Monday, August 23, 2010

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - Back to Beirut

The last time Anthony Bourdain left Beirut, it was not a happy time for Tony or Beirut. One of the most vivid memories from No Reservations’ 2006 trip was looking out at the airport and seeing it bombed. In the first few days of that trip, Beirut had a closer resemblance to Miami Beach than to a city under siege, but it soon turned sour. Tony soon found himself in the middle of a war, holed up in the confines of a luxury hotel. Ever since leaving Lebanon, Tony has felt a need to come back and do a show on Beirut the right way.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations on the Travel Channel
Back in the 1960's, Beirut was known as the Paris of the Mediterranean. There were lots of different groups, languages, ethnicities, religions, sects, interests, and political factions all intermingled throughout the city. Today, while downtown Beirut is trendy, new, and hip, travel just ten minutes away and you see the destruction from the war. You are just as likely to meet a model or an entrepreneur as you are to meet a soldier or a hezbollah supporter. However, with all of that cultural diversity comes an incredible mix of foods.

Some Lebanese believe the reason so many people are fighting over the land is because it is so lovely. Between the gorgeous coastline, the mountains, the seafood, lamb and produce, it is a place that is not hard to fall in love with. On the face, Beirut seems like a dream city among the Arab world, but they just can't seem to catch a break.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations airs Monday nights at 10/9c on the Travel Channel.
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