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may I retort? Ben, it's not about moaning.
First, I would like to say that I’m never watching the show again. My grrl used to love this show but not anymore.
That being said, I would like to address a few things about last night’s ep.that a few commenter's on other blogs are missing.
This was not about the “great social divide” This was about a New York man who was here in the 80s and had a horrible time and this was his get back. B-more has a THRIVING black culinary community that includes establishments like Darker that Blue (on Greenmount), the soul food joint on 25th and Calvert (GR8 if you haven’t been there!) and Milton’s BBQ on charles, not to mention Lexington Market and Tyrone’s Chicken. As a matter of fact, I would have WELCOMED a show specifically on black culinary culture. Imagine hitting up a family reunion in Druid Hill park in the summer! Or an after church dinner on a spring Sunday.
Instead, we get the Travel Channel version of some kind of erstaz Frontline episode. This is not acceptable. The Travel Channel should be ashamed of itself for this segment. I was under the impression that TC was created to entice people to travel.
If they want to to make a social statement, do something on woman trafficking, opium abuse or Tong based crime in all of those exotic cities they send their porn face professional eaters to cover.
Bourdian is so full of sh**. He did a disservice to this city by turning his back on our black, Jewish, Polish, German, Latino, Italian culinary culture as a whole.
Commentors will say, “well 19 people were shot on Saturday” and I say watch PBS or CNN. It’s TERRIBLE that crime stats in certain neighborhoods are high, but that is not indicative of the entire city and certainly not appropriate for a show or network that’s supposed to encourage travel. If 19 people were shot on a fine English sunday, in Moss Side, would you think twice about visiting London? I think not. And the Travel Channel would certainly not focus on it.
n short, FU Bourdain! You’ve lost a bunch of viewers and quite a few fans. Do you care? Probably not, but in a time when viewers are being sought after like nuggets of airwave gold, this show has caused a few more eyes to turn away from the channel as a whole.


Thank you for saying what I was thinking, although I have been feeling it more from the backlash then from the actual show. Was I saddened by parts of the show? Sure. It's awful that the events that transpired (and continue to happen) to inspire Homicide, The Corner, The Wire, happened. They happen other places too- we just got them documented in a way that captured the public's attention. It's a blessing and a curse. But to outsiders coming in Baltimore CAN be scary. AAA used to tell people to take Rt. 40 to come in from west of the city & personally know one person who was from NW PA, coming in for a job interview, and never even made it after what he saw. You can't deny what is there.

Secondly, Bourdain said nothing bad about Baltimore that he didn't say about Detroit and Buffalo so the whole idea that he was "getting back" is utter nonsense to me. He seemed genuinely appreciative of the city and its people. I've seen other shows where he talked about an area's struggles, too- including Vietnam and Columbia. And he has always eaten the food of the "local" and the "poor"- ours just happens to be in a more urban setting. And why would Tyrone's chicken be better or worse than The Roost? I have also had a GREAT meal at Mo's. And the pit beef is something I think of as Baltimore as well.

I also feel an undertone of racism and classicism in many of these comments and the ones I saw on the Travel Channel site (ducks in anticipation of being flamed). Baltimore is a majority black, majority lower income city. Are people upset because he didn't go to where the mostly white, mostly upper-class people eat? (BTW I am white but by no means upper-class.) I've never eaten at Charleston or a lot of those "Top Restaurants" because I simply cannot afford it and I would venture to say that's the case with most of the city's residents.

There are a lot of good/great restaurants in Baltimore but what truly unique and interesting ones would you send him to here? As said above, that is not what this show was about. If you really think we have another show worth of interesting and unique stories, get the info to the Travel Channel.


I agree with baltimoregal on one point: I think, in some comments, there is an undertone of racism and classism. It's not a crime that he didn't go to Fells Point or other gentrified places of the city. I'm glad they didn't chow at one of the "nice" places in town.

But in an effort to be "real" about Baltimore, he goes to Mo's Crab and Pasta Factory?! An overpriced tourist trap of a restaurant!? JMG is right: Go to Tyrone's. go to Darker Than Blue. (DON'T go to the soul food spot on 25th. They don't even make real tea.)

OR, if he wanted real Baltimore, go to Lexington Market, where you see the true flavor of Baltimore: Sometimes run-down, sometimes deliciously diverse, always real.

I don't have an issue with him focusing on the problems with drugs and crime in Baltimore -- it is part of our city. But it isn't the only part. It just seems weird to me that in an attempt to show real Baltimore, they showed a caricature instead.


People should also read what Bourdain posted about Baltimore on his blog, maybe it will open their eyes a bit:

I have no problems at all with what he showed, it was Baltimore afterall.


Here is the URL again where Bourdain talks about Baltimore on his blog...this time linked:


Look--I love Baltimore more than just about anybody, but I know of no place as cool-looking as Cadieux, nor do I know of a grouping of restaurants as excellent as the Arab ones in Dearborn. Our charms--such as they are--are difficult to capture.

PS: Bourdain has done several soul food shows, and has done them well.


Never had Lake Trout? Hie thee up to Greenmount Avenue and watch out for the bones! Um, yum, and pass the hot sauce.


Edgar ALLAN Poe, plz.

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