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No Reservations NYC outer boroughs episode tonight

Saw in the Daily News yesterday that tonight's show is on the outer boroughs of NYC - looking forward to seeing it although from the article it would seem the research for it was done on CH (Kebab Café in Astoria, Xian place in the Golden Mall in Flushing, etc.).

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  1. Thanks for the reminder- it's been an atypical Monday, so I probably wouldn't have remembered without your post!

    1. Nice show, did a lot of talking about how the immigrant culture has moved to the boroughs and had some amazing Asian foods. The vegetarian temple was interesting, I'd been to one that served incredible food but didn't know this phenomenon was so ubiquitous.

      Going to Koreatown with David Chang was very cool. Hanging out with David Johansen was incredible, although he is looking old.

      Also, one thing that cracked me up, the show was using Google Earth to show the maps of where they are and then not two minutes later, they cut to commercial with Bourdain pushing Bing.com.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Phaedrus

        It was good. No Kebab Café despite the DN. I was very happy to see David Johansen as well (have been crazy about him since forever). The live-ish octopus part was a bit offputting (even though I am among the world's least squeamish, I have read a bit about octopus' apparent intelligence). Also a bit odd that the explanation of har gow was that they usually contained shrimp...no kiddin'!

        1. re: buttertart

          agreed. i was pretty bothered by the octopus part. killing anything slowly while you watch it suffer seems really unnecessary, especially something intelligent like an octopus.

          otherwise, great episode full of affordable fabulous food. makes me want to take a trip!

          1. re: artemis

            Very disturbing, I agree. No reason for it.

            1. re: sophie fox

              The reason was to validate the place's authenticity, pretty sight of not. AB was a bit over the top with his flippancy, but that's Bourdain, take him or leave him.

          2. re: buttertart

            To be fair, David has looked old for a realllllllly long time. He still has better abs than anyone I've ever known from age 16 to 60.


            Nobody messes with my DH, Bowie or Iggy, dangit! You can have Lou.

        2. That was a good one.

          Bourdain visited Kabab Cafe with Andrew Zimmern in season 3, episode 8.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I was a bit bummed the Feeding Tree was not included as some publications had indicated. Overall, solid show; I had been to all of the places and thought they were a fairly good intro to the jewels of the boroughs. Just a scratch on the surface...

          2. This really was a very interesting show. The best of the season IMO. I wish AB would get his research done as well when he visits other cities. In the rust belt episode not one of the places from the Detroit segment was actually in Detroit.

            1. It was ok, but for me they showed too much Asian food. In Brooklyn for example, they should have concentrated on something eastern European (Jewish? Russian?Polish?)

              1 Reply
              1. re: polish_girl

                Been there, done that. Bourdain had Russian food in Brighton Beach in in season 3, episode 8, and in season 5, episode 8 ("Disappearing Manhattan") he went to Russ & Daughters, Katz's, and Sammy’s Roumanian ("missing" scene shown in countries with no / fewer commercials).

              2. I loved this episode, easily this and the Disappearing Manhattan episode are the best of this season (go figure the two New York episodes). However, I do think he could have diversified a bit with his choices. For instance, he showed two Chinese places and Southern Indian and Sri Lankan places, weird considering that he was just in Sri Lanka. I was hoping he would hit up some Turkish or Greek places in Astoria and of course Jackson Heights for Bangladeshi and other great cusines, but maybe an Outer Boroughs part 2 is on the horizon.

                2 Replies
                1. re: gomes

                  The two Chinese places were very different cuisines from opposite ends of China.

                  He already visited an Egyptian restaurant in Astoria in episode 3.8.

                  He's got more than enough remaining gaps to fill in to justify another NYC episode or three.

                  1. re: gomes

                    Queens alone could fill an entire season, so something's got to get left out when he does four Outer Boroughs in a singe episode. Sri Lankan is what Staten Island is most remarkable for (Bourdain mentioned that he had first heard about the Staten Island Sri Lankan community IN Sri Lanka) so it was a logical choice for that borough.

                    In truth, he showed three Chinese places, if you count two separate stalls at the Golden Mall.

                  2. I thought this was a great episode, one of the stronger ones this season and even more reason, a Western Canadian food loving man would head out to New York.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: raidar

                      Come on down and see for yourself. There's more than enough to keep a Canadian of any origin happy here (I should know!).

                    2. I thought this was a great episode. I had been thinking I need to get to Singapore for all of the really great looking food he showed on that episode, but now I'm thinking I just need to get over to Queens on my next NYC trip.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: saeyedoc

                        It's not quite Singapore, but it's as Asian an experience as you are likely to have on the east coast.

                      2. I caught this episode recently, and my reaction was thinking, too bad AB isn't more of a chowhound. Until he landed his gig with FoodTV and subsequently on the Travel Channel, he never struck me as someone who actually goes out of his way to find really delicious foods in the eclectic settings that are available in NYC. Even when he used to post on CH (like a decade ago), it was about the Manhattan restaurant "chef-y" scene. Nothing wrong with that. But he clearly demonstrated to me his one-dimensionality, and understandably as a guy who just worked his way up the Manhattan restaurant ladder, that was his world, and mostly blinded to the bounty that was just on the other side of the river. Too bad really. He's actually matured quite a bit in his world travels, and it seems to be bringing him back to finding these little honest joints serving up good food for good value for people who demand their food with quality and within their native traditions. I hope he actually finds his way to more places like the ones mentioned all over the Outer Boroughs board, instead of tagging along with some food authority to tell him how good it is. I also find that he's realizing that many of his preconceived ideas of food cultures (whether international or domestic) are loosening up. He seemed reluctant to take my word that he made some factual errors about some places he went to in LA when he was doing a Cook's Tour on FoodTV, when he once sat across from me at a big dinner. After all, who am I? He was good company, maybe aided with an elevated ego at the time, but maybe he's ready to revise some of those nit-witted ideas he once had.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: E Eto

                          I think that's an excellent assessment of the man, and I'll add that he probably needs to rely less on his producers' selection of destinations. Prior to his China tour a couple of years back, one of his producers contacted my by email to ask if I had any suggestions for subjects in remote areas of China. I responded that I really didn't know much about China beyond Shanghai, but I would be happy the give suggestions for Shanghai. She in turn replied, somewhat cursorily, that they had Shanghai "covered." As it turned out, he went to a couple of the most obvious, tour book-driven places imaginable in Shanghai.