Food TV Review: No Reservations With BBQ Snob, Daniel Vaughn, and Anthony Bourdain

Lunch at Franklin BBQ in Austin. Left to right: R. Nicholas McWhirter (Vaughn's photographer), David Hale Smith (Vaughn's agent), Tony Bourdain, Daniel Vaugh (self).

Any of you watch our local barbecue expert Daniel Vaughn of Full Custom Gospel Barbecue fame on the season premier of No Reservations last night? I did and I have about five minutes to give you my five cents worth:

I’ve watched a zillion episodes of No Reservations and I’ve learned a lot about food and foreign cultures from Tony. He made the right decision to make this the last tour of the show. Bourdain looks tired and his energy level in the show last night was down. He looked like a grandfather hanging out with all of those hip Austin bands. I would too. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but his questions were uninspired and when he tried to be cool by tossing in old druggie stories and Lou Reed references, it stung my brain. I’ve heard myself do the same thing in our office. Everyone around me is much younger and watching Bourdain last night made me feel like I was looking into a mirror. Except I would not attempt to be as cool and hip as Tim or Zac by getting a sun tattooed on my arm. That was just dumb.

However, he brought me back to some form of reality when he quipped “Only Jews and Texans understand brisket.” Zinger. Geezer humor at its finest.
On to Daniel Vaughn. Full disclosure: I love this guy, his blog, and his upcoming projects. In real life he is a talented architect, husband, and father. He relentless pursuit of barbecue in Texas is stunning. Vaughn, who refers to himself as BBQ Snob, is a snob when it comes to barbecue. You can find his snobby comments all over Facebook and Twitter. If you post anything about ‘cue anywhere at anytime, you can expect a head butt from The Daniel. But, like Bourdain, Vaughn has done enough groundwork to establish himself as snob. And Bourdain loves food snobs.

But Daniel, Mr. BBQ Snob, you need a media coach. Or a muscle relaxer. The brisket was warm and tender but you were serious and stiff. Dude, relax and smile. You were talking about the passion of barbecue with the enthusiasm of a sloth! Don’t get me wrong: I like sloths as much as the next tree hugger and granted you are not, by choice, a polished TV host. However, that could change when your Bourdain-backed book comes out and you quit your day job and become the Joe Bob Briggs of Barbecue. (Look it up, youngsters!)

I’m still proud that a Dallas talent was featured on an tremendously popular international TV show. I guess I wish the food featured was from Dallas. But that’s another story. Okay, kids. Tell us what you think. Oh, and don’t take the brown acid.

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