This week on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, we are treated to a behind-the-scenes episode that gives viewers a look at a common thread throughout all No Reservations episodes – street food. Oftentimes, Tony says the most enjoyable and authentic food in a country or village is what is sold by merchants from carts in outdoor markets or roadside stands. From local variations on the hot dog to unidentifiable fried meats, from sautéed insects to steaming bowls of noodles, these culinary treats are what keep Tony going on the road.
There is no location Tony has visited that doesn’t have its version of mystery meat. From NYC’s dirty water dogs, to Mexico’s ‘wet tacos’ and squeaky guts on a stick in Hong Kong, Tony hasn’t met a form of mystery meat that he doesn’t enjoy. Over the course of this episode we will see Tony dine a number of different items including drum pan chicken in Jamaica, which is the favorite street food of the island nation that consists of peppered jerk chicken cooked in large drums over an open flame. In Vietnam, Tony is introduced to bun cha, a succulent combination of roast pork and noodles, prepared on sidewalk grills, and in Singapore he eats a variety of foods such as the famed chicken rice, boiled shark head, and bone soup.
One of the most special things about street food is the fact that it’s usually handmade. Dona Anastasia has been making hand-made blue corn tortillas on the streets of Mexico for years. In Hong Kong, there is an elderly man who has been pounding flour and water into exquisite noodles for generations. The combination of fresh ingredients and the passion for one’s craft make for something truly delicious. Sometimes the greatest pleasure can come from just a bowl of something good, whether it be a bowl of potato soup shared with an elderly woman in a Peruvian market or a steaming bowl of delicious pho at a Vietnamese marketplace, the greatest of pleasures can come from the simplest of things.
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations airs Monday nights at 10/9c on the Travel Channel.