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Bourdain in Istanbul

Surprised there are no comments yet. Thought it was a really good, food-centric episode.

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  1. This episode made me smile, reflecting back on our wonderful trip to Turkey last summer. I just wish Bourdain would have made this episode BEFORE we went! I'm certainly craving Turkish food now, and I can't stop thinking about those wraps from Durumzade. I wish we would have known about those while we were there. But now I'm definitely going to make some lamb stew over eggplant puree - made that in a cooking class in Istanbul and it was neat to see it on the show.

    3 Replies
    1. re: buckeye.mary

      This episode was much better than I thought it was going to be. The food looked great and the young woman who showed him around at the beginning and invited him to her house for her mother's cooking was a very interesting sidekick. I thought the only sluggish part was with the cab driver.

      1. re: californiabeerandpizza

        Agree about the cabbie, it was the low point. Really loved the segment in the young woman's family home as well. These segments are usually (IMO) the best parts of NR.

        1. re: Befuness

          We loved the cab driver. I think it put a new face on what it is to be a Muslim. My in-laws think they are all terrorists!

          It was a great episode..we enjoyed it! Eating the home-cooked meal was a high point.

    2. This was the best episode in a long time. Everything looked amazing and my husband was drooling the whole time and wants to go to Turkey right away and eat all that food. I went to Turkey 25 years ago and all I remember is the delicious doner kebab, yogurt ,bread and how friendly everyone was.

      1. I'm going to Turkey in February and, while I loved the episode (as I do all NR's), I was not able to watch the lamb head part. And, since I'm veg (hope Tony doesn't stalk this blog) I didn't see much for me to drool over. I do wish I could be invited to that home for dinner!

        1 Reply
        1. re: mrsdebdav

          There's an abundance of vegetarian dishes in Turkish cuisine. Much of his breakfast was vegetarian, including the haloumi cheese.

        2. Anyone have issue with the blatant shill (oops, I meant to type 'product placement') for the Chase Card? I have watched the show form the start and read most of his work. This seems like a small "jump the shark" moment IMO.

          6 Replies
            1. re: Befuness

              Haha that was almost as bad as the product placement on the biggest loser.

              1. re: Evilbanana11

                haha! my wife and I always make fun of the biggest loser product placements. "Let's cook a healthy meal, OH look we have some Jenno turkey all ready to go". Its so blatant. But obviously we remember them so perhaps they are effective.

                1. re: Evilbanana11

                  This is sorta my original point on this. I expect this from a show like BL on a network like NBC. But for a show like NR (the flagship on the TC), IMO, they can do a more creative job of generating ad revenue. Other that, loved the episode for sure. Makes want to head back to Turkey.

                  1. re: Befuness

                    Until this show I never really had Turkey on my radar as far a travel destination despite all of their ad campaigns. After this episode I'd have to put it in the 10 ten. When I travel I am much more interested in experiencing the culture and the food then just visiting attractions.

                    The other thing I really love about the show is that in every country you see that the people there are not all that different than us. Sometimes I think people forget that. Far too often its us vs the rest of the world. If we stopped to think more often that we are more like than different I think we could avert a lot of the issues we have.

                    1. re: Befuness

                      No Reservations may well be a flagship, but it's viewership is abysmal in the grand world of TV ratings so it's a show that can be cheaply bought by a sponsor like Chase - and Chase may well be in a position to make certain demands.

                2. Very good episode. It made me want to take a trip to Turkey. While I liked the Panama episode I felt this trip was much more realistic for normal people to take and have a similar experience.

                  I do have to point out how awful that Chase credit card product placement was. Incredibly cheesy. He's got to be careful about that stuff. It hurts his credibility. I know he's got to pay the bills but it can be done in a better way.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                    I actually liked how cheesy and blatant the product placement was. . . no mistaking it for a genuine Bourdain usage, especially with his grimace beforehand and how the production folks made it "almost glow in the dark". Almost like the Sean Connery "Bond" jokes in the movies.

                    1. re: Stephanie Wong

                      I'm sure he didn't like doing the plug but even the smirk didn't make it cool.

                  2. I think the my thoughts are echos of everyone, as I really enjoyed the episode. I don't know why I wasn't excited, but it's easily one of my top episode as of late. The blatant plug was lame, but I guess the bills need to get paid at times. If anyone is heading to Turkey, I know I'll be down after seeing this.