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No Reservations: Croatia

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So, anyone watch this?

I have to say it's certainly nudged me towards visiting, perhaps as early as this summer.

Of course, most of the food Tony was served was cooked by private chefs on boats, or at a winery where none of us would be fed equally, and the only 'public' restaurant shown seemed to be high-end.

But the seafood and produce looked really fantastic (I remember a tomato I had in the early 80s in Dubrovnik to this day), the coast is gorgeous, and prices should still be reasonable.

Does anyone else feel like Tony seems to, at this point, barely be phoning it in? I say this as a fan (still), but it's just not that fascinating to watch him get shit-faced on nearly every single episode this season.

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  1. I gotta say I couldn't stop laughing for about 5 minutes when he fell over.
    I still watch every episode, some more than once. I will certainly watch the repeat of this episode for the food as well as the antics. As for Tony phoning it in, I prefer to think that he's found his groove (some would say "rut").

    1. I didn't see it but here's a nice website with a link to a listing of the restaurants/other he visited.

      http://www.tasteofcroatia.org/

      1 Reply
      1. re: ElizabethS

        I have been to most places on this site - some many times. There are some that I have heard of but not yet tried. As we are there again in a week, I am adding this info to our ever-expanding Croatia file. Thanks!

      2. I enjoyed the episode, at least what I watched. I did fall alseep after the tuna segment. Which was pretty fascinating. It deffinitely mad eme want to hunt down some croatian red wine.

        And yes TB is phoning (or rutting) it in. This episode was better than the KC BBQ episode. He seemed bored to death. Or was that me. I love BBQ, can't stand Zamir and felt TB couldn't care less about being there.

        jb

        3 Replies
        1. re: JuniorBalloon

          I hear ya. I loved the 'cue porn, but yeah -- KC was even lamer than the Croatia episode, which had the saving grace of beautiful landscapes, no Zamir (hey, betcha can't wait for his new show!! I knew something up was up when he was having dinner with a producer last November at Lola's in CL), and wow, the tuna was amazing.

          I like to drink as much as the next gal, but don't expect to be paid for getting wasted on camera while saying uninteresting things I might consider pearls of wisdom/hilarity in my own (fucked up state of) mind. Meh. Though I'd love to get my hands on some of that wine, too. Wonder if Germany's importing it these days....

          Wonder where he's going next.

          1. re: linguafood

            Is Zamir really getting his own show? OMG. We're doomed.

            TB was tweeting about Bologna the other day. No idea if it was just him or the crew and or when it might air.

            jb

            1. re: JuniorBalloon

              Right - I subscribe to the NR feed on FB, so I saw some Italian names pop up.

              That could/should be tasty...

        2. I enjoyed this episode quite a bit. Really shined a nice light on Croatia, which I knew very little about.

          As for everyone here who really & truly believes that Tony is as "shit-faced" as he makes out to be on the show - any episode - (especially when it comes to "falling over"), if you really believe that, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. Good grief. Guess it's true that there IS a sucker born every minute, but it IS a shame that The Travel Channel feels a need to kow-tow to the lowest common audience denominator with these Three-Stooges-like hi-jinks.

          I just block out the "I've overdone it again" scenes meant to titillate some of the younger masses & concentrate on the good stuff.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Bacardi1

            Yeah, he's been pretty damn shit-faced on the show, and he has admitted as much. I'd say any episode with Zamir is a good contender, and this last one was just the cherry on top.

            Falling on your face while trying to get off a chair?

            Keep your bridge, hon '-P

            1. re: linguafood

              Okay. I didn't want to have to reach this point, but I find the comments too insulting. Bourdain is definitely NOT as alcohol-impaired as he tries to make it seem on the show. It's all playing down to the lowest common denominator of viewer.

              I'm acquainted with someone who's friends with his wife, who - even when she's not on camera - is frequently on-site with him. It's ALL FOR SHOW FOLKS. He's NOT "for real" falling off the chair or into his food or into the street or whatever. Grow up!!!

              If you know or read anything about him that's not meant for sensationalism, you'd know that not only did he give up drugs MANY years ago, but that he gave up both smoking & alcohol over-indulgence when his daughter was born 5 years ago.

              Sorry to burst any baddy-Bourdain bubbles.

              The profanity, however, is here to stay - lol!

              1. re: Bacardi1

                Thank you for destroying my illusions. It's good to know he's a pandering ass and not a real drunk. Hallelujah!

                jb

                1. re: Bacardi1

                  You didn't bust any bubbles, but thanks for trying. I am aware of the fact that he gave up smoking.

                  Having watched AB from his first day on TV, I'm pretty capable of deciding for myself what's merely 'for show', and when he is too fucking wasted to realize he's babbling. It's just become very mediocre TV, in my not ever humble opinion.

                  That said, if it's really just for show, it's *really* pathetic.

            2. Ho Hum!! AB getting drunk. As usual, more "Bleeps" than actual conversation. I tuned out before the "falling over" scene. I'm no prude but this has gotten old. He's not worth watching any more.

              1. Don't watch Tony/TV anymore; however, this is one I would've liked to see. I was in Dubrovnick in 1979 and I had this most wonderful side dish which I thought was a tomato, the best tomato I've ever had (and it was in April!) However, it turned out to my chagrin that it was red bell pepper. I, too remember it to this day.

                1. I have not seen this episode but I can tell you this. On our first trip to Croatia in 2006 we fell so in love with the beauty, culture, history, climate and food that we decided to buy a house there. Now we fly there when we can. Thankfully I get to enjoy fantastic dishes in a weeks' time! For those of you considering traveling there, DO IT! The fresh food/ingredients are absolutely wonderful and unlike anything I have had in other countries.

                  Hopefully will get to see this episode as it makes me very curious.

                  1. I found the show to be interesting because it was a VERY different experience than what I've experienced in Croatia. Now, I've only been once, and we hit the tourist highlights, which has to be part of the problem. Plitvice National Park, Zagreb, a drive down the coast from Split to Dubrovnik, and 5 days in Dubrovnik. And it was hands down the worst food I've ever had in Europe (maybe anywhere). We stayed in an apartment in someone's home in Dubrovnik, and we asked our host about restaurants, groceries, markets, etc. He told us no locals eat out in Dubrovnik--he basically told us the restaurants are all bad tourist traps. We pried from him a few places he might recommend, with very uneven results. We found a few edible things, but a lot of bad, incredibly overpriced food too. This is a place that gets so many tourists, and has figured out that it doesn't matter what kind of swill you serve--people gotta eat, and they aren't going to come back anyway. As for groceries, our host told us all the locals drive way out of town to the big mega groceries. The little groceries in town were awful, with sad produce and scary meat.

                    We went at the end of September and found the crowds unbearable--the cruise ship numbers are shocking. Those posters above who said they visited decades ago are fortunate. I didn't really realize it's the Mexico of Europe--it's where people come for cheap package vacations when they want sun. The food reflects this, I think.

                    Outside Dubrovnik food was better, but never great. With the seafood, the only way I ever saw it served was plain and grilled, and it was expensive. If you were lucky you might get a lemon wedge. There's a ton of bad pizza and pasta.

                    Tony stayed north, where we didn't go, so maybe it's a different food culture up there. Those towns certainly get fewer tourists than Dubrovnik, which has to help. But he also had chefs cook for him privately. I do wonder if that's really representitive of the experience a tourist could have, or if he was very lucky.

                    My point is not to slam a whole country, but for those who are planning a trip and expecting good food, choose your destinations wisely, do your research and hope for the best. I am an obsessive researcher before trips and now I know why I couldn't find many recommendations for the places we went!

                    We also went to Slovenia and Bosnia that trip, and in both places found the food to be much better quality and prepared with real care--heads and tails better than Croatia.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: christy319

                      As I have mentioned, we have been to Croatia many times and have fallen in love with their fantastic food BUT that is up north in Istria. It is also far less touristy there as well. There is no comparison. I love Dubrovnik but the crowds can be unbearable with all the tourist ships. Eating out in rural konobas is far wiser than eating in cities generally speaking. You must go where there are no English menus (or any menus at all) for authentic atmosphere and great eating. Believe me - we would not have decided to buy a house in an area without wonderful fresh ingredients! We did our research. In Istria you can find food that is better than that in Italy in my opinion. It is pure joy to eat out in Istria.

                      Next time you must try Istria and avoid the touristy areas. I would love to know where you ate in Dubrovnik. While we find the food to be alright many eateries are definitely geared towards tourists. Dubrovnik is definitely not reflective of the food found elsewhere.

                      1. re: asulikeit

                        " we would not have decided to buy a house in an area without wonderful fresh ingredients! We did our research."

                        Are there 4 seasons in most of Istria? Remembering traveling in April from Milan to Dubrovnik by car and really got very cold! Is the climate good all year for vegetables?

                        1. re: Rella

                          Yes, there are, but it is far better than where we live here in Canada! The climate is yet another reason we love it so much. Our friends there have been picking onions, leeks, foraging for mushrooms, etc. since March. I am a master gardener - I can only grow veg three months of the year here and nine months of the year there. That is a drastic difference to me. I love that there is wild asparagus in April and that I can pick fruit and nuts in our garden in October. If you live near the sea (as our house is) the climate is lovely. We are surrounded by vineyards and olive groves and palm trees.

                          Not only that but there is fresh fish as well. I live in Alberta, landlocked and cold much of the year. For those used to a warmer climate it may not be such a great change but it certainly is for us!

                    2. I was just trying to post a general comment (as I am new to this site) so this is not directed to you linguafood. But for all of those complaining that Bourdain is just getting drunk and talking non-sense and the show is not very good anymore. First of all I think you should keep in mind that was his last season, so knowing from what I know from Bourdains personality I think he could care less. In my opinion, the show has just gotten better. I love bourdains drunken rants, some are quite witty after 3 bottles of potent Croatian red, some not so much but who cares. Now take a look at the first episodes and the last. Look at the camera work! Amazing! Persoanlly every time I watch a No Reservations episode I don't turn off the t.v with any feelings but extreme jealousy... Best job in the world!!! Not to mention. The man can write... Oh and for those of you who actually beleive that Bourdain fell off his chair along with his buddy in the wine scene and it wasn't an act.... You are the reason why Hollywood can make Titanic 2. Great Episode! I want to go to Croatia bad now!

                      1. Can't agree with your assessment on Bourdain (I strongly dislike that type of personality) but I watch him anyway as I take from his show what I want and ignore the rest. Anyway, if you DO go to Croatia I'm sure you will return. It is far more amazing that he says. He really seemed to love it.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: chefathome

                          Thanks I look forward to going there. Just curious... Do you like Samantha Browns and Andrew Zimmerns personalities?

                          1. re: cholero

                            Well, I have seen very little of Brown on TV so am afraid I cannot comment but I sort of do like Zimmern's personality. I just really dislike excessively rude and crude behavior. What I have seen of Zimmern has been far different from Bourdain but to be honest I do enjoy watching both of their shows for different reasons. I know that they are friends. But then I am an avid traveler and really enjoy watching on TV where I've been and re-live travel experiences. Though Bourdain is offputting, what I can say about him that he is upfront and honest and down to earth. That I do appreciate. His shows are still interesting enough for me to watch so it's not all bad. Now Gordon Ramsay, on the other hand, absolutely disgusts me with his antics. But that is a different topic! :-)