good story (whether the food is good or not). El Pollo Rico, Queen Makeda, Levi’s Port Café, the wharf, Eden Center, Southern Maryland for stuffed ham, and just for fun Jerry’s Seafood for the crab bombe. Throw in an embassy or two for their national cuisine. Then direct him to Baltimore, Eastern Shore, and various regions of Viriginia.

              2 Replies
                1. re: MrsWheatie

                  You must have seen hos DC show. He did Ben's Chili Bowl, El Pollo Rico, the Eden Center and the Washington waterfront, among others.

                2. I'd take him to Bob's in Rockville, and in addition to my usual orders, I'd order everything on the menu that i've been to, ahem, scared to order in the past. then i'd beg him to take me and my wife (or heck, just send us) on the recent Singapore trip just aired on his show. every time I think about it my mouth waters.

                  1. I'd say the Maine Avenue Seafood Market and other purveyors down at the DC fish market. It feels so old-school DC down there and too often overlooked by people who haven't grown up here. Love getting the fish sandwich and hanging out on the park benches.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: takajin

                      There was a terrifying post awhile back from someone who went to the market with a scietist or something along those lines and discussed how long the fish there has been sitting out. The reports I've gotten off this website have put me off of Maine Avenue Seafood forever, sorry to say. I believe the posts were under a thread where someone was looking for a good fish market etc.

                      1. re: Elyssa

                        I've been going to Maine Avenue since the mid 1950's; as recently as two weeks ago. I drive there from Reston bypassing a lot of places that I otherwise could have gone to. I will also note that there is a fair amount of discrimination in looking over what they sell. Often, with two + pound Rockfish, Red Snapper, etc. I'll end up with a fish that they pull out from the back. Still, the quality and freshness of what they have has never been an issue with what I end up with. They also may have fresh shrimp when I can't find them anywhere else along with the best price on Chesapeake Bay lump crab meat anywhere.

                        Over the past seven or eight years a number of people on this board have eaten food that I have cooked which I purchased on Maine Avenue. To the best of my knowledge they are all still alive...

                    2. Hausner's would have been perfect as would Marconi's , but, alas, they are no more. I agree with Faidley's for arsters and a real crab joint

                      1. Yeah maybe Cantler's for a real crab joint, you have the view and the deck it has that feel, of course there are some incredible places on the Kent Narrows with that kind of atmosphere too, and niether are too far of a drive from DC.

                        Of course you could get crabs in Crisfield MD, too bad he doesn't like sweets that Smith Island cake is gooood. I am a little addicted.

                        1. What a great question! I grew up in DC, but spent many summers on the Eastern Shore. I would totally want to take AB to the Crab Claw in St Michaels!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Jamonportodos

                            IMO I think he would hate that, it's a total tourist trap now complete with bus loads of people looking for a "hard shell dinner".

                            1. re: hon

                              That's a shame. I used to like those little buckets of roasted oysters.

                          2. If he came during the summer, I would take Bourdain to:
                            Magothy Seafood Crab Deck and Tiki Bar for crabs and stuff.
                            Fiesta Mexicana for antojitos.
                            Woodberry Kitchen for thoughtful food.
                            Cafe Hon for Baltimore Chic.
                            Cross Street Market for more seafood.
                            Soup's On for, well, soup.
                            Kloby's BBQ for ribs and fried fish.

                            1. Pasta Mia, El Pollo Rico, and if he's up for it ... Inn at Little Washington, which I think is the best restaurant I've been to.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: foodiechica

                                I'd take him to Solly's Tavern on U Street for PBR (in a can) and New Zealand meat pies. Yum. Then I'd make him do Perry's drag queen brunch.

                                1. re: taresa514

                                  Hey, why not, Pretty tough to compare the DC drag scene with the Singapore ladyboys he hung with though. I'm thinking a tour of ethnic restaurants in suburban strip malls would appeal.

                                2. re: foodiechica

                                  one of my goals in life is to go to inn at little washington. my parents went there years ago and they have been to some of the top rated restaurants in the world. Their take is that the service and atmosphere alone make it worth the while.

                                3. Cuvee's restaurant deserve plenty attention. I'm sure he'd find this place an intersting stop

                                  1. I think we're missing a place that is a DC essential... the steak house. Maybe Capitol Grille (I know, I know, it's a chain... but the one on the hill is great and the epitome of a DC steakhouse, complete w/ Members and lobbyists), or the Prime Rib. And, of course, the bar at the Willard.

                                    2 Replies
                                      1. re: MarcDC

                                        The thought of a Anthony Bourdain and Michael Landrum meeting brings shivers down my spine, but it would be very interesting if he went to Rays

                                    1. I know this is an older thread, but I'm reviving it because... what if Anthony Bourdain DID come to this area?! To be more specific, what if he came to Baltimore??

                                      Turns out his show No Reservations is holding a contest to choose a city and tour-guide for an upcoming fan special. A friend of mine submitted this cheeky invite (it's on the highest rated list!): http://yourtrip.travelchannel.com/cli... . Miss Katie includes favorites like Paper Moon and Brewers Art.

                                      The only places I would add to her list are ones like Arcos, Joung Kak, and - more recently - SoHo Eatery to show off how surprisingly diverse our little city is (I also wholeheartedly second the votes for El Pollo Rico already mentioned on this thread). Even if you disagree with her picks (I know this is an opinionated bunch!), wouldn't it be great if we got more love for our Charm City?

                                      1. This isn't the thread I was looking for, but it will do to post some information. At some point in a similar "where would we take Anthony Bourdain?" thread, folks started posting mentions of filming taking place at restaurants around town. I remember people mentioning Eden Center and Ben's Chili Bowl. We assumed Bourdain was in town. Actually, it turns out to be Samantha Brown. She'll be featuring Washington, DC in her show airing Thursday at 10:00 p.m.

                                        According to the web page about the show, here are the restaurants/places she'll be visiting:
                                        Hotel Helix
                                        Ben's Chili Bowl
                                        Eastern Market
                                        Jack's Boathouse
                                        Perry's Restaurant
                                        Busboys & Poets
                                        Union Station

                                        10 Replies
                                        1. re: Indy 67

                                          Just FYI, the DCist reports that Bourdain did tape an episode of No Reservations here on 7/18 while hanging around with Jose Andres.

                                          1. re: reiflame

                                            Thanks. It will be interesting to watch both shows.

                                            1. re: reiflame

                                              Yeah, Mrs. Monkey and I were at PX when he showed up with crew in tow. He'd been shooting in Eammon's downstairs. Seems like a nice enough guy and likes his drinks good and strong. Even wished her a happy birthday. The Armstrongs cut their vacation short just to be there for him.


                                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                "The Armstrongs cut their vacation short just to be there for him."

                                                hey I would too.

                                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                    And wouldn't you know the segment didn't air (except online).

                                            2. re: Indy 67

                                              Could you share the website for this?

                                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                  thanks, that's the one I wasn't finding.

                                              1. I would try to take him to one of Baltimore's greek orthodox festivals (because, you know, he loves to dance in front of the camera =)), not just for the great food, but for the entertainment value as well. plus, how can you say no to greek whiskey and ouzo (I wouldent know, ive never tried to say no)

                                                1. Pollock Johnny's for a big sausage with their "The Works" sauce. The sausage is great, but that sauce is something special. Ostrowski's would be good, too, just so you can be where it's made. BTW, in Kitchen Confidential he has more unkind words about Baltimore than anything else in the book, which is saying something.

                                                    1. I'm inclined to run him out of town on a rail ... he covered just a few of the hundreds of wonderful unique little ethnic and other local favorites, then gushed all over that showoff at Minibar?

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: wayne keyser

                                                        He was recently (last week) in Baltimore doing a 'Rust Belt' show, so we will see if he has anything better to show about Balmer, however small a portion of the show it may be.

                                                        1. re: Turkeybone

                                                          In the first commercial I saw for the DC show, he was eating something fried at what appeared to be Eamonn's, but I guess it got edited out.

                                                          1. re: Henry Spencer

                                                            If you watch the edited out clips online he did go to Eammon's (he went up to PX afterwards and had drinks apparently, but that isn't taped).

                                                          2. re: Turkeybone

                                                            According to his blog he went to Mo's (ugh) and went elsewhere for Crabcakes and Pit Beef. He seemed to be more focused on The Wire than anything else.

                                                        2. Eastern Market
                                                          Old Ebbitt Grill
                                                          2 Amys

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. Horace and Dickie's for a fish sandwich. Mario's in Arlington for a steak and cheese. In summer, the Quarterdeck for an afternoon of crabs and gin & tonics. Nam Viet for soft-shell crab. You know, traditional DC stuff...or what's left of it, anyway.

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