What Would Anthony Bourdain Do? SN&R’s adventure-dining series continues.
A new season of popular cable TV food travelogue Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations is up and running on Travel Channel. Thankfully—Sacramento being the worldly locale it is—you too can eat like Bourdain. A four-course menu:
Spam musubi, as seen in the “Hawaii” episode
Bourdain says: “Oh man, that’s really #@$ed up. I gotta have it.”
Bourdain conquered fear of Spam with help from Honolulu’s New Uptown Fountain, where he dined on Spam musubi: essentially rice, nori, and Spam. Spam Musubi is a much-beloved delicacy among native Hawaiians (Obama?). It can be found at any of the local L&L chains, but on Fridays and Saturdays, spicy Spam Musubi can be purchased for $3.50 a pack at Osaka Ya (2215 10th Street).
Authentic Mexican street tacos, as seen in “U.S./Mexico Border” and “Mexico” episodes
Bourdain says: “These are the things tourists miss because they’re afraid of it.”
New Yorkers like Bourdain may get Papaya Dog or pastrami-and-thin-crust pizzas, but we run laps around the Big Apple when it comes to Mexican food. Bourdain dines on asada street tacos in Piedras Negras and tacos al pastor in Mexico City, sure, but many area taquerias like El Abuelo (5045 Franklin Boulevard) offer al pastor off the spit, as seen on No Reservations. On weekends during lunchtime, tacos are served alfresco at La Piedad Taqueria (1620 W Capitol Avenue): big asada slabs cooked in their own juices and rendered fat, served with buche (stomach) and mind-numbingly good chorizo.
Pelmeni and borscht, as seen in A Cook’s Tour, “The Cook Who Came in From the Cold” episode
Bourdain says: “Borscht wouldn’t be borscht without the beets.”
In St. Petersburg, Bourdain enjoyed a home-cooked meal of said famed Russian dishes, and Stolichniy Restaurant (5601 Watt Avenue) serves excellent versions of these classics: The much-maligned borscht is absolutely delicious; if you like minestrone soup, you’ll love it. Pelmeni, the Chinese boiled dumpling’s Russian cousin, is served in a rich broth and topped with butter. After downing a bowl of pelmeni along with the borscht, I was ready to trudge across a glacier. Naked.
Haggis, as seen in A Cook’s Tour, “Highland Grub” episode
Bourdain says: “This is a punch line in the States as something you definitely don’t want to eat.”
A live reading of poet Robert Burns’ “Address to a Haggis” precedes Bourdain’s meal of haggis, neeps (boiled, mashed turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes) in Edinburgh, Scotland. Pick up your own haggis at the Scottish Meat Pie Co. (245 N. First Street in Dixon). Their haggis is made on premises for takeout, and, like borscht, it’s terribly misunderstood: meaty, rich and filling. If you can handle Hamburger Helper, you should have no problem with haggis.