10 great Anthony Bourdain ‘No Reservations’ clips

Known for this brash wit and obscene perversion for food, Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain has traveled the world in search of the most delectable treasures in his popular show, No Reservations. Here are 10 of the best clips from one of the best food shows on the tube:

“Hospital Chic”

Gold plated wheel chairs? Dining under operating room lights? Syringes full of something powerful? Bourdain’s “gastronomique adventures” take on a new light in this clip, “Hospital Chic” based in Singapore.

“Saudi Arabia Lamb Dinner”

Experience a traditional-style Saudi Arabian feast with your hands in this No Reservations clip. How about a little lamb brain while you’re at it?

Giant Hot Dogs from Chile
Bourdain travels to Chile and partakes in a Chilean tradition: giant hot dogs called “Completo”: Ron Jeremey-esque dogs layered with tomatoes, sauerkraut, guacamole and heaps of mayo in one gigantic bun. How can you go wrong?

“U.S. Southwest”

Take a tour of the US Southwest with Bourdain as he cooks while traveling 80 mph and visits the restaurants of Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent.

Banh Mi in Vietnam
The Vietnamese sandwich is a delicious staple in this country. Watch Bourdain and his cohort devour every tasty little morsel.

“Colombia’s Delicacies”
Bourdain’s travels land him in Colombia for this clip. Ever heard of an entire restaurant devoted to ceviche? Neither had we.

“Egyptian Breakfast”
Don’t be a “Ful,” Anthony. Bourdain literally devours this traditional Egyptian breakfast while traveling the country.

“Kabab Cafe”
Bourdain travels with “Bizarre Foods” host Andrew Zimmern to the famous Ali’s Kabob Cafe in Astoria, Queens. Prepare to salivate.

“Family Roots in Uruguay”
Watch Bourdain get his grill on and sample a wonderland of “meatness” in Uruguay at Estancia Del Puerto.

And last but not least…

“ATV Wipe-Out”

Ok, so that had absolutely nothing to do with food but how could we not add it to the list?

Get more Bourdain:
> Follow No Reservations on Twitter
> Watch No Reservations on TV
> Read Bourdain’s travel journal
> Learn Bourdain’s Survival Skills

Watch more videos:
> 10 things you probably shouldn’t do in a kayak
> 10 hilarious (and painful, and frightening) ski lift videos

A Different Side of Vegas

What I love about Las Vegas is that it has the capacity to be whatever you want it to be. Alcohol soaked bachelor party? Check. Romantic honeymoon? Check. Terrifying ride to wealth? Well, maybe if you’re lucky.

I just got back from a long weekend in Vegas with my girlfriend and saw a side of the city that I hadn’t seen. A more relaxed, comfortable, and satisfying side. Here are the highlights:

The Signature at MGM

I’ve stayed at and enjoyed the MGM before, but this was a totally new experience.

There are no regular rooms in the Signature. Every room is a suite. What I particularly appreciated was how thoroughly the suite was appointed.

The kitchen has a large Sub Zero fridge, Miele appliances, and most important: every kitchen utensil you can imagine. Calphalon pots and pans, high quality flatware and silverware, measuring cups, baking sheets, and even a blender.

We originally planned on eating out for most of our meals, but it was so pleasant to cook in the kitchen that we ended up going to Whole Foods and cooking almost every meal ourselves. Best of all, the maid will do your dishes in the morning.

The bedroom has a large king sized bed with the high quality linens that you would expect from such a hotel. Huge windows let the sunshine in to wake you up in the morning, or you can draw the room darkening curtains if you want to sleep in. The desk facing the bed has a huge retractable plasma screen which the housekeeping staff sets to an amusing aquarium scene at night.

Our suite had two full bathrooms, which would have been convenient if we were ever in a rush to get showered and ready. The huge master bathroom has a perfectly sized Jacuzzi in it. Big enough for two people to easily sit in, and deep enough for the water to go up to your neck. The lights of the bathroom are on a dimmer, which is essential for a relaxing soak.

The living room has a comfortable couch, a second plasma screen with DVD player, a nice sized balcony, and a round dining table that also serves well as a card table.

The Signature is not “just another hotel”. It does a great job of combining the comfort and convenience of home with the luxury and service of Las Vegas. It’s now my first choice for Las Vegas accommodations.

Book through your favorite travel site, or directly at The Signature


I’m a huge Cirque du Soleil fan, so it’s probably impossible for me to give an unbiased review of any of its shows. Then again, anyone who sees just one show will join the ranks of Cirque fans.

KA, which shows at the MGM, was different from other Cirque du Soleil shows that I had seen. It had more plotline, more special effects, but less acrobatics. It was nice to see a Cirque show that tried new things but still maintained the magic of the troupe.

The centerpiece of KA, if there is one, is the amazing stage that they’ve built. It’s difficult to properly describe because it’s difficult to understand how it works. The entire stage is suspended with giant hydraulic arms which have the ability to rotate or angle the stage in any direction imaginable. At one moment actors will be dancing on it, and in the next it has rotated 90 degrees vertically and they’re climbing up arrows “shot” into it. In the photo above the actors are suspended on harnesses and are walking straight up the stage.

The show, as should be expected from Cirque du Soleil, is completely mesmerizing. I have only seen a handful of Cirque du Soleil shows, but KA broke the mold and incorporated a lot of elements that I hadn’t seen before. In particular, the set was unbelievably complex and beautiful.

If you’ve never seen a Cirque du Soleil show, there’s no way to truly understand the experience without actually going. The best description I can give is to say that it’s a combination of acrobatics, design, dance, music, and immersion in a world that has the same texture as dreams.

Videos and tickets are available at KA Cirque du Soleil.


No, that’s the not the name of a tawdry “topless revue” in Vegas. It’s actually an exhibit at the Luxor which showcases dissected and preserved human bodies.

Sound gross? It is at first, but after fifteen minutes of getting used to seeing sliced up dead people, it’s becomes the science class you always wished you had.

The exhibit does a great job of showing you how the body actually works, not as individual organs, but as one big connected system. My favorite parts were the complete circulatory system, seeing the whole digestive path together, and the counter at the end where they let you hold real human organs.

I promise it’s not as gross as I made it sound. Get tickets to the Luxor exhibit here, or check the Bodies site to see if there’s an exhibit in your area.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Spain travel show to hit PBS in September

Gwyneth Paltrow, celebrity chef Mario Batali, food book author and New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman, and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols (who *gasp*doesn’t have a Wikipedia page!) will star in a show called “Spain…On The Road Again”, documenting their travels across Spain.

I like all these celebrities but would watch it just for Paltrow, who by the way sounds like she speaks fluent Spanish. The show is food-centric so they really couldn’t have chosen a better country to start than Spain.

I’m a bit disappointed with the name of the show though: 1) Extremely uncreative (“On The Road” are probably the 3 most commonly used words in travel, and, being a food/travel show, you’d think there would be some reference to that in the title, 2) Why the “again”?

Anyway, what’s in a name, eh? It’s a 13 part series that was shot in 2 months across the country. You can watch a sneak preview of the show here.

Sometimes I wish I was an actor just so I could have my own travel show when I felt like it. No, vlogging is not the same. Sigh.

Theater: Dress Up (or Not)

I have had this conversation with numerous travelers (typically backpackers) in Europe: they want to go to the theater, opera, classical music concert but have no dressy clothes. The theater usually says that it encourages people to dress up but it is not enforced. Yet, all the locals dress up. Should they still go in jeans?

Most of them do. They justify it by saying that the real experience of Aida at the Opera in Vienna should not be dilluted by people wearing jeans (and taking pictures inside the Opera house – like the Stanford U students in the picture) and on the contrary, it shouldn’t be enhanced by wearing a gown.

So why do locals usually dress up? Are they just shallow and think that cultural experience will come with nice clothes?

Over the years, I have adopted the “when in Rome, do as Romans do” point of view when it comes to theater-going. Dress the way the locals dress, even though it might be inconvenient and mean buying an outfit. It doesn’t have to be a gown, but at least a skirt and a shirt (long pants and long-sleeve, collared shirt for men). If you can’t afford it, it might be a good idea to go to see a small, independent show instead. Consider that those locals may have saved up a lot of money to see a show in a majestic theater building and expect it would be special. By wearing jeans and “not caring”, you may just be ruining it for them. You might be able to enjoy the show regardless of the clothes you wear, but they might not.

In most European theaters, you will notice that the people dressed up are the locals and the people in jeans are the tourists. Many shows featuring a high concentration of jeans are thus called “tourist shows.” And that is certainly not a compliment.

Then again, who knows, “dressing up for culture” might be a thing of the past…