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No Reservations: Azores

tofuburrito Jan 27, 2009 09:13 AM

This was kind of an odd episode in that Tony didn't seem to be having a great time and that usually equates to a sub-par show. But in this case, even though Tony seemed luke warm about the whole thing, I thought it was a great show and I'd really like to go there. I knew almost nothing about the Azores before seeing this.

  1. linguafood Jan 27, 2009 09:28 AM

    Interesting you liked it. I had the same impression -- i.e. Tony being rather bored, plus I can honestly say that none of the food, save for maybe the seafood at the end even though the tuna looked grossly overcooked, looked remotely interesting: bread, bread soaked in soup, soup, and copious amounts of pork.... zzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzz.

    The only saving grace were some of the outrageous things Tony snuck by the FCC again this time. That is always an impressive feat '-)

    This and the D.C. show are probably one of my least favorite shows so far this season...

    1 Reply
    1. re: linguafood
      kolachman Jan 27, 2009 10:43 AM

      I did not watch the whole thing. It was pathetic-All Tony did was rag on the food (and drinks). That bit about the Gin and Tonic was hilarious. Although I think that Tony did like hanging with that guy's Uncle. Maybe a visit there on a day trip with a packed picnic lunch.

    2. s
      shallots Jan 27, 2009 11:18 AM

      It's been a while since I've watched No Reservations. I wondered at the comment of him being hungover every morning he was with the (?)uncle. He sounded both unhappy and disinterested.
      The islands photographed well and I had seen the yacht harbor before (friends had taped it when they sailed in), but this show made my husband start muttering about doing a transatlantic.
      Some of the outrageous things maybe should have been left unsaid as they didn't make Tony look good, either. And I won't go to their website to partake of the uncensored version.

      4 Replies
      1. re: shallots
        linguafood Jan 27, 2009 11:24 AM

        There's an uncensored version? I thought he managed to slip it all through the PTB. It is a LATE night show, after all.

        1. re: linguafood
          Frodnesor Jan 27, 2009 12:21 PM

          There's a deleted scene involving a feijoada, which Tony says causes you to "fart like an alcholic rodeo clown" (which to me is not nearly as egregious as "egg salad eaten off someone's taint"). Surprised the feijoada piece didn't end up in the final edit - I heard someone mention feijoada as an Azorian dish and then there was no follow-up, even though I've always thought of it as Brazilian.

          I still find TB at his best when he's excited about something, either positively or negatively - which understandably becomes harder and harder to genuinely achieve as you circumnavigate the globe and become the world-weary traveler. But I'll take the snark over the Japanese flower arrangements any day of the week.

          1. re: Frodnesor
            Phaedrus Jan 27, 2009 12:30 PM

            >>But I'll take the snark over the Japanese flower arrangements any day of the week.<<

            I second and third that.

            1. re: Phaedrus
              rozz01 Jan 27, 2009 01:26 PM

              Amen to that!!!

      2. m
        mudster Jan 27, 2009 03:01 PM

        The appeal of No Reservations has always been, at least for me, that Bourdain seems genuinely interested in the people, food, and cultures of the places he travels. (Whereas Mr. Bizarre Foods always seem to be saying "Oh look at the weird things these silly people eat! Let me casually deride their culture in a way that they will mistake for enthusiasm!")

        The Azores No Reservations completely turned me off. He didn't want to be there. He didn't appreciate the food. He rolled his eyes at the people. He snarked about them off-camera. He bitched about the producers' choices. He even slagged the Scandinavians he'd eaten with in the past. (They're boring? Dude, maybe you're just a tool, or maybe they're starstruck. But you think you *know* them? You don't, and you shouldn't malign them on national TV.)

        You know, I understand that snark is his schtick (and he even said so himself last night), but sometimes you just need to suck it up. On the show last night, he came close to being openly disdainful of the things he experienced -- and in front of the people who were kind enough to share those experiences with him. He was much more gracious to the guys who served him nasty warthog anus than he was to the woman who showed him how she could boil eggs in a lava tube.

        He turned me off. If I'd been one of the Azorians at whose table he was sitting, I might have politely suggested that he find another place to eat dinner, since he seemed to enjoy the dinners he *did* eat so very little.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mudster
          Phaedrus Jan 27, 2009 04:33 PM

          I am wondering if maybe he has become too jaded to keep doing the show. I mean he has been to some truly awesome places and done some really amazing stuff, so maybe he is just gotten that: see it, done that attitude this season.

          1. re: Phaedrus
            mramage Jan 30, 2009 11:05 AM

            In his blog he indicates he will doing a least a couple of more years so he can't be too bored. One thing for sure, no more Scandanavian trips.

            1. re: mramage
              Phaedrus Jan 30, 2009 07:27 PM

              The scandinavians will probably poison him if he does go. But doing it for a few more years means what? A few more quality years? Or a few more so-so years.

        2. m
          mrporkbelly Jan 27, 2009 04:38 PM

          i gotta say this is the best food show on t.v. right now. A bad no reservations smokes most of the crap on food network hands down. you get the history of the food, the people, and the passion they have for the food. Bourdain is bored ? at least you know it. That's the beauty of the show . life is not a Disney movie, some people and some cultures cook shitty food .most douche bags will look into the camera and lie because that's what they're paid to do.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mrporkbelly
            mudster Jan 27, 2009 05:07 PM

            That's what they're paid to do because that's what makes us couch-surfers comfortable.

            If I wanted to watch someone who absolutely did not want to be where they were, eating food they absolutely did not want to eat, I'd film my extended family's extraordinarily awkward sit-down dinners. I tune in to Bourdain (and other food shows) to learn, not to squirm in my seat.

            But hey, they know he has an edge, and they know it sells. Usually, I eat it up. I like some critique along with my entertainment. But last night's pouty Bourdain went way past "critique" or "analysis" for me. He was just plain rude. And that's not good TV.

            (Unless you're Gordon Ramsay.)

          2. s
            shallots Jan 27, 2009 06:25 PM

            I'm a female.
            Last night, I wish that there would be a follow up, but with a woman visiting the Azores, and she could talk to the women.
            Bourdain is all buddy buddy with the guys. Last night it dawned on me that I'd like to see the womens' side of these places.

            (Do I hear the sounds of male viewers wretching like they were being forced to eat the little birdies?)

            6 Replies
            1. re: shallots
              HillJ Jan 28, 2009 08:29 AM


              NR's Saudi Arabia AB had a female guide and he gave her full credit for enriching his trip.

              1. re: HillJ
                paulj Jan 29, 2009 04:25 PM

                same could be said for the Korea episode.

                1. re: paulj
                  Angel Food Jan 29, 2009 04:35 PM

                  He's used plenty of female guides before. To Machu Picchu and in Brazil both come to me off the top of my head.

                  1. re: Angel Food
                    HillJ Jan 29, 2009 05:45 PM

                    Correct. I thought it was only fair to mention it. AB loves women.

                    1. re: HillJ
                      linguafood Jan 30, 2009 08:29 AM

                      ... and women love AB! :-D

                      1. re: linguafood
                        HillJ Jan 30, 2009 11:48 AM

                        well said linguafood!

            2. d
              Dinsdale45 Feb 4, 2009 06:08 AM

              I thought it was interesting because we recently bought a place near Fall River. I knew the area was heavily Portuguese but I didn't know they were predominantly Azorean. Now it makes sense given that the whaling industry in SE Massachusetts in the 1800's would frequently shanghai or bribe Azoreans as crew for these 3-4 year whaling trips. It also helps explain a little more about the type of food we find in Fall River.

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