On last night's episode of The Layover Anthony Bourdain finally headed to Philadelphia, where he emphatically did not eat cheesesteak but did inquire about various Founding Fathers' venereal diseases. He also hung out with chefs Marc Vetri and Michael Solomonov (among others), ate a ton of non-cheesesteak sandwiches, got rip-roaring drunk, went out for pho, ate soul food, drank some Pappy Van Winkle, and did some sightseeing. Now, on to the Quotable Bourdain — feel free to add your picks in the comments below.
1: On Philadelphia: "So. Philadelphia. City of Brotherly Love. We're going to try to avoid all of that shit."
2: On, one presumes, Rocky: "There will be no cheesesteaks and there will be no film that shall never be mentioned."
3: On Benjamin Franklin: "Franklin was a weenie wagger, that's what you're saying?"
4: On ordering four sandwiches for himself: "My crew will be all over these things like seagulls on a McNugget, so I go big."
5: On his cholesterol, while eating a fried chicken liver sandwich: "That's what Lipitor is for. I crush 'em up on my cereal every morning, helps me get through the day."
6: On Pappy Van Winkle: "I know what I'm here for. I'm here for that incredibly wonderful bourbon whose name I'm not gonna mention because there are just too many sons of bitches out there who want it."
7: Again, on Pappy: "If God made bourbon, this is what he'd make."
8: On why he takes a group tour on "grim" Philadelphia: "I like history when there's lots of boning and killing and general diseases and merkins. Yes, I want to hear about merkins."
9: Question for the tour guide: "When was the last time you saw pubic hair? For me it was like 1986. You really gotta go back to Ron Jeremy era."
10: Another question for the tour guide: "Betsy Ross. She had syphilis didn't she?"
11: Another question: "Did anyone have sex under the Liberty Bell at any time? Important moments in American history?"
12: Another: "If I'm George Washington and I gotta take a dump, what's the experience like for the presidential dump?"
13: In conclusion: "How can anybody talk about, well the original intention of our Founding Fathers — they were fucking drunk! And in the tertiary stages of syphilis! Let's keep that in mind."
14: In disbelief that someone has suggested Philly might have a higher density of good restaurants than other places: "So you're saying in Philadelphia, chances are your proximity to a decent meal is probably better than Manhattan?"
15: Cheers: "Fuck brotherly love. Cheers to Philadelphia."
16: After drinking a lot: "This is looking very different all of a sudden. It's sort of sideways."
17: On the restorative powers of pho: "Soon the urge to throw up on yourself fades. You feel better about the world, and it's time for some Vietnamese style coffee."
18: On the charm of Philadelphia: "I would hear from Philadelphians, 'How come you haven't been to Philadelphia? What's wrong with you? Fuck you. We don't need you.' Which in retrospect I kind of dig."
17: At the medical museum: "I am looking particularly for curiosities related to the lower intestines and bowels. Ooh, bowel luge."
18: On a herpes display at the medical museum: "Looking at that, you'll never go to the Jersey Shore again."
19: On a giant colon: "Would you look at that colon! Jesus. That could've been me."
20: On a giant colon, again: "I guess the message here is that food always wins in the end."
21: Proposing changes to Philadelphia: "You should take down the Rocky statue and put up a Joe Frazier statue. You think I'd get any support for that?"
22: On the joys of being right: "I'm a big believer of that, by the way: I told you so."
23: On Michael Solomonov's restaurant Zahav: "Who was begging for, who was like I would like a history of the Jewish diaspora as interpreted by a meal in Philadelphia? Did he do market research?"
24: Surprised that Zahav has taken off: "It's clearly awesome, but so rarely is awesome rewarded."
25: After losing a bet to do a shot of hot dog juice: "That's a very refreshing beverage, my friends. Can I have a beer and a hot dog juice back?"
26: On the Irish Bus Bomb (a glass of Bailey's and a shot of Jameson dropped into a whole pitcher of Guinness): "Why would any sensible human being want to drink that?" Bar patron: "Why wouldn't they?" "An aversion to projectile vomiting over their clothes?"
27: On Philadelphia: "Philadelphia is a town with a low tolerance for bullshit and a whole lot of heart. Forget about Rocky and forget about cheesesteak."