Before Bourdain took the microphone (and afork to the city from Mayor John Hickenlooper
) last night, he'd gone toBiker Jim's,
Jim Pittenger's gourmet sausage cart at 16th and Arapahoe, to film Jim and his wieners for an upcoming spot on the hit showNo Reservations
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
, which currently airs on the Travel Channel. "Everyone who had any sense of what I like told me to go here," Bourdain said as he stood beside Biker Jim's cart yesterday afternoon. "And they were right. I'm so in the happy zone right now, it's a very good day at the office. This was far and away the number-one place on my list to come and eat."
And just like that, within two hours of stepping off the plane at DIA, Bourdain had become a Biker Jim groupie. "I ordered five dogs and wiped out a cumulative total of three-and-a-half," he joked. "The elk was excellent, the wild boar was really extraordinary and the reindeer was perfect, really awesome and probably my favorite."
That's not how he'd describe the frankfurters in New York, which are "standard dirty water dogs" and "completely forgettable," Bourdain said, a snub that he extended to New York street food in general. "The street food in New York is shameful, terrible and indefensible," he complained. "It's absolutely appalling."
In fact, he added, if you want something decent, you gotta go to Queens, maybe Brooklyn. "I recently found a taco truck that did tongue tacos -- I love tongue tacos -- and I nearly sobbed with gratitude," he admitted.
Which is what some kid nearly did yesterday when Bourdain signed an autograph. Looking up and down the 16th Street Mall, Bourdain nodded approvingly, grabbed his Biker Jim T-shirt (which he wore at last night's talk) and promised to never again get drunk with a photographer, unless you want the resulting snap to look like you've been boned.