I throughly love Anthony Bourdain. What was initially disgust for his bad habits (chain smoking and heavy drinking) has turned to amusement. I’ve even had dreams of Mr. Bourdain. Specifically of being his Twitter assistant and twittering away his adventures for him because his fingers were too stained with nicotine to do it himself.
This past Monday’s No Reservations was filmed in Berlin and reminded me of my whirlwind trip in 2002 around Europe.
During the course of six days, Paul and I visited Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Luxembourg and London. In preparation for the trip, we studied the beautifully designed DK guide books.
In particular, the books had appetizing photography of what to eat in each city. This solidified my desire to try regional food whenever possible, such as erwtensoep (thick pea soup with boiled, smoked bacon) in Amsterdam.
One thing in common with Mr. Bourdain’s visit to Berlin was his stay at Propeller-Island Hotel. The hotel has 30-plus artfully decorated rooms each with a theme such as the one decorated like an insane asylum or the other one with coffins as beds.
We cheated ourselves with many of the cities. Travel to each city took most of the day, we only were left with a half a day to explore.
Berlin was unique food-wise. Everything ate was either bought or consumed underground: fish sandwiches at the transit center and my breakfast of a weiner from a trainside vendor. Unfortunate and unplanned but no bad food was had.
The train food didn’t end in Berlin; we bought salads during a 15-minute visit to Luxembourg. One salad which included sliced hotdogs and was nicknamed, by me, as the Official Cuisine of Luxembourg.
Another highlight of the trip were the waffles. We had both leige and the traditional Belgian, with or without ice cream, served in a restaurant or found at a cart vendor. But we still lost weight because we walked everywhere.
As for London, we have no food photos, even though we spent two days there. So just imagine us eating fish and chips and stuffed potato jackets. But we did get to see a live show. ’80s glam band and godfathers of techno, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, headlined at Dingwall’s near Camden Dock. They’re one of Paul’s faves and a band I’m sure Mr. Bourdain would appreciate. Pink wigs and all.
About the photos: a few of the photos were pre-digital camera and scanned. That’s 2002 for you: analog.