Skip to comments.I'm Not Angry -Anthony Bourdain on San Francisco
Posted on 08/10/2009 8:59:02 PM PDT by Artemis Webb
Let me come right out and say it. I love San Francisco. I am helpless and unwavering in my affection--in spite of every effort over the years to find fault, to dismiss, to sneer. And there's surely lots to sneer at, San Francisco and the Bay being pretty much the epicenter of so many of my most cherished aversions: political correctness, veganism, rich hippies, sanctimoniousness about food, food fetishism, animal rights terrorists, gastro-dogma, and loud locavores who actually get their produce flown in from Chino Farms in San Diego. But at this point, I bore even myself railing against the above. Hell, I'm not even bitter about San Francisco taking the lead in banning smoking anymore. They won that battle long ago. Game over. I guess it's like any love that's true--sooner or later you learn to accept the good, bad and silly all together. It's all part of the package when you know, without any question, that you want the package. It doesn't even matter if one's love is returned. Okay ... it does still drive me berserko watching a blissed out St. Alice, burning up a few cords of firewood (in Berkeley no less!) to cook two eggs for an unusually credulous Lesley Stahl. But in general, I got it all wrong, didn't I? It may be the town of Alice Waters but it's also home to Dirty Harry. The Grateful Dead? Yes. But also the Dead Kennedys. The excrutiating and treacherous lite FM sounds of the Jefferson Starship? True enough. But also Blue Cheer, the Count Five, Big Brother, Sly and Family Stone and the greatest band that never was: the Brian Jonestown Massacre. None of these entities could have come from--or taken root--anywhere else.
I don't think you could have one San Francisco without the other. If the San Francisco area weren't the perceived headquarters of anti-foie gras forces, I doubt very much there'd be an opposing force doing something as crazy as developing a foie gras vodka. I don't know that a less crunchy community would require a stuck-joyously-in-time museum of beef like House of Prime Rib. It's like a yin and yang thing ... a balance, man, one thing creates a need for another. San Francisco, underneath a gossamer thin veneer of granola is in fact, a two-fisted drinking town, a place of oversized martinis, silver zeppelins overloaded with bleeding slabs of meat, restaurants you could call "institutions" that defiantly refuse to suck, and in an ever tidier, cleaner, Disneyfied world--where even New York's Times Square looks like a theme park, still, a delightfully nasty, dirty, beautiful, carnivorous, vice-filled town.
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Oh sweet, I love him. I think I fell in love when he described the odor of a sulpher spring in the Azores as “if you’ve ever scraped a taint”...I thought he’d be pretentious and phony but he’s about as genuinely cool as they come. And nice, despite the crusty exterior.
I’m glad I’m not the only Tony fan here. His hatred of hippies, yet appreciation of all things Americana and his Jersey attitude and bluntness are a welcome relief from the politically correct TV.
I watch very little TV, but I never miss No Reservations, Andrew Zimern and Man vs. Food.
I won’t pretend that, I’m sorry to disagree with you; but he is a pretentious, self-absorbed, drunkard. There aren’t enough enticements in the world, to drag me to that filthy hole of iniquity, that is San Francisco today; and I loved that town when I was a kid, half a century ago!
Bourdain is a trashy survivor of the seventies lifestyle.
Bourdain’s writing however is brilliant and his travelogues are not to be missed.
Most importantly: don’t be a tourist, be a traveler.
I have to agree with his assessment of SF - As much as you want to love it, there are a million knuckleheads that keep you from doing it!
Yeah. If I could get into and out of SF with just a few good meals and the booze that goes with them, and not otherwise contribute to the local economy I would. But since I can’t, I won’t.
Love him ...
But he hates vegetarians. Loves "street food". And I would seriously enjoy getting drunk with him.
I watching him on Top Chef. I can’t stand his own show on the Travel Channel or wherever it was. I also saw him being effusive in his praise for Chef Ramsay, who could use it right about now.
I have a customer down near the zoo. I sneeak in to see him, grab a little Chinese food and sneak back out. That money ends up in China as sure as if I went to Walmart!
Which I believe describes half of us FReepers. :->
Bourdain’s almost obsessive dislike of Rachael Ray helped win me over, I must admit.
Ya...what I meant to say was that I like Bourdain on Top Chef.
And yes apparently Gordon Ramsay considered filing bankruptcy but they restructured and supposedly they're doing better.
Oh and I read he's still not making money in NY.
Bourdain is I guess a non PC lib.
That would be a fair description.
Can’t stand her, either.
I like watching him on Top Chef. Bourdain's greatest line on Top Chef was season 2. He sayed Mikey was the love child of Charles Manson and Betty Crocker. Also on eating the dinner Bourdain asked Collicio What type of crack house are you running? Another quote from Bourdain was Despite its pure Flinstonian Execution
Bourdain is refreshingly authentic. He’s not given to kowtowing to the crowd, and although I hate his liberal streak, he is down to earth enough to be a better watching experience than most else that is on TV.
I could have done without the cooking eggs and stuff in the dirt of Africa....but then, I think so could have Tony.
Have you ever followed Tony on eGullet? It is funny, that is a forum like FR but all foodie related that he chats on.. he really hates her and most TV chefs.. with the exception of the greats and Ramsey.. I so respect that... he sees through all the pop culture bs and into just saying, what is good, what respects good cooking and appreciation of food... he knows what he knows, no BS about it..
Tony isn’t a liberal in the least.. if anything, a libertarian.. imagine Jeremy Clarkson, completely engulfed in socialist society rebelling yet can only speak in the stereotype terms. If you follow Tony on eGullet, he is so anti-Liberal it isn’t even funny.. his hatred of hippies is deep and genuine.
I love it. The dude’s got a way with words.
Not so happy about being called ‘the Hezbollah-like splinter faction of vegetarians,’ but no one’s perfect. I may be vegan, but I still like watching other people enjoy what they chose to eat and Bourdain does it with the best of them.
me too LOL......but then again, I haven't been able to watch "Rachael" since she went Hollywood on us.....
San Francisco is a wonderful city, with only a single problem — the citizenry.
Man, I love Tony Bourdain’s writings!
I used to live in the Bay Area. I remember the good ol’ days of Herb Caen, Charlie McCabe and Stan Delaplane, of the Gilroy garlic festival, Henry Cowell Redwoods state park, riding BART to the Presidio, and cruising Highway 17 to Felton, Boulder Creek and Santa Cruz.
But then the fascist Leftist thugs and craven, deluded freaks destroyed it all.
I went there last year to visit, and it was still The City I remember, if I just looked at the hills, Bay, bridge and architecture!
Tony probably doesn’t realize it but he is searching, burned out and lost. The only way he will be found is when he comes face to face with Jesus Christ. I care about him, pray for him and hope that some day soon he will see the incredible, utterly fantastic light of The LORD!
He did have a nice visit with Emeril while in New Orleans. I was surprised about that.
Nonsense. He's entertaining as hell.
I don't believe you're Old School. I suspect that you're from the school they tore down to build the old school. (lol)
God, in his infinite wisdom, saw to it that the neutron bomb was created.
San Francisco is the perfect opportunity to use it.
Yeah Bourdain buried the hatchet with Emeril. He now decries Emeril's treatment at the hands of the Food Network stating that "Emeril built that network". He points out that Emeril is a successful business man who treats his employees well.
The Emeril shtick still gets on my last nerve but Bourdain did give me pause to reconsider Emeril Lagasse the man.
Surely you jest. He likened a fence on our southern border to the Berlin wall.
He makes some valid points but I would still prefer the U.S. to get a handle on the situation. I don't have an issue with LEGAL immigration.
He just loooved Cuba, with its tranquility and lack of stress.
Bourdain is a very likely guy on TV.
But he really needs to disclose how he doesn’t gain tons of weight eighting all that food. He must not eat for days before and after taping each show.
I have yet to see a kitchen where there is not a disproportionate amount of drinking and pot smoking.
Bourdain is funny but is a bit too foppish for me and he absolutely would despise the views held by most on this forum even though he does pick at political correctness.
That old Dutch cook on the competition two weeks ago with the long white hair who won...can't remember his name...he seemed like rudder was firm control.
as a boy I never knew hoe chefs were till i had some in my family and got to know the industry, it's for a special sort of cat and these guys on TV are off the charts...and they have to be
one last note...a male chauvinist declaration....grandma's thanksgiving turkey and dressing or biscuits and gravy notwithstanding, commercial kitchenry is a man's world at the top...none of these women even come close even though they may have money making shows
exception....maybe pastry chefs
that trolley car image with the ad was the old pristine view back in my youth and the time I enjoyed visitng there....60s and early 70s
now...I have no desire
for flavor and color I prefer New Orleans
OH! A zinger of epic proportion. :-)
There's not much I find on TV to like, but I do stop on "No Reservations" whenever I happen upon it. The lack of pretentiousness is the main reason.
One more thought on Emeril.
Like I said I’m not a fan of his but not too long ago I stopped to watch because he had Martin Yan as a guest. I always liked Yan. Well if you’ve ever watched Yan he’s like a crack fiend drinking coffee. I gave Emeril a lot of credit for just going about his business while Yan talked non-stop and allowing Yan the moment to shine.