Anthony Bourdain No Reservations: Brooklyn, the Final Episode

It is hard to believe that after 8 years arguably the greatest travel television show of all time is coming to an end.  You can see all of my posts on Anthony Bourdain’s Final Season here.  There is no doubt that No Reservations has changed the way most of us travel.

Tony begins every episode by saying, “I’m Anthony Bourdain.  I write, I travel, I eat… and I’m hungry for more!”  This simple saying is what attracts so many of us to No Reservations.  Tony’s hunger for experience is contagious.  He is never satisfied with where he’s been, what he’s done… and it helps keep me “hungry for more.”  Tony’s story is a great one.  From drug addict and lowly chef, to television celebrity and best selling author.  This is the type of story we all seek in our own lives.  We all want to overcome adversity and defy the odds.  So in some sort of combination of Anthony Bourdain’s saying and the Dos Equis commercials, I offer all of us this advice: Stay Hungry, my friends.

The People:

1. Michael Kenneth Williams – Michael Williams is an actor from Brooklyn and Tony’s guide for much of the episode.  You may recognize him from the tv show The Wire or the movie Gone Baby Gone.  I actually recognized him first from his role as a teacher in three episodes of Community (is it October 19th yet?).  Anyways, he is a good actor and a great guide for Tony around Brooklyn.  If you want to follow him on twitter, click here.

2. Jamie Hector – Also from Brooklyn, Hector played Marlo Stanfield on the Wire.  In a moment of unscripted television gold, Jamie happened to walk into Gloria’s where Michael and Tony were eating.  I’m sure the producers were loving it!

3. Eddie Huang – Taiwanese American restauranteur in NYC, Eddie is known for the restaurant Baohaus.

4. Dave Pasternack – Tony goes fishing with Dave and as we all know, Tony isn’t the world famous angler you would think.  The restaurant Dave is known for is called ESCA.

5. Zamir Gotta – A mainstay on No Reservations, and the closest thing that Tony has to a sidekick, Zamir Gotta is a Russian TV producer that has appeared in the Rust Belt, Kansas City, Ukraine, Romania, Russia, and Uzbekistan episodes of No Reservations.

6. Eric Ripert – French chef and author, Ripert has appeared on many episodes of No Reservations.  Eric and Tony go to Brooklyn Fare for dinner.

The Places:

1. Coney Island – A peninsula at the far end of Brooklyn that is most well known for the amusement parks.  Tony begins the episode reminiscing a few places he has been before while flying around on a high speed roller-coaster (i believe the cyclone).

2. Brooklyn Bridge – Constantly visible in exterior shots of Brooklyn, this is easily one of the top 2 most recognizable bridges in the country, and possibly the world, with the Golden Gate Bridge being the other one.  The story goes that when construction began in 1870 the technology to finish the bridge did not yet exist.  But once it was complete in 1883, it finally connected Brooklyn to Manhattan.

3. Gloria’s – Tony and Michael head to Gloria’s for some authentic Caribbean food.  Being that Michael is first generation American via the Caribbean, this is the food he grew up on that he is now sharing with Tony.

4. Pok Pok – The restaurant that Tony and Eddie Huang go to for lunch.  Andy Ricker is a chef from portland and the Pok Pok owner creates what most people claim (Tony and Eddie included) is the best and most authentic Thai food available outside of Thailand.

5. Sunny’s Bar –  Sunny and Ralph Balzano are brothers and Sunny’s Bar is well known around Red Hook.  This bar has been around since about 1890 and has remained relatively unchanged by the Balzano family since.

6. Randazzo’s Clam Bar – An Italian American tradition.  This clam bar has been around since the 60s and celebrates the seafood and italian mix.

7. Roberta’s – An extremely interest commune hippy pizza place.  Fantastically weird, they have an amazingly eclectic amount of foods and drinks.

8. Blanca – Blanca is an exclusive restaurant that has a capacity of around 12.  Tony compares the quality of the kitchen, staff, and food to that of El Bulli, the highly experimental restaurant Tony visits while in Spain.

9. Georgian Bread – Nestled in Brighton Beach (which thanks to Neil Simon and his play Brighton Beach Memoirs, this is one of my favorite parts of New York), Georgian Bread is like the Georgian pizza!

10. Primorski Restaurant – Not quite Tony’s scene, Zamir drags Tony to Primorski deep in the heart of Brighton Beach.  Although the pig and vodka make it a trip Tony would not regret.

11. Brooklyn Fare – Brooklyn’s only 3-Michelin-starred restaurant.  There are 18 seats and it is notoriously difficult and expensive to get a reservation.

Tony’s parting words from the episode:

“I guess I could tell you that if you look hard enough that just next door is just as interesting as the other side of the world.  But, that’s not exactly true.  If I do have any advice for anybody, any final thought; if i’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move… as far as you can, as much as you can.  Across the ocean or simply across the river.  The extent in which you can walk in somebody else’s shoes or at least eat their food, is a plus for everybody.  Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”

If that doesn’t get you pumped to start planning your travels… I don’t know what will!

8 Responses to “Anthony Bourdain No Reservations: Brooklyn, the Final Episode”
  1. vyvacious says:

    Loved his parting words!!

  2. mytiturk says:

    Thanks for liking my post on Bob Marley and Oneness. I like your site and must check out Bourdain.

    • Oh yeah! Bourdain is awesome… No Reservations may have just ended but his new show, Parts Unknown, is going to be on CNN in the spring. I just found out that it existed this week! I’ll probably write something about it tomorrow or friday!

  3. AR says:

    I’ll miss Tony too!!

  4. ideflex says:

    Well, we can always watch re-runs… like some foods they are better appreciated the second time round! Thanks for visiting.

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