Weekend Travel Inspiration – Anthony Bourdain

Weekend Travel Inspiration Anthony Bourdain


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I love Anthony Bourdain!  I love his gritty outlook on life, his use of expletives, and his love of real food.

On this trip, as we’re Riding the Rails of Eastern Europe, we are epitomizing this idea of no plans.  As I’ve said before, we’re not big on planning, and looking at the map of the area we could cover with our Eurail pass was dizzying.  We made a tentative route, then as soon as we started our journey, we changed it.  Now, eight days in, we’ve changed our minds and our itinerary at least five times.  We’re still changing it.  There’s just so many choices, and so many things we want to do that it is difficult to plan too far ahead.

Forgetting about the itinerary, though, for Anthony and us it’s all about the food.  Here we are sometimes spontaneous, especially when it comes to trying street food.  However, as dinner time approaches, you’ll find Jim picking through restaurant reviews trying to find us the most authentic local food.  It works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn’t.  TripAdvisor is definitely the most common restaurant review app, and the problem we’ve had with it is that it’s used primarily by travelers.  And most travelers, like myself, are new to the country.  Do they really know what the food is supposed to look or taste?  You just don’t know.

One reason we eat so much street food is that you know it’s authentic.  How could it be otherwise?  Yesterday I saw these round balls wrapped in aluminum foil on the grill.  I asked what it was and the man told me it was called “Bulz”.  Bulz is a traditional Romanian food, polenta with cheese.  In this case, it was heated on the grill and the cheese was melted and yummy.  So, without any apps and maybe just a little daring, we had true Romanian fare.  Not only was it delicious and filling, it cost us 10 Lei or about $2.50.  Yum!

What kind of traveler are you?  Do you like to wing it?  How about that street food? What has been your favorite?


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Weekend Travel Inspiration - Anthony Bourdain






























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  1. Food and travel, travel and food – this what makes travel exciting and is where many of our memorable experiences come from. As you know, we are also great believers in serendipity and not over planning, though as a control freak that may be a contradiction in terms.

    1. Paula, I know what you mean! It’s been fun, and a little stressful, as we plan, re-plan, change our plans, and finally book each leg of our trip. I absolutely love it!

  2. We do a little of each. We plan and we also leave blank time in our itinerary for wandering, catching up, getting lost. We do eat street food, but I tend to look for vegetarian options when it comes to street food, even though I do eat meat. I just feel a little safer about it. We also try to find food made in front of you. We stay away from stalls where they cook through all their inventory and let it sit. For restaurants, my husband is also the planner for most of the meals. He uses a combo of trip advisor, yelp (great in California), blogs and hotel/cab driver recommendations.

  3. Hi Corinne, Hope you are loving the rails – I know you are. How wonderful to be able to change your mind and head in a different direction. I love the Lokantas in Turkey for authentic food. They are local eateries where the food is prepared and served from Bain Maries. But then you know all about Turkey! We found our first one in Istanbul near the Suleymaniye mosque. One of the meals we chose was a liver and pineapple salad – I’d never heard of that combo before. I’m not big on liver but it tasted OK and Marty devoured it. Gozleme is my favourite street food 🙂

  4. Wonderful quote and I hadn’t heard it before. We tend to change our plans all the time too as we travel, and are also big fans of street food for the same reason as you, the authenticity.

  5. So true that you just have to take a chance when it comes to eating out in other countries. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is not so good and sometimes it is so amazing you think about that meal for years and years to come.

    1. Ellen, It’s so true. We were just in Bulgaria, and I love Bulgarian food, but was unable to find a really good restaurant with quality food while we were in Sofia. Such a shame.

  6. I love, love, love that Bourdain quote! I read his first book and thoroughly enjoyed his behind the kitchen door reveal. And I have to agree with his belief, we forget that we have to go through those messy experiences in order to find that gem.

  7. I can be the same way about searching through TripAdvisor for a restaurant, but lately I’ve really tried to just go by what places are crowded with people speaking the local language. Never fails! I LOVE Anthony Bourdain, and always squeal a little inside if I get to go somewhere he’s been. My Link Up post actually mentions him 🙂 As far as what kind of traveler I am, I’m a mix between a traveler and a winger, I think. I feel more comfortable with plans, but they never really work out how you want and then it’s time to wing it. Have a great time on your Eastern Europe trip!

  8. I agree with this quote (even though I am not a big fan of Bourdain). Like you mentioned, sometimes a lot of time is spent planning something and then, at the moment of truth, plans change. Or sometimes, you get anxious because you want to move on to the next thing in your itinerary when the itinerary was not even realistic in the first place. That is why I have decided to wing it in a lot of cases and it just works fine. Also, I have been using Yelp lately to find places to eat but it has not work well. I think it is better to ask locals for recommendations.

  9. I love Anthony Bourdain’s philosophy. As you know we winged it for most of our eighteen months in Europe and loved every minute of not having an itinerary. We were definitely guided by our love of food, going to particular towns because of a restaurant or a market….a great way to travel!

  10. I’m believe in seeing the world just as Anthony Bourdain suggests. I love to let my intuition guide me and there’s nothing worse than going from point A to point B without any possibilities in between. Traveling is meant to be a bit curious!

  11. Whenever we visit a destination, we always make sure that we sample local cuisine. Food is a huge part of the place’s history and culture. And in many ways, the best places to sample great local food is in someone’s humble home! Homecooked meals are the best. 🙂

  12. Bulz sounds delicious… and extremely wallet friendly, too. My husband prefers to have things planned out and to eat at restaurants recommended in guidebooks. We ate at one restaurant in Paris where I saw copies of the same Rick Steves book that we had at numerous other tables. I’ve been trying to convince him that there are tons of good restaurants that aren’t in the book, but he’s kind of reluctant. We’re a bit of a yin/yang couple when traveling. As we started traveling more frequently, I began planning less and less because I didn’t have the time.

  13. I really enjoy reading that Anthony Bordain Quote and he is such an inspirations to all my travels as well. I love the way he travels and discover the places and food is always something you never expect. I have to work hard to achieve that yet. Keep up your good work and will follow your adventures in the future.

    1. Thanks Marc, I think sometimes it is work to do things authentically. It’s so easy just to stay right in the center of the tourist sites, eat at those restaurants and sleep in those hotels. It’s worth it though.

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