The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Anthony Bourdain Won't Come To Your Restaurant If You Tell People He's Coming

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jul 18, 2012 1:30PM


Everyone's favorite chef, author, bad boy and television personality Anthony Bourdain has hit Chicago, and as per usual, he's eating and drinking his way through the city so quickly we can barely keep track. He has had some kind words for our city and its eating and drinking establishments, but also some words of warning: don't screw around with him, or he will make sure that you don't appear on television.

2012_7_18_Sign.jpg In between complaining about the heat ("Chicago! (it's freakin' HOT!)") and calling The Hideout the "perfect bar," Bourdain informed the world that Budacki's Drive In, a hot dog shop in Lincoln Square, would not be appearing on The Layover. Why? Because they told everyone that he was coming. Budacki's posted a sign which told customers exactly when Bourdain and his cameras would be coming and offering an amazing $1 hot dog special to all customers during that time. Bourdain's response? "Very disappointed to miss out on Budacki's hot dogs. But unhappy that shoot was advertised as a "personal appearance" and marketing device. Unlike many similar shows, we try very hard to shoot a "normal" business day. A staged "audience" screws that whole dynamic up."

It wasn't all bad. Bourdain declared Girl and the Goat "magnificent" and seems to have loved EL Ideas, if Chef Phillip Foss's happy mood is any indication. El, the tiny BYO 18-seat restaurant in the middle of nowhere (and we say that with affection) must have been a bit overwhelmed by Bourdain's posse, but Foss was delighted that he left a gift for the chefs.

"Surreal. Cooked for Tony Bourdain tonight. True to form & a reason he's always been an inspiration is he brought Schlitz tall boys for himself & left them behind for us. Peace out."

We can't wait to watch the Chicago episode. Bourdain has always done a good job in Chicago, going to a mixture of neighborhood joints and posh spots and being sure to celebrate the old stalwarts. His feature on Calumet Fisheries, one of our favorite classic Chicago eateries, saved the business from going under. We can't imagine the New York Times Travel Section venturing that far south; they wouldn't be able to get back to the Wit fast enough.