No Reservations: San Fran


I’m not going to be bashful about this; I LOVE Anthony Bourdain and his seemingly no BS and unself-conscious (is that even a word?!) expression  of his views. And of course I love the fact that he travels the world eating. So when I (finally) got cable, his show was one of the things that I was most excited about getting to watch on a regular basis. In fact, I’m one of those weirdos who plants herself on the couch in front of the TV for upwards of hours watching a reruns marathon.

Tonight’s episode’s setting? San Francisco, California.

I’ve been to San Fran once, on a family vacation. My most memorable moment being Ghiradelli Square and the free piece of badass chocolate that I was handed as I walked out the door with my father and I joking that we could keep walking through the store collecting samples on our way out.

Other than that, I have no recollections of the food we ate; nothing stood out. I remember visiting a bakery and eating seafood but goodness gracious, I know there are so many gourmet and exciting places to eat in San Francisco. Granted, I was only a teenager and my sister was even younger so I’m assuming my parents did not want to risk taking us into a nicer restaurant only to find out that tonight was the night for hissy fits. At the time, the decision to stick to the touristy restaurants made sense. Thinking back on that trip, however, I am feeling slightly cheated. So many delicious restaurants, so much culture to explore…and I saw so little of it.

I was allowed to live vicariously through Mr. Bourdain for this one hour, though. And I loved every minute of it…almost more than his excursions to more exotic locales because I had visited there and, to some level, could connect with his experiences…from “crunchy granola to dirty martinis”.

And now I’m feeling the need to buy plane tickets.

Anthony Bourdain always does a wonderful job of exploring the ‘non-tourist-y’, gritty, and sometimes unglamorous parts of cities that most folks would typically be skeptical of visiting. He has a way with his words that can make any restaurant appear, at the very least, intriguing. This particular episode was no exception. The San Fran episode, which began with a curiously vegan bacon-flavored coffee, had me at vegan bacon-flavored coffee. And the juxtaposition of upscale steakhouses with the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood with the street food culture? Priceless.

No Reservations, indeed.


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