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Anthony Bourdain at Buffalo’s Ulrich’s

One has to admire local musician Nelson Starr’s many talents, but bringing celebrity Anthony Bourdain of the Travel Channel’s “Anthony Bourdain – No Reservations” to Buffalo certainly ranks as one of his fancier feats.

Though Starr kept word of Bourdain’s visit on the down-low, everyone who lives here knows that – in the living room that is Buffalo – word travels fast.  It was a packed house at Ulrich’s Tavern on Ellicott Street, and every patron inside the tightly packed restaurant seemed to know what was going on; Bourdain was on his way.
bar crowd.jpg
When Starr showed up, I said hello, and he whispered, “The eagle has landed.  But you didn’t hear it from me.”  I should say here that we did not in fact hear news of Bourdain’s arrival from Starr, but from 3 other pretty good sources.  An email sent to Starr yesterday asking exactly what time the eagle would land went unanswered, as a testament to Starr being true blue to his word.  Another source extracted the actual information for me, and so I was happily there when Bourdain arrived.
Handing my camera to a much taller friend, we got some nice crowd shots and a lot of Bourdain himself.  Bourdain sat in the main dining room and enjoyed a meal we’ll have to rely on Starr to tell us about.
bourdain table.jpg
As a big fellow was herding the massive crowd back from Bourdain’s table, I quickly swam upstream and asked Starr if I could get a shot of him and Bourdain together for BR.  “Tony, sorry.  It’s the media,” Starr said rolling his eyes in mock irritation and taking up a spot next to his guest.  “You know, the media…”
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Bourdain looked tired and full, and I like to think his smile in the top photo was more sincere than obligatory in response to my saying, “Hey, guys, I’m just trying to make a  -beep-  living here, okay?”  I shot, said thanks, and got out of the way with a parting head nod and chuckle from Bourdain.
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This visit will put Buffalo on the map, with Bourdain’s own blog and series, for something we get little national recognition for (other than than one small, spicy chicken appendage) – our food.  Starr deserves a key to the city for his efforts, and  Bourdain – he’s one hell of a good sport.  
And don’t forget, Starr will perform at Nietzsche’s tonight at 7PM.  It’s anyone’s guess who might be there.
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  • onestarmartin

    how cool is this!

  • d4rksabre

    what’s the deal with that sweater. yeesh.

  • sbrof

    Really exciting I hope he has a fantastic time… I must say I am a little nervous about what he will say about his experience in Buffalo. It is a city that loves to drink, but with his wit, humor and food knowledge it will be interesting to see what he says.

  • sbrof

    If he is still in town today… what a beautiful winter day to be in Buffalo, the sun is hot and bright, the sky’s clear and blue. Get anywhere above the tree line and I bet NF and the whole lake would be clearly visible.

  • Elena Cala Buscarino

    I think he wanted to be here in the snow because it’s another thing we offer that makes us part of who we are, but I hope it whets his appetite to come back and see how very different we look when everything is lush and green and warm.
    Just what is it that makes the potato pancakes and sausage taste so much better when the world is white and the snow is swirling right outside the window of the oldest continuous tavern in Buffalo? Maybe Bourdain will put that into words for us.

  • mec

    Nietzsche’s website says Starr is performing at 6 P.M.

  • coolrobc

    HA! I’m getting email from everyone about that second picture. I was that annoying drunk at the bar.
    Over a three hour wait and we never got a seat for dinner. We’d been planning to go for a little over a week for dinner with a group of friends, then we heard Bourdain was going to be there. We figured we’d take a chance at still getting a table, but we didn’t luck out.
    It was nice to see that there were at least a few regulars at Ulrich’s along with all the “new” people. Hope this improves business for Jim.

  • Geezer

    Starr deserves the key to the city.

  • Molly

    Maybe I read too fast but why is he here and how did this musician bring him here? Is it just for his blog? It doesn’t look like they were taping… more info would be nice.

  • sbrof

    Ahh I do miss living near Ulrich’s… many a night I stumbled home after a couple liters of Heffe. Great place to relax and talk.

  • onestarmartin

    I don’t think the drinking will be a problem, ever watch his program…booze and ciggy treats!

  • coolrobc

    Yes Meg, they were shooting. Buffalo is supposed to be part of a three city episode including Detroit and Baltimore. It’s explained in one of Anthony’s blog posts from a few months back. They shot a lot at Nietzsche’s tonight.

  • George Thomas Apfel

    The entry on his bog posted Janurary 9th http://anthony-bourdain-blog.travelchannel.com/ talks about his experiences in Baltimore, he’s calling it his “Rust Never Sleeps” tour.

  • Molly

    Thanks for the information. I will have to keep my eyes open for this. I am sure he will make the city look good.

  • nmill

    Oh, Bourdain. That smart-mouthed, belligerant silver fox. Come on back any time.
    And Nelson, thank you. Its nice to see someone step up and show the world that Buffalo does in fact rate pretty high on the hip scale.

  • Littleflick Jerry

    Kudos to Nelson, but also kudos to Buffalo filmmaker John Paget, who also made the piece. Great job guys!

  • Littleflick Jerry

    Oops…to clarify, Nelson and John submitted a video to a contest for No Reservations, to get Bourdain to come to your city.

  • cookiemonster

    This is priceless advertising for Buffalo. I am so happy and thankful that these guys made this happen. Instead of complaining these are the things Buffalonians can to do better our city. Thank you and keep up the good work fellas!
    Probably more useful than our cities marketing budget and how they spend the tax payers marketing dollars. The only solution around here is grass root involvement.

  • queencitymiss

    I love it when I see Buffalo on the travel network or the food channel. It’s so great when a peice of Buffalo gets out to the greater world and gets the attention it deserves. I saw a pretty big peice on Emeril about the Buffalo Wing Festival a while back and it was great. Now Anthony Bourdain! Awesome! I am a transplant from Iowa and I have been all over the world and I swear Buffalo has some of the greatest hidden treasures of any city I have been too.

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  • yankeedave

    Yeah, this is great exposure for Buffalo, as a hick town where everybody’s going gaga because there’s actually somebody here from NATIONAL TV! Look at the expression on Tony’s face – he’s hating every minute of it, and who can blame him? This is the equivalent of taking a boat trip up the Amazon to visit a native village and finding a gazillion people there waiting for you so they can shake your hand and be seen on TV with you. IDIOTS!

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