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Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - Collection 3

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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(Jan 06, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

In a food-obsessed world, best-selling author Anthony Bourdain stands apart as the consummate culinary adventurer. This globe-trotting hedonist known as the "gastronomic Indiana Jones" scrupulously explores a locale's cuisine like no other TV traveler - in this all-new, complete Season 3 collection, he nibbles caviar and goes clubbing in Moscow, samples the finest Thai Town noodles in Los Angeles, investigates rumors of cannibalism and tests hangover antidotes in French Polynesia and so much more. Episodes: Russia: Tony and his guide, Zamir, enjoy some shopping and a hearty meal of shashlyk, (a cousin of the kabob), stop to take in the grandeur of the Red Square and meet a former spy who was known to infiltrate the enemy lines and is now infamous throughout Russia. Los Angeles: Anthony cruises the city's fringes in a vintage Delta Royale, visits L.A. institution Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles for fried chicken, waffles, grits and chicken livers, rolls with the punches in a private lesson with the L.A. Derby Dolls, and enjoys fresh goat tacos in historic Boyle Heights. New York: After a traditional Russian meal in Brighton Beach, Anthony visits Ali's Kebab Cafe in Astoria, Queens, for an authentic Egyptian meal of snouts, hooves, brains, and tripe. Later, he shows you where to find the finest sake in New York. Shanghai: In hopes of discovering the perfect dumpling, Anthony stops in at NanXiang restaurant, then meets with a member of the Bai community, who teaches him about cormorant fishing, an ancient but fading tradition using large diving birds. Hong Kong: A wonderland of colors, lights and speed, Hong Kong is a marriage of modern and traditional. Here, Anthony enjoys local fare and learns to perform flips and stunts with none other than Jackie Chan's own stunt crew. French Polynesia: Anthony is introduced to Tahitian Rae Raes, the local drag queens at the Polynesian Piano Bar, samples Poission Cru, the popular snack of choice and hangover antidote, and investigates arguably less-appetizing rumors of local cannibalism. Cleveland: Anthony and a friend visit city landmark Skyline Chili, then are awed by Zubal Books, the largest bookstore in the world, which is housed in a former Twinkie factory. Later, Anthony samples some "bohunk food": headcheese (broiled pig's head). Brazil: Anthony gets his "fix" of Brazilian snack and guilty pleasure, the Mortadella sandwich and dines at Manaca, a restaurant tucked away in the nearby Atlantic forest and is best known for its mix of Amazonian ingredients and local seafood. Argentina: In Buenos Aires, Anthony meets a performance artist who incorporates food into her avant garde art and attends The Day of the Lake festival, where he takes in local music, dancing and an endless supply of beef. Singapore: In this multicultural Anthony visits a "hawker stand" and samples local favorite bone soup - a hot stew of bones, marrow and an unearthly red sweet-sour sauce - and one of his favorite dishes, steamed shark head. South Carolina: For his first taste of the South, Anthony enjoys the Hominy Grill's "Big Nasty," a heaping plate of cheese, fried chicken and gravy, then he finishes the meal off with a slice of buttermilk pie. Later, Anthony discovers the delights of crunchy pig skins. Berlin: A city with a rich and intense history, Anthony is on a quest to experience the cuisine and underground culture that makes Berlin's blend of the old and the new so intriguing. Tuscany: Anthony ruminates about Tuscany's famous writer Dante after a hellish trip getting to this beautiful region. Once he arrives, his trip is considerably more relaxing, with a visit to two family-owned farms - or fattorias - on sprawling estates, where they're treated to fresh wines, cheeses and milks.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Travel Channel
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2009
  • Run Time: 540 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001HB1K1E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,008 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD includes:

Russia
Los Angeles
New York
Shanghai
Hong Kong
French Polynesia
Cleveland
Brazil
Argentina
Singapore
South Carolina
Berlin
Tuscany

My question is:

Where are Saudia Arabia and Egypt?
2 Comments 49 of 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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If you love a good fun, honestly cynical view of the world and it's food and local ways, your going to love Anthony Bourdain. Even when he is visiting a place he is not enjoying he always finds a way to entertain hiimself and the audience with some honest and wry observations. A fun travel host and great writer. I recommend his show and writings for a fun relaxing time. Party on.
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By munnrock on October 25, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Beware! Content of this DVD collection is great. However, beware! The production quality of the DVD collection is extremely poor. The programs blur or stop altogether. The commands do not operate. Sometimes you are able to play a program, other times they will not play. Very inconsistent and unreliable. I ordered this collection twice to be sure that I did not just receive a defective disc set. The same unreliability and play inconsistencies applied to the second collection, which Amazon sent to me free of charge to replace the first ordered collection.

I certainly hope the production quality improves with the next collection offered for sale.
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Format: DVD
I've been a pretty big fan of Bourdain's food-centric travelogues since Food Network debuted the A Cook's Tour show and the accompanying book (A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines). From his auto-bio/expose on the restaurant business Kitchen Confidential Updated Ed: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.), to his unrestricted palette of taste, through to his no nonsense style of writing food inspired crime fiction, Bourdain has cut an interesting niche in the foodie world. With No Reservations, he's left behind the insanity of the Food Network and taken his travels in search of good food and culture to the Travel Channel.

What I find interesting about this new show is the balance he's seemingly struck between his own tendencies and the requirements of filming a network driven travel show. On A Cook's tour it came across as butting heads with the network and producers resulting in a lackluster second season filled with excursions to ridiculous destinations like the Mall of America, content that felt forced and sad. No Reservations, though occasionally still succumbing to these depths, frees Bourdain up to getting to the heart of the matter which is examining true local culture and the food that sustains and elevates it. It combines the point of view of a 70s punk rebel with a soul searching existentialist, while also ditching most of the pretension and being generally entertaining TV which is pretty darn rare.

If you're looking for the insanity of A Cook's Tour (the swallowing of still beating cobra hearts, etc.
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This collection of the superb No Reservations contains some of the best episodes the series has ever produced. The Cleveland episode would certainly vie for the top ranking. It features Mt. Bourdain verbally sparring with his "nemesis", the author Michael Ruhlman. Mr. Ruhlman is a Cleveland native and he invites Mr. Bourdain out to Cleveland to show him how great of city it is. Throughout they go to book store that is housed in an old Hostess factory complete with Twinkie filling still in the pipes and eat with the legendary Harvey Pekar (who provides commentary and scenes are show in cartoon ala his American Splendor series). Mr. Bourdain goes to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with one of his idols Marky Ramone and then shares a meal with him at Michael Symon's Lola restaurant. At the end, Mr. Bourdain & Mr. Ruhlman cook up a delicious looking feast at the Ruhlman home. Berlin is another standout episode with Mr. Bourdain showing how the city has come together all these years after the Wall fell. The Russia episode finds him teaming back up with his old friend Zamir and the New York episode is a crossover with Bizarre Foods as he does some eating of weird animal parts with Andrew Zimmern.
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The third installment of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations dvd collection continues his travels around the world including a fair amount of U.S. destinations. I prefer the more philosophical adventures he has and the food-centric ones are understandable as it is his forte. The only episode issues I have are the trivial and generic ones, such as his visit to South Carolina. It is a tired exploration of the clichéd Southern hospitality, replete with a fox chase, garden party, Civil War re-enactment, and various other good-ole-Southern-charm fluff that is straight from Samantha Brown's itinerary. There are too many travel shows and food network garbage that specialize in this kind of shallow fare and it is a disappointment to see this from No Reservations. I understand the corporate push to broaden the market, but stuff like this never seems to be a good fit for Bourdain. Thankfully, the South Carolina show is the weakest of a strong bunch, thirteen in all.
The always fun Zamir adventure takes place in Russia and there are three trips to Southeast Asia including the frantic and food loving paradises of Singapore and Hong Kong. There is also an episode billed as Shanghai, but it is more an exploration of western China than the city per se and is one of the better inclusions on the collection. There is a funny trip back to a disappointingly clean and family-friendly New York then there is the piece de resistance of the collection; a brilliant graphic novel themed trip to Cleveland featuring American Splendor author Harvey Pekar and a cast of characters. Thankfully, Tony went there in the dead of winter and got the full-on Lake Erie wind chill joy that life in that city entails. Other episodes are Berlin, Tuscany, Brazil (Sao Paolo), and Argentina.
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