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Last Hurrah

Anthony Bourdain's new season of No Reservations starts in Austin: Episode airs Monday, chicken testicles and all

austin photo set: news_adam_sept_2012_bourdain no reservations
Bourdain at El Taco Rico Courtesy of The Travel Channel
austin photo set: news_adam_sept_2012_bourdain no reservations
Bourdain shotgunning a beer Courtesy of The Travel Channel
austin photo set: news_adam_sept_2012_bourdain no reservations
Bourdain's newest ink Courtesy of The Travel Channel

Let's cut through all the noise in the world of food TV: Anthony Bourdain has the best food show on television.

Exotic, interesting, salivating, No Reservations is to food shows what Planet Earth was to nature documentaries. It's an effective formula: take Bourdain's bold, open minded personality, add alluring locals, throw in some wacky hosts and set out in search of the best local foods and unique cultural experiences.

This week's show, and the start of his final tour? Austin.

Bourdain is kicking off his ninth season with our humble city on the Travel Channel on Monday as Austin continues to enjoy its 15 minutes of fame in the national — and international — spotlight. Perhaps that 15 minutes turns into a full hour or two, but either way you can't deny that Austin is on peoples' lips right now. 

It used to be music; now it's also food. Bourdain covers both as he wanders the streets of Austin during SXSW, partying with bands less than half his age and talking about smoked meat as if it was an item of religious veneration.

For a foodie scene that has gone from migas tacos and queso to sea urchin nigiri and grilled chicken testicles (you'll have to watch the episode) in less than a decade, Bourdain's recent visit (he stopped by a few years back) is just the icing on the cake. Consider this: America's premier food explorer took his show to Austin between jaunts to Mozambique and the Burgundy region of France. Not too shabby, Austin.

Initial sleuthing and episode teasers have put Bourdain at Barley Swine, Franklin BBQ, JMueller BBQ, Contigo, Quality Seafood, the Draughthouse, Trudys, the Tamale House, Lala's and El Taco Rico among others. Teasers have also seen him drinking avocado margaritas and getting a tattoo on his arm from the guitarist of the Sleigh Bells. So it's going to be that kind of episode.

We'll have to tune to catch the full reveal of Anthony Bourdain's springtime carousal through Austin. The season premiere of No Reservations airs Monday at 8 p.m. on the Travel Channel.

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