Hit the road to dine on the unusual, the exotic and the comfortable


Shannon Ambrosio

With the summer in our rear-view mirror and fall in full splendor, you may be thinking about taking a trip. A few shows on basic cable this week have a few suggestions where to go for the foodie who likes to roam.

Sunday, Oct. 15, on Cooking Channel, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” heads to Dallas to showcase some of the best Texas cuisine the city has to offer, including the barbecued brisket, the fried chicken, a pecan ball and a classic fruitcake.

Barbecue is also what’s on the menu in Louisville, Ky., in the Tuesday, Oct. 17, episode of Cooking’s “Big Bad BBQ Brawl,” where host Shannon Ambrosio challenges a local pitmaster to a bourbon and bacon brawl, tasking the rival crew to make it in the style of a pizza. The results here have got to be interesting.

Also that night on Travel is a doubleheader of “Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations,” in which host Andrew Zimmern visits Madrid to dine on the sweet and succulent roasted piglet, fried calamari sandwich and tapas; and Prague to sample a lager-marinated pork knuckle, mushroom soup and lots of dumplings. European comfort food at its finest.

Host of "Big Bad BBQ Brawl" Shannon Ambrosio
Shannon Ambrosio

If your tastes run to the even more exotic, the Sunday episode of CNN’s “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” takes the well-traveled host to Lagos, Nigeria, a once-dangerous city in the midst of a Renaissance, to check out the culture, music and, of course, the cuisine, which is very beef-centric. There is also the ubiquitous local specialty, the pounded yam.

For French cuisine, there is the Saturday, Oct. 21 (check local listings), installment of PBS’ “Moveable Feast With Fine Cooking,” which finds host Pete Evans in Cadenet, France, to see how the fleur de sel, a coveted salt used as a flavoring on French food, is harvested from seawater.

Those who prefer their dining well after dark will want to check out the Thursday, Oct. 19, episode of Cooking’s “Late Night Eats,” where host Jordan Andino heads to Vancouver, British Columbia, to check out several after-hours hotspots.

Josh Denny is in a Halloween mood in a themed episode of Food Network’s “Ginormous Food” on Friday, Oct. 20, where he chows down on a 16-inch skull-shaped bowl of seafood, pasta and rice in New York City; and takes on the Super-Stack Maniac sandwich in Atlanta, a colossal dish that consists of burger patties, Texas toast, American cheese, fried eggs and bacon. Pass the cholesterol medication, please.

And Roger Mooking is literally all over the place in the Wednesday, Oct. 18, edition of Cooking’s “Man’s Greatest Food,” as he heads to New York, Chicago and the West Coast in search of the country’s best pizza. Not bad work if you can get it.

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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