On last night's episode of Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain joined Pok Pok kingpin/cat selfie enthusiast Andy Ricker in northern Thailand to eat all the sausage and drink all the rice whiskey they could manage. There was blood soup, sheep's brain, super-spicy rice dishes, a pork monger in a cowboy hat, live action cat selfies, a lady boy cabaret, a failed engagement on the part of Ricker, bad karaoke, and lots and lots of drinking. Hold on to your cowboy hats. Now, on to the Quotable Bourdain — feel free to add your picks in the comments below.
1: On tasting Thai food for the first time: "It was like discovering a color I never knew existed before. A whole new crayon box full of colors."
2: On how Pok Pok chef Andy Ricker learned how to cook Thai food: "Andy here is constantly back and forth from America to Thailand, for nearly 25 years now looking for recipes, techniques, digging deeper and deeper into an amazingly complex and widely misunderstood cuisine. And getting his ass chastised by a few aunties as he goes."
3: On Thai rice whiskey: "This stuff is a delightful beverage that tastes better and smoother, apparently, the more you drink."
4: On the whiskey shop's uncle, who at 68 drinks half a bottle a day: "It's pretty much the Keith Richards health and preservation plan."
5: On eating brain: "I'm not a big fan of brain. That custardy texture coupled with the nutty taste? Frankly I'd sooner ram a big handful of nutsack."
6: On blood soup: "That's like a horror movie. That's like CSI soup. I'm eating out of an open wound." Pause. "Actually that's completely delicious."
7: Andy Ricker on eating sheep's brains: "Eat too much of this shit you'll go blind, that's what they say." Bourdain: "Yeah, they say that about jacking off, too, and I'm still here."
8: On their meal of blood soup, sheep's brains, and sausage: "Honestly, best meal I've ever had in Thailand. I'd eat it out of Chris Christie's jock strap on a hot summer day."
9: On his mission in Thailand: "This time it's all about consuming medically inadvisable amounts of food and drink."
10: On appearances being deceiving: "There's almost an inverse relationship, the more hideous looking a dish the more delicious it is."
11: On where they're going: "Next stop? It ain't Flavortown. It's some place beyond that, man, way beyond."
12: On how much he drinks: "This may surprise you, but I am not an alcoholic. I don't drink at home ever. There's not beer in my fridge. If I'm not working, I'm not hanging out in bars. But if I was an alcoholic, and I did hang in bars, I'd hang here."
13: On french fries in Thailand: "You ordered french fries? Apparently it's an indigenous specialty."
14: While watching an older white guy drunkenly sing karaoke: "That could be me someday, I'm thinking. Things go just a little wrong, I go off the rails, this would be all too attractive. I can well see myself singing happy birthday in German to tourists in a hotel bar in Jakarta or Bangkok."
15:Bourdain on a Chinese liqueur: "Tastes like boner medicine." Andy Ricker: "Yes, and it tastes like dirty sack."
16: On what he loves about Thailand: "It wasn't the girls, it wasn't the beaches, it was the noodles, the greasy bottle of fish sauce, and the smell. That's it."
17: On how things change: "I once wrote your body isn't a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride. But that was before I had a daughter and a respectable job at CNN."
18: On an ideal lady boy experience: "If we had a lady boy show in a sports bar we could watch football, drink a lot of beer, and around beer number eight, bring out the lady boys."
19: On kissing a lady boy: "I end up kissing the only lady boy in Thailand who looks like Ernest Borgnine straight on the lips. I mean, why not one of the hot ones, at least?"
20: On going to the lady boy cabaret: "If out of context photos of me here end up on the internet, this could look bad."
21: On spicy food: "That perfect balance of pain, and pleasure, and more pain. Brain flooding with endorphins and all is well with the world. Until tomorrow morning."
22: On the morning after the lady boy club: "It was very traumatic. I need to go to a strip club and watch a football game and mow the lawn and barbecue all at the same time."
23: On onion breath: "I'm gonna eat some more onions. The boys at the bar tonight are gonna be in for a surprise if they move in for a smooch."
24: On breakfast: "I'm a big believer in a healthy, nutritious breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day, my doctor said that. Of course, he also said that just about everything I love and hold dear is killing me, so what does he know."
25: On papaya salad: "Attention hippies: this is a salad."