Anthony Bourdain Tells Us Where He Likes to Lunch in Midtown
I recently received the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do a meet and greet with the Myth, the Man, the Legend, Mr. Tony Bourdain. To say that I’m a fan of Tony would be an understatement. I’ve been a disciple of his teachings since my formative foodie years. In fact, I can point to a single instance over 7 years ago, where I sought out and tried pho for the first time because of his description of the dish in A Cook’s Tour, and from then on, I was hooked on eating, reading and writing about food. Needless to say, his writing and TV shows have heavily influenced my path towards being a “foodie” and food blogger.
I was invited to Zero Point Zero studios, where Tony was doing a voice-over-session of the upcoming Cambodia episode of No Reservations. As I walked into the studio, the raving fan boy in me emerged, and my mind blanked. Any prepared and poignant questions that I wished I had asked – what was Haiti like, what’s Zamir up to, how’s fatherhood, what does the next season of No Reservations have in store – instantly vanished from my star struck brain. Instead I lobbed half-witted softball questions and bantered on tiki bars, David Chang, and what his favorite Top Chef entries were (he was a fan of Dale’s dumpling soup dish from ep. 3 of Top Chef All Stars).
But I did slip in the question, “where does Tony Bourdain like to eat lunch in Midtown”? He admittedly avoids Midtown for the most part, and doesn’t even eat lunch that often, but he says he’s a fan of The Burger Joint and Shake Shack. Unsurprisingly, he’s a huge fan of Eataly, and wishes there were more hawker centers such as Eataly in NYC (I gave him a heads up on the new Korean food court). And he remains loyal to the Imposter 53rd & 6th cart as well as Sake Bar Hagi. He also expressed disgust at the laws and zoning rules that prevent food trucks and mobile vendors from doing business (perhaps he could have a few words with Jessica Lapin?).
In the end, Mr. Bourdain didn’t disappoint. Like the person you’ve seen on TV, he’s genuinely funny, witty, kind hearted, and really freakin’ tall. “Meet Tony Bourdain” sits directly above “eat at El Bulli” on my bucket list. Well, this is one to-do down, and a few more to go.