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No reservations : southwest

Imho, the best episode yet, I've traveled most all of those roads many times, I always wanted to try those date shakes, and get down to the Salton sea, but time would not allow, as for the red vs green chile,I love'm both, growing up in the Pecos valley of N.M., I ate both almost daily, and can vouch for them being as good a A.B. said, the visit with uncle Ted was the icing on the cake!, A.B. thanks for a great show!

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  1. I have a completely different take as I thought it was perhaps the worst NR ever. With the volume of options in the southwest I find it mind boggling that Tony would waste 20+ minutes on Ted Nugent. Why anyone would care about the opinions of 70's has- been hate monger is beyond me.
    I realize Tony wants to distance himself as far as possible from the $40 a Day genre, and that's what is so great about his show, we all love the edge. But to bypass Santa Fe, which is probably one of the top 5 food cities in the country to listen to Ted Nugent's insane political views? Is this No Reservations or Fox News? What's next; the world view of REO Speedwagon while sampling the sausage in Chicago?

    3 Replies
    1. re: tofuburrito

      I will admit Ted is an acquired taste, as for bypassing Santa Fe, I think that move was spot on, being a native New Mexican, we used to jokingly refer to S.F. as San Francisco east, it is a tourist town, with lots of high profile residents from other parts of the country, and that's fine, but for a road trip that us "common folks" would take it was great,uhhhhh except for the beemer!, should have something a little more common man, as for Ted being a hate monger?...hardly.

      1. re: jword2001

        There are some highly respected chefs in Santa Fe. Napa is a tourist trap too but Tony made a special trip to the French Laundry.
        During Ted's time on NR he managed to bad mouth Sting, the Grateful Dead, democrats, vegetarians and people who wear clothes on their heads. He didn't do it in funny way. There seemed to be a boiling hatred for anyone who disagrees with his world view.

        1. re: tofuburrito

          or possibly his NATIONAL view?

    2. WAY too much of the Nuge, not nearly enough of New Mexico. Other than that, and the finish-the-side-of-beef-in-an-hour-or-less place in Texas (worthy of the Food Network in my own opinion), I enjoyed it very much.

      (In all honesty, Nugent's food looked fantastic, and I'm sure it tasted that way too. But I never liked his music, even back in the Amboy Dukes days, and without even considering his politics, I like his personality even less. I never liked Alice Cooper's music either, but I would much rather share a meal with him.)

      6 Replies
      1. re: Fydeaux

        Tony loves firing guns, as shown on other episodes. He even shot a mini deer in England, and to get the chance to fire an m-60 machine gun and blow up bombs, too much to resist. That steak place was on the Texas board. A great place if you like being humiliated in front of a crowd, food reviews were mixed. I could do without him buying cowboy boots, outside of farm and ranch land nobody wears boots or hats. Surprised? Shows like Rachel Ray and the like make a big point of buying boots, as a Texan, I'm sick of it.

        1. re: James Cristinian

          I'm so over the Texas cowboy boot thing, too. I live near Dallas, and i rarely see cowboy boots or hats. Same goes with the rural parts of Texas i've traveled to.

          1. re: iluvtennis

            Cut Tony some slack about the boots, he always wears them. The episode he did in Paris he made the comment about wearing cowboy boots there.

            Also the part of the show in Hatch, New Mexico was pretty good because it was in Hatch, New Mexico. For us chiliheads the Hatch Chili Festival is a culinary Meca!

            1. re: jackrugby

              Yeah, good point.

        2. re: Fydeaux

          He sped through Arizona too. A hot dog at Cooperstown and that's it??? I kind of understand though. When you make that drive, the Big Texan and the Date Shake place do feature pretty prominently. East Coasters, it's kinda like South of the Border. You know it's gotta be lame, but after seeing billboards for 300 miles, one's interest is piqued.

          It would've been cool if he stopped on a res somewhere for fry bread or something. To roadtrip the SW and not include anything Native American was a bigger omission than not exploring Sante Fe, Albuquerque or Phx.

          And I thought Uncle Ted was pretty amusing, though I wouldn't want to have to endure a plane ride next to him or anything.

          1. re: yamalam

            funny since i will be seeing ALL those south of the border signs in 2 days. i do know what you mean! :)

        3. alice and ted in the same episode (and a quick mention of iggy pop in the preceeding south carolina episode)! tony, keep the detroit love coming and stop by for a coney, a vernors, some lays potato chips, some good polish food in hamtramck, and some saunders hot fudge! we will have bob seager, kid rock, eminem, and martha reeves show you around.

          1. I would have paid good money for Tony to stop by when in Texas, pick up NFNS's Lisa Garza and take her over to Nugents! LOL

            1. Sorry, a highly anticipated episode that was almost completely disappointing. Alice Cooper & hot dogs covers Arizona cuisine? Come on. What does the Salton Sea have to do with traveling AND food? One stop in NM which was one of the highlights of the show. And enough said about Ted Nugent. What a shame. A great region for food and this is what they came up with.

              2 Replies
              1. re: KHT

                My feelings too. Was definitely looking for more good road food on this episode, especially in Arizona. The NM stop was indeed a highlight. And nothing wrong with Alice and his place, necessarily, but how about Sonoran hotdogs or something else more unique?

                Not the worst episode yet, but a very disappointing one indeed.

                1. re: Joan Kureczka

                  But what was the purpose of this trip? Was it to sample the best of the region? The way he talked at the start, while leaving LA, it sounded as though he choosing the worst, the things that would challenge his ability to be a gracious guest. He's already done Vegas, once, maybe twice. He's done the Tex-Mex border. Others had done the highlights of New Mexico such as Santa Fe and Taos. Alton sampled fry bread - and dry bread - on the rez, as well as the swinging grill at Mexican Hat.

              2. I wasn't too keen on this one either. The Salton Sea was interesting, I'd never heard of it before. The Big Texan is a culinary cliche, I have seen it on way to many shows, I think the Travel Channel's own Ultimate Steaks, Ultimate Eating Contest, and on some FN show.

                I despise Nugent, I hated his music, although he is a decent guitar player. If he'd just shut up and play guitar, all would be good.

                The food at the chile place looked pretty good. The culinary lesson was pretty bland though: red chiles and just green chiles allowed to ripen and dried. Really? This is the kind of insight you can get in Ted Allen's "Food Detective" show. Believe me, not a compliment.

                When I lived in Colorado, you can always tell the out of towners, they are the only ones wearing cowboy boots and big gaudy hats. Of course, if they wore the gaudy hats to go skiing, they're Texans.

                I guess he is allowed a down episode after three really exemplary ones.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Phaedrus

                  i agree the food was down - this one never really caught my interest at all. very cheesy and cliche places they went to. the salton sea was a bit interesting though. but frankly i LOVED the line, "fire or beer - now there's a hobbesian dilemma". that is why i love anthony bourdain! :)

                  1. re: AMFM

                    I'm glad I wasn't the only one to catch that quote. I howled at the TV. Hobbesian dilemma indeed.

                2. I didn't think much of it either. Cooperstown is a chain! As someone who continually makes fun of the "TGI McFunster's," this was a surprising stop, Alice or no Alice. That gimmicky place and the steak gimmicky place I could have totally done without. And while Ted N is an interesting guy whether you believe the same things he does or not (mostly I don't, but strangely on some topics, I do, like his committment to the environment and putting back into it what you take out), we didn't need to spend that much time with him.

                  I also agree with the other poster who said not including even one snippet of Native American or res. life was disappointing, and call me stupid but was there really no local establishment or interesting place in all of Arizona worth eating or seeing?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rockandroller1

                    Sounds like I will be fast forwarding through most of this episode...

                  2. We love NR, but that was one of the worst things we have EVER sen on TV. Awful.

                    1. I went to bed during the middle of it………

                      The segment on the Salton Sea made me depressed and I just shook my head wondering what the “locals” were thinking. It was kinda funny to watch Tony drink Bud Lights (or something close to) and chow on Sysco specials……patty melt? Looked like a burger for 4 year olds or am I missing something? Like a Friendly’s burger that comes on toast……wtf?

                      As for Ted N…….I hunt as well, but he bugs me. The fact that people actually think he represents the average hunter in the US and Canada upsets me to no end. Not many folks I talk to want him speaking for anyone but himself and Shamane (sp?).

                      That Texas Steak place……”Best place to pig out”……..why would I want to eat a week’s worth of meat in one sitting?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: River19

                        Well, after touting this season last week, I have to agree that this was a bit of a low point. Not THE low point (say hello, Romania!), but a fairly uninspired ep all around. The Salton Sea portion, while informative, was a downer that didn't get followed by enough of a lift. I like Alice Cooper, and I'm sure that simply the fact that he was sitting with the man had a bunch to do with the choice of venue, but it was an "....eh" segment. The Hatch, New Mexico segment could have been longer, with a visit to the farms, etc, but perhaps they tried that and were coaxed towards the mayor and his wife.

                        Onto the Nuge. I like Ted. I do, despite being a Democrat, yadda, yadda. He's highly intelligent, I think he speaks his mind and has his ideals firmly in place, well thought through, and for a reason. He isn't wishy washy and I won't condemn the man for often thinking in a manner different from my own. That said, I was glad to finally hear his environmental work finally trumpeted a bit and I have always agreed with his notion of "you kill it, you eat it" and the disdain for the fact that so many people are too mentally distant from where their food originates.

                        THAT said, I thought the segment was dully paced and a bit too long.

                        Yeah, that's the biggest complaint. The pacing and the dynamic was missing this go around.This is one that I think went to the editors with not enough material or they simply dropped the ball and just didn't bother chasing after it when it hit the gutter...

                        1. re: Scortch

                          I don't disagree with anything you said about the Nuge. My issue is his apparent contempt for anyone who disagrees with him, as though there is only room in this world for one opinion, his.
                          I also thought his whole "spiritual hunting" rap was total bs. He strikes me as someone who kills because he loves to kill. In contrast, when Tony has killed an animal on Cooks Tour or NR it causes him a significant amount of discomfort and causes most of us to reflect on our own attitudes towards animals for food. To my way of thinking, mounting deer heads on the wall does not suggest a "spiritual" relationship with the animal.
                          I may well be wrong about all that but that was impression.

                          1. re: tofuburrito

                            Well, truth be told, the man's persona, particularly onscreen/stage/whatever, is usually big enough to eclipse almost anyone, so it often does seem as though he is extremely contemptuous of others opinions (and he may be, though I believe he's actually a bit less reactionary in real life- he has waaay to many liberal friends to be otherwise).

                            As for the joy of killing, again, that seems to me to be an onscreen over-exaggeration. I AM sure he is in love with the hunt. That's a very common feeling in anyone who does it for sport or otherwise. If you haven't shared in the experience, it's hard to explain the feeling. I do know from a friends who roadied for him that he does eat what he kills- always. That he trophies his kills may not fit in with your idea of spiritual, but I don't see the harm if the rest of the beast didn't go to waste. It doesn't mean that he has held the animal in any less regard or respect.

                            I don't think we need to feel guilty about each kill. It's our food, fer cryin' out loud. We should feel guilty, perhaps for allowing it to come from a processed, wasteful industry, but certainly not if we kill and eat it ourselves.

                      2. Tony, at least at these low point shows, reminds me of a big kid cutting class. I think most of the time he's interested in the foreign country he's going to and that interest shows. I think every so often he gets bored, especially when doing regions of America, and slacks off.

                        Sorta like a student in class. When he "applies" himself he's great, but every once in a while he slacks off, fills that little blue essay book with 10,000 words of crapola, or just plain plays hooky. I think this time, he's like, yeah yeah, Soutwestern food, didn't I cover that when I did Mexico? Maybe I look up some rock legends instead and hang out with cool kids instead and call it a show.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: HarryK

                          Well, its not the regions of America that he finds boring. He did pretty well with NYC, Seattle, and Cleveland. I do think his production team messed up, they could have gone to some more inspiring places this trip.

                          1. re: Phaedrus

                            Agreed, Phaedrus. I think so much of this is piss-poor planning on behalf of the producers. Some I can attribute to plans falling through and being left to shoot what's handy (Romania sounded like that through and through), but seldom can I forgive that for an entire episode, especially one that covers as much geography as this one.

                            1. re: Phaedrus

                              Many of us Clevelanders would strongly disagree. Unfortunately, since the "real" Cleveland wasn't really portrayed (he even at at a place that is a Cincinnati chain!), to many of us the city ended up looking like a joke with a lot of bad food, save a couple of exceptions (Ruhlman's house, Lola).

                          2. I'm surprised that no one's making more of a point of the giant BMW product placement. I admit to not paying that much attention to product placement on past shows, but it just jumped out and screamed at me from this one. Seems like the kind of thing that Tony rails about in regards to other food personalities.

                            I especially love that the X6 itself gets lousy reviews. The LA Times referred to it as "as useful as a laminated pizza":
                            http://www.latimes.com/classified/aut...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ted

                              speaking of product placement it is really interesting that the "sponsored links" section to the right of me right now has a thing for "rockliberty.com" to find ted nugent posters and memorabilia. they are nothing if not on the ball. i mean that's pretty impressive to know what thread here might have fans...

                              oh wait and now to listen to free full length ted nugent songs...
                              the miracles of modern technology and the ways we can be subtly brainwashed if we are not paying attention... :)

                              1. re: AMFM

                                I practice "if you don't like it, fast forward" but I slowed down to see why Tony ate at Alice's restaurant. I'm still wondering why Tony was at Alice's restaurant?