Anthony Bourdain -- chef, traveler, writer, snarkmeister, and media whore extraordinaire -- is doing the full-on media blitz to get the word out that No Reservations premieres tonight, at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel. Last week he was on Jon Stewart's Daily Show, where Stewart said he gets diarrhea just from watching Bourdain eat.
This year's No Reservations has Bourdain traveling to the usual mix of beautiful and stark places in the world, including Austin, Texas; Baja, Mexico; the Burgundy region of France; the Croatian Coast; Finland; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Kansas City, Missouri; Lisbon, Portugal; Malaysia; Sydney, Australia; and Mozambique.
Of course, we're looking forward to his unique brand of sarcasm and travel tips (and, thankfully, no freaking clock ticking down like in his zippier travelogue, The Layover), but we think Tony is missing out on some other really fascinating destinations. So with that in mind, we're putting on our producer cap and offering the five places we'd love to see featured on No Reservations:
5. Branson, Missouri
We think a No Reservations Branson episode is genius. This little country town, named after the area's postmaster general in the late 1800s, has grown into quite the tourist destination. We would like No Reservations to focus on Branson's thriving dinner theater scene. Tony could take in The Legend of Kung Fu (which includes an authentic Chinese feast featuring " Southwest Missouri's original cashew style chicken served on a bed of sesame infused rice garnished with a sprinkle of green onions
and fresh steamed vegetables") or Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede (featuring live horses and fried chicken), before heading up into the Ozarks in search of real mountain men and moonshine.
4. Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas
Picturesque blue waters mingle with giant water slides and the sounds of slot machines in this oasis of the damned. With over 2,300 rooms, this resort is its own city, filled with tourists in shorts and flip flops, reeking of piña colada scented suntan lotion. Tony could take us on a tour of the predator pool, strangely located adjacent to nature's own aquarium (called the Atlantic Ocean), before heading out to graze at one of the three buffets before he showers and mingles with sell-out chefs who opened outlets at this portal to hell with palm trees (Bobby Flay, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Nobu Matsuhisa we're talking to you).
3. Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas
There's something romantic and adventurous about being on a ship. Unless, of course, you're on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, where you can't actually see the ocean until you're on deck 16. Can't you just see Tony boarding the vessel which closely resembles a floating Sawgrass Mills mall? While sailing to exotic ports of call like Nassau and St. Thomas, Tony can ride the carousel, zipline, dance with a guy dressed like Kung Fu Panda, and dine at Johnny Rocket's.
2. Sandals Jamaica
If it's adventure and glamor Tony's seeking, he need look no further than the all-inclusive Sandals resorts that are scattered throughout Jamaica. Tony can eat from an endless buffet, drink watered down rum punch and mingle with honeymooners from all over the Midwest. We're thinking the weekly beach barbeque and reggae pool party would make for some great B-roll (but we'd have to edit out the part where Tony sneaks off to the beach to score some ganja).
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1. Disney World
This is shameful. Anthony Bourdain has been all over the world, but he's never done a story on the number one reason why visitors from all over the world come to the United States. No, it's not to see the Grand Canyon or visit Broadway. It's to eat hot dogs and ride Space Mountain at Disney World. We think only Tony could do a really in-depth piece about this monument to a mouse. First, Bourdain could explore the mystery of why the f**k you can get a beer at Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios, but the Magic Kingdom is dry (even though it has a tavern). Then Tony could ride the monorail and look for hidden Mickeys before MCing the parade on Main Street while scarfing down a giant barely cooked turkey leg. What does M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E spell? Emmy for Tony, of course!